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Found 108 results

  1. Hi everyone! I just recently bought a used Cress FX27P electric kiln so I can start firing work at home. So I just recently started my first bisque firing yesterday at 4pm. It was more of a test fire, so I didn't put a lot of work in there, about 15 wheel thrown pieces. There were a couple pieces in there that were not fully bone dry so I set the firing speed at E, the slowest speed. I also put a pyrometric cone (04) in the sitter, 1 peep hole open, and set the thumb wheel to 1, and I set the timer to 16 hours so it can shut off at that time in case anything goes wrong. Throughout the day and night I checked periodically, and the kiln did get red hot, so the elements seemed fine to me, but I didn't take a look at the thumbwheel. So this morning I went to go check on the kiln, and it fired the full 16 hours! and the kiln sitter didn't go off, so the the kiln didn't reach cone 04 temp. Also, the thumbwheel stayed at 1! It didn't move! So I'm thinking the thumbwheel is broken or needs repair, I didn't put the cone in right, or something is wrong with the elements. And even 16 plus hours later the kiln was still showing orange to red heat signatures inside the peep hole. So I talked to my friend who has experience firing kilns, and he said to just fire the thing until the kiln sitter shuts off and set the thumbwheel to 10 max temp as soon as possible so the kiln doesn't have to reheat back to 1000 for the sake of energy efficiency. If anyone has any ideas, input, advice, or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm hoping to bisque fire and glaze fire using this kiln in the near future, I already bought a couple pints of cone 6 glazes to test out. Thanks!
  2. Hey guys, so tomorrow I'll make a kiln with oil can (yes it's already washed) and pit firing, I'm trying to post a pic of it but the forum sucks at uploading it, so I'll try to explain: The idea is to dig a hole on the ground where I'm going to put the fire (wood and sawdust, and yes, there's room for the oxygen to get in), then I'll put a grill over it where pieces are going to be placed, I'll also put sawdust on them with some wood, then the oil can will be put over them to isolate the heat. That's my idea, what do you guys think? Will it work? Also, there's a hole on the top of the can with about 10cm diameter, do you think I should close it or not? Thanks. *forgot to say that it's to bisquefire pieces
  3. Since March, I haven't been able to fire any of my work because my school is closed, and that's where the kiln I use is. I was lucky enough to be able to bring a wheel home with me and I've been using it every day. So the consequence is that I have an abundance of unfired pottery. I've searched everywhere for an open studio or someone who might let me use their home kiln, but nothing came up. I've considered buying a kiln of my own but I have nowhere near enough money and no source of income right now. Does anyone have ANY suggestions? Please help haha I'm losing my mind!
  4. Dear Community As everyone is self-isolating here in the UK, I'm encouraging my students and others to handbuild at home and I want to enable them to fire without a kiln in as simple a way as possible. It gets very frustrating for beginners to be unable to fire work and I want to maintain their enthusiasm. We are using the kurinuki method so that there will be no joints to break open. I know that there are some Japanese firing methods for low temp work using small containers but I can't find the videos again on You Tube. I've been trawling the internet but not come up with what I am looking for yet. Has anyone had any experience of ONCE firing at low temps using such a method? Or could you point me in the right direction to do more research? I am planning to do some tests myself using an old Weber barbecue with low firing crank and raku glazes and I appreciate that there might be a lot of failures but am keen to experiment. Thank you all so much
  5. Hi! I was running a cone 5 glaze with my skutt electric kiln and forgot to turn on my enviro vent. When I realized it was already finished and at 500F. I have the KMT so was able to see a graph of the firing which looked fine, but it did fire in 4 hrs instead of the regular 13hrs. What problems could this cause ??? Could this hurt my kiln for future firings? Vent is on now and another fan in the studio cause it definitely smells. Thanks!
  6. Hello everyone, I am completely new in this field, my work so far has focused on plaster modeling. But soon I would like to start a new project, which requires a lot of knowledge in clay processing. I would like to make two fireplace surrounds (designed in the style of the attached plan), one for a decorative fireplace and one for a real fireplace which already has a cast iron insert whit a brick mantle. I would like to know for the first one, for the decorative one, I need to burn the tiles or not. It's about some large parts, for example 2 corbels 80x20 cm. Also I would like to know if such large parts should have any reinforcement system for example made of wire or iron. The material, the clay is good as I find it in commerce as it is or will need to be added some additives to avoid the appearance of fissures without burning. For the symmetry of the parts, I thought it would be good to carve one part and the other to copy it with a plaster coating. I look forward to any suggestions. Thank you all
  7. Hi!! I have just finished a sculpture of a baby using smooth red clay. This is my third clay sculpture, but first without a teacher to guide me. With my previous sculptures, it was easier to remove the armatures.. there were less detailed areas which made it less traumatic to cut open/join back together. I was also far less particular about my sculptures then as can be seen by the fact I removed the armatures far too early. Is it okay for me to leave the paper inside when I fire it? Also, how slowly should I dry it to make sure fingers, toes and ears don't crack? Any other advice? Thanks in advance
  8. When I am firing my electric kiln, I start with the lid propped open about 2 inches and the top peephole out. Then at around 1000 degrees F I shut the lid. The top peephole is open the whole time. I understand that the lid needs to be propped to allow moisture and gasses to escape in the early stages of firing. My questions are: 1) is 1000F an appropriate temp to close the lid? 2) Is it necessary to prop the lid on a ^6 glaze firing as well as the bisque, or only during the bisque (^06) I have been firing this way for a couple years and the pots always come out well. However the lid has badly cracked on both the inside and outside, necessitating repair with kiln cement. I have a large electric Skutt Kiln (I think it's the 1227). Even with my repair, it is all fractured and occasionally falls onto the pots below. The metal handle is also badly rusted and corroded, an issue I didn't notice when I bought this kiln used a couple years ago. I notice when I close the lid on an 1000F kiln it makes a soft settling crackling noise. I am curious if the cracking lid is from thermal shock when it goes from hot room temp to 1000F. Because of this, i wonder if it's better not to close it so late (and hot) in the firing. Perhaps it's just time for an envirovent. Is it normal for a lid to start to deteriorate like this? The newer versions of my kiln are made with the hydraulic lid lifter, which I assume lifts it more evenly, without the torque from supporting it on just one part. Please let me know if anyone else has had this cracking lid issue. -Dana
  9. Hello! I’ve heard that you can fire greenware with glaze up to cone 6 in one go- ive never done it myself though. Is this something that actually safe for the pottery? Do I need to do it in a specific way? Fire in a specific way? Any input would be much appreciated!
  10. Hi all! I just finished converting an old electric kiln to gas. The firing will be totally manual, no kiln sitter involved. Having never fired a gas kiln, I know my learning curve will be steep! But I need a few pointers to get started. I want to start out with a glaze firing, ^5, mainly because I don’t have any greenware to bisque right now. I have a few “sacrificial pieces” that I am willing to use to start the learning process. I have a pyrometer and witness cones ready to go. So, my main question has to do with ramping at this point. How fast do I want the kiln to increase in temperature on the way up to ^5? The pieces I have are made from Laguna 52 Buff, and glazed with Spectrum underglaze and/or Spectrum ^5 glaze. Idk if that makes a difference, or not. I am a wheel thrower, and I typically throw thin. Don’t know if that matters, or not, either! I realize that glaze firing in particular can vary based on the desired effect, but I’m looking for a basic framework to start from. Based on my small test fire (only brought the kiln up to about 900-1000*, empty, to decide if I need one burner or two) my biggest fear is that the temperature will rise too quickly, and the heat stress will cause issues-up to and including cracking/exploding. Thanks! Amy
  11. Hello, The question is how often do you fire your kiln a week? Let’s say I want to bisque fire Monday and want to get a glaze firing going Wednesday after unloading the bisque ware. Is this too much strain on my kiln too fast? Sorry if this seems dumb lol, this is my first year firing my own kiln rather than at school.
  12. Hello everyone, I find your site tremendously insightful and factual, and this is my first post here. I'm a fairly proficient handbuilder and sculptor but have never worked in porcelain. I need to know whether these lentil-shaped hollow beads will fall flat in the highfire glaze firing, with or without glaze. They are slightly larger than a quarter in diameter, and thickness varies from 11 to 13 mm. A classmate at community college handbuilding class gave me the porcelain clay because I just wanted to see whether I prefer it for my hollow beads. They all have holes, not showing in pic. My concern stems from the fact that I had read that walls can collapse, in porcelain, if not exceeding 30 degrees angle. I did do a LOT of searching and reading, but could not find an answer. Photo shows the bisqued hollow porcelain beads in the foreground, and in background are beads from my same molds, in my usual stoneware clay. I do have Kanthal wire which I usually use in my own, small, low-fire kiln but I'm sure the kiln tech at the college (with a vast volume of stoneware and porcelain pieces to fire) will not be game to be bothered with my little experiment so my intent is to just have her fire them on the shelf, unglazed, to maturity ... and then I will decorate them by other means, if I choose, after seeing the result (hoping to get some translucency?) So, in summing up ... do you think these little lentils will collapse and go flat when fired to the porcelain clay's maturity? I believe it is Cone 6. Thank you for any input!
  13. Among collectors of fine yixing teapots the "ring" test is cherished by some to identify "true" zuni yixing clay. It is unclear to me to what extent the zuni technology is about the composition of the clay, and to what extent it is about craftsmanship and firing. Many people say this clay is "extinct" and there will never be teapots like those of previous eras. Could this really be the case? I have tried banging on many pots and having the pot on a soft surface is a must. Isn't this a just a test of thickness and how high fired a pot is? I also make these kinds of teapots-- and I always wonder how to recreate the very best aspects of the craft.
  14. Will be firing a bisque fire of porcelain ware Mugs without handles What is the best way to fire ( thinking of warpage ) Should the rims be facing up or down Wondering if it makes a difference Thank you Nicky
  15. Hello everyone, I am writing this post due to hope of meeting with someone who may help me to build a downdraft gas fired kiln. I have the book of Frederick Olsen's Kiln Book and in my opinion it has enough information to design a kiln but it may take a lot of time when I start doing that. I only start making ceramics and will be very appreciated ıf I can find someone to give me a hand.. That's why I just want to ask people on here and maybe somebody would like to share a kiln plan (preferentially 1m3) which had been tested before. Thank you in advance!
  16. Hi everyone, I have recently got an Uhlig U 500T kiln. I have never fired anything before and it gives me a really hard time to understand how to operate this one particularly, because there seems to be no resource or manual on the internet (the only thing that came with it is in German and kind of explaining how to use the controller tho). As far as I understood the slowest possible heating is to 500C in 5 hours. My pieces are quite thin and dry so I am hoping this is fine. Still, I am wondering is it really possible that this is the slowest option? My plan is for bisque firing my pieces then, to set it to 500C in 5h and then leave the vent open for 1-2 hours (while testing the steam). After the 5 hours, set it to 950C as the end temperature and chose a shorter time maybe 3 or 4 hours. Anyone more experienced than me, does this sound alright? Thank you very much!
  17. Hi, After only ever doing low-firings, I attempted my first high firing yesterday but my kiln simply refused to go higher than 1165 celsius. It was very frustrating as I had spent quite a lot on stoneware clay and glazes. What are the reasons why my kiln wouldn't reach the temperature that I'd set? I noticed that the temperature rise slowed down significantly after it reached 1140 celsius and for the last half hour it didn't move from 1165. Now, I'm guessing, I'm left with bowls that aren't food safe. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
  18. Hello everyone I've searched through the forum but didn't find the answer to my question: If I want to make handbuild plates (so they wouldn't have any foot) and then want to glaze them top and bottom, can I use any kind of stilt to prevent the plate from wrapping? The plates would be made with stoneware fired between cone 8 and 10. I red about plate setters but that means the plate can't be glazed underneath, right? Is there any way to support the plate even though it's glazed? I know for low fire we can use metallic stilts but I wonder if they would wrap at such high temperatures. And what about clay stilts? Thanks!
  19. Hello! New to the ceramic world and I am very interested in delving into Porcelain (cone 6) clay. I'm interested in designing very contemporary and minimal jewelry, however I understand that porcelain shrinks significantly during the firing process. My question is: how would I go about firing Specifically rings? are there certain metal rods that I could use in the kiln, similar to a bead rack that can keep the ring smooth and even during the process and POSSIBLY true to the size once finished? I've seen many of these beautiful rings online and I'm very unsure how to fire them. Also, is it possible to use PMC shrinkage stoppers like they use in metal clay ring design? PLEASE help as I'm very stumped on approaching this.. it would be very much appreciated! lost, Megan
  20. About 10 years ago, I took several ceramic classes and fell in love with the way Strontium Crystal Magic worked with other glazes. I attached a picture of Strontium Crystal Magic Warm with a spray of Water Color Green that I made in a community college class. Fast forward 10 years and I cannot get anything close to those results. The second picture shows the same glazes with a kiln controller set to a standard medium speed firing schedule to cone 5 with a 12 minute hold time. There are tons of nasty little pin-holes, and although I don't mind the color, it is nothing like I was expecting. The recipe that I copied from San Juan College is as follows: Strontium Crystal Magic Custer Feldspar 2400 Whiting 900 Strontium Carb 660 6 Tile Kaolin 780 3124 Frit 240 Lithium Carb 240 Titanium Dioxide 720 Bentonite 120 Total: 6030 Yellow Iron Oxide 121 (2%) Sooo... I noticed online that my SJC recipe has slightly different ratios than the one I found on https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ceramic-recipes/mid-range/strontium-crystal-magic-warm/. Also, my copy from SJC says "6 tile kaolin" while the one on the website says EPK. Is my recipe written wrong? or is my firing schedule and temperature causing the pin-holing and color difference between the pot 10 years ago and now? I know that glazes are super complicated, but I just don't even know where to start and would really appreciate some help. Thank you for any help! Erin P.S. I am so sorry the images are huge... I wasn't sure how to re-size them
  21. Hello, I'm firing a cone 4 vitrified slip cast body which looks lovely but seems to slump particularly with the larger pieces. I'm going to try firing at a lower temperature but thought I would ask on the forum to see if anyone had any other suggestions. I'm using a fairly large electric kiln which I recently purchased. I also will try taking out the lower plug on the kiln as I heard that helps keep the temperature more even. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Harriet
  22. Ugh, just UGH! I had a huge load to fire for a very important community project. Using a Cone 4-6 stoneware and Cone 4-6 glaze. Normally I fire to cone 5 and let it soak for 5 minutes. The kiln was almost to temp when I left for work this morning. (yes, I know, never leave a kiln, but I couldn't be late to work and the basement is all concrete and it was supposedly almost done) It should have been cool and ready to unload when I got home. instead, at the top of the stairs, I heard it. "cu-lick" "Rats. I thought to myself, I must have a rat in the basement, I would LOVE to have a rant in my basement because if that's not what it was... CU-LICK." Yes, my 10.5 hour firing went 20 hours. It appeared to be stuck at 2112 degrees. All three segment lights were lit. I don't know if a relay went out, if an element broke or what, but it appears to not have reached cone and just held shy of cone 5 for 9+ hours. What's killing me right now is wondering how bad it is inside. Are the pieces ruined, stuck to the shelf or in a gooey puddle at the bottom (that's probably not likely) This was the ONE time I didn't use witness cones because the thing was jammed so full I didn't have the space. The thing is still WAY too hot to consider even taking a quick peek. For the next several hours, I have nothing to do but obsess because this was a VERY important load (yeah, because that's how it happens) If in fact they aren't ruined and I can get them out by 4:00 AM, there is hope. So let's play a game... So Brain Trust. If in fact this was a 9 hour soak below the cone I was firing to, how bad is it likely to be?
  23. Is it necessary to fire to sculpture to vitrification? If firing to cone4, will the sculpture be too fragile? I don't always glaze my items and detail with acrylic paints and don't want to take short cuts in firing to save money, if the pieces should be vitrified.
  24. HI all, I've referred to this forum many times in the last few months, so thank you all for sharing your knowledge with the world. I just touched clay for the first time in August. After a short class, I fell in love with slab building and geometric shapes. In my class, we only used cone 10 clay, SOOO, when I left class and started playing with clay at home, I got Cone 10 clay. Now that I have LOTS of pieces to fire, I'm calling around to studios and art centers to find they they all fire greenware to bisqueware at 04. Can my Laguna cone 10 clay greenware be used for potted plants, vases and general art if it's just fired to 04? I would glaze fire to cone 6. Any help is appreciated and sorry for this and many future dumb questions. Thanks
  25. Hi all, I'm firing a batch of round, globe-like christmas ornaments. They are almost a closed form, but with a hole in the finial at the end. I've been eyeballing the firing options on some of the ceramic stores, but they don't give much info. I could fire them standing up, with a rod inserted into the finial, but there are metal rod options and porcelain rod options. Which would be better? Or should I use a small stilt? Each ornament is B-clay or porcelain, weighs at most 5 oz. , about 5 inches in length. Fired to cone 10. Advice please?
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