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QotW: How do you define technology involved in the production of Ceramics?


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9 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Technology for craft Ceramics may be defined as any practical evolutionary or revolutionary advancement of knowledge within a ceramic process that allows a more efficient method for traditional practices with the aid of a system, technique, tool or piece of equipment.

 

I just thought it read a little more concise without changing the definition much.  

Technology for art and craft Ceramics may be defined as any practical evolutionary or revolutionary advancement of knowledge within a ceramic process that allows a more efficient method for traditional practices with the aid of a system, technique, tool or piece of equipment.

I would not want to leave out the artists, that do decorative work or the sculptors etc. thus putting in the art and craft. I bow to your editing skills, as you have taken a longer statement and boiled it down to a much more precise statement. . . . thank you.  

How do those of you in the community feel about the statement above.

best,

Pres

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Looks fine, maybe “ within” is a bit narrow and  “contributing to” or something to that effect is broader and includes processes and innovation outside art and crafts  ceramics that end up being of significance. Don’t know if “traditional” is helpful in this context maybe enhancing traditional ...... something to that effect.

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3 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

I never could find out why 6, not five, or four or seven?

My hunch is it wasn't a direct move down from high fire or up from low fire to get to cone 6. I think it went to midrange first then was fine tuned to cone 6. If you take cone 02 (approx 2016F) for the lowfire approximate cone/temp and cone 10 (approx 2345) as the high and split the difference you get a hot cone 5 (2180F). We see some clay suppliers giving a midrange for firing like cone 4 - 6 or Laguna's practice of calling their midrange bodies cone 5 even though most can do cone 6.

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7 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

I never could find out why 6, not five, or four or seven? And energy, only anecdotally.  Cones are a great one but credit Hermann Seger.   I like all those examples though, hidden game changers right in plain sight.

U of I study found that KnaO was completely melted/spent at 2190F. Above 2230F =/- cristobalite begins to form. In a clay body 3/8-1/2" wall: potassium begins to melt (fluid) at 2044F and sodium 2012F. The combination of these factors is the basis of cone 6 firing target. Ougland & Brindley (British Ceramic Society) found glass content at cone 6 was 61% and glass content at cone 10 was 66%. Mullite at cone 6 was 19% and mullite at cone 10 was 21% Their study was based on a triaxle blend of 1/3 kaolin, 1/3 KnaO, and 1/3 silica. (porcelain).  So now you have the why!

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4 minutes ago, Min said:

Use the same spar, kaolin and silica but in different ratios and it's cone 10, is this all it took, a couple fellows doing a triaxial? Nobody thought to do this before? 

Not to worry, I have seen several theories on this but nothing definitive and suspect it was a combination of things oddly culminating in the number 6! Certainly not as definitive as cone numbers which seem to have a reasonable evolution. Cone 6 definitely a game changer though.

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Min: the difference between us doing a triaxle and them doing a triaxle: they have PhD behind their names.  Which comes back to the thread's premise: they have lab equipment of measure: we do not.

Bill- late 60's into the 70's. 

A standard cone 6 porcelain is 30% KnaO, and cone 10 is 25% KnaO. Heat work being the offsetting factor. 

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8 hours ago, Bill Kielb said:

Looks fine, maybe “ within” is a bit narrow and  “contributing to” or something to that effect is broader and includes processes and innovation outside art and crafts  ceramics that end up being of significance. Don’t know if “traditional” is helpful in this context maybe enhancing traditional ...... something to that effect.

Hi folks, another revision as suggested @Bill Kielb:

Technology for art and craft Ceramics may be defined as any practical evolutionary or revolutionary advancement of knowledge contributing to a ceramic process that allows a more efficient method for enhancing traditional practices with the aid of a system, technique, tool or piece of equipment.

 

best,

Pres

 

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Technology, as applied to the art and craft of ceramics, may be defined as any practical evolutionary, or revolutionary, advancement of knowledge that contributes to a ceramic process, and which utilizes a more efficient method for enhancing traditional practices, with the aid of science, a system, technique, tool, or piece of equipment.  Lee-the-editor-has spoke;  don't neglect those commas!

@liambesaw  Thanks for the roller coaster of a wormhole ride down into Wikiville. I visited much of human history, including clicking on Ted Kaczynski's contribution re: technology (except it was deleted), Heidegger, Blade Runner, something about BMI and weight gain, plus dolphins & crows, to hit the highlights.  Made a $5 donation to pay for the trip.

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4 minutes ago, LeeU said:

Technology, as applied to the art and craft of ceramics, may be defined as any practical evolutionary, or revolutionary, advancement of knowledge that contributes to a ceramic process, and which utilizes a more efficient method for enhancing traditional practices, with the aid of science, a system, technique, tool, or piece of equipment.  Lee-the-editor-has spoke;  don't neglect those commas!

@liambesaw  Thanks for the roller coaster of a wormhole ride down into Wikiville. I visited much of human history, including clicking on Ted Kaczynski's contribution re: technology (except it was deleted), Heidegger, Blade Runner, something about BMI and weight gain, plus dolphins & crows, to hit the highlights.  Made a $5 donation to pay for the trip.

Hahaha oh sheesh, you just described a typical weeknight for me.  I need to unlearn how to read, all it does is get me in trouble.

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2 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

I need to unlearn how to read, all it does is get me in trouble.

Well, thanks to cybertechnology, chatting on messenger or binge watching reality series, playing game session after game session after game session,  or following link-to-link-to-link-to link-can easily span half a day for some people. I wouldn't know anything about that though-it's just something I heard. :rolleyes:

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36 minutes ago, LeeU said:

Well, thanks to cybertechnology, chatting on messenger or binge watching reality series, playing game session after game session after game session,  or following link-to-link-to-link-to link-can easily span half a day for some people

I reached the end of the Internet one day, it scared me! Back paging was a pain also.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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1 hour ago, LeeU said:

Technology, as applied to the art and craft of ceramics, may be defined as any practical evolutionary, or revolutionary, advancement of knowledge that contributes to a ceramic process, and which utilizes a more efficient method for enhancing traditional practices, with the aid of science, a system, technique, tool, or piece of equipment.  Lee-the-editor-has spoke;  don't neglect those commas!

 

OK, @LeeU, I'll bite on that, anyone else have something to add or change?

 

best.

Pres

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The marketing of midrange was cone 5 at first-I'll go look at some 80s and 70s catalogs I have but I recall cone 5 was the magic number. Of course I never cared as I was all in at cone 10. still am all in at cone 10 reduction. I love it and feel its my groove. I have made it work well in glazes and a following. 

Now back in the day energy was cheap as well. We made kilns of hard brick back then before the shortages and spikes in costs.

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As I remember much of the discussion on other sites, years ago, cone 4 was just above Earthenware range and into stoneware. Others believed that to be a little low, and went to cone 5. Then there were a series of clays and commercial glazes that were designed for cone 4-6.  It became apparent to many that the better surfaces for the glazes often occurred at cone 6. Over the years, I have often wondered what would have happened if we had not had the energy cost rise that precipitated the move toward mid range stoneware. The move towards Cone 4-6 has certainly done well for Ceramics in general as many schools in cities without the resources for gas fired kilns with teachers trained in gas reduction have benefited from the use of electric mid-range Oxidation. 

Aesthetically there is was also another shift as those advocates of reduction moving to mid range carried their likes/dislikes with them and early glazes for mid-range tried to emulate reduction glazes. However over the years the mid range glaze repertoire has become quite broad with many craters and artists ranging far from the olde aesthetic. The richness of surface seen in reduction, can be emulated in mid range with layering of glazes, often by spraying and underglaze/overglaze color and other strategies. Colors achievable at high fire may be synthetically developed as in Copper reds with local reduction.  However much of these are not as pleasing as the colors achieved in High fire reduction. At the same time, now we see more low fire type decoration and glaze done at mid range due to the durability of the mid range vs. the earthenware.  All in all, the last 50 years has done wonders for the science and art of ceramics.

 

best,

Pres

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I think the other thing that has made a significant change to how electric kiln fired glazes turn out is the practice of slow cooling. I think that has been a game changer; being able to get the micro crystallization of dolomite mattes etc. that are possible with a high mass hard brick kiln that cools so much slower than the typical electric kiln. I was looking through an online CM magazine from the fifties, an article spoke of using the kiln sitter and propping it back up and turning the dial(s) back on to medium for a few hours. I didn't know it was a thing back then to slow cool (I wasn't around then), it's my understanding that the practice of slow cooling electric kilns really took off when it was written about in the Mastering Cone 6 Glazes book from Hesselberth and Roy. I know that when I went to school in the 90's the electric kilns were mostly used for bisque or earthenware firing. Can't remember anyone slow cooling the electrics.

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Min: the first mention of slow cooling I seen was in an ACERS journal by Edward Orton, Jr. (The cone guy) in 1908. The mid 1970's is when I have noticed changes in modern pottery. However, I also noticed detrimental effects of technology in the last two decades. Modern kilns, glazes, and premix clays makes pottery easily accessible to any and all: which is a good thing. However, the ease of operation does not require the user to acquire any basic working principles of functional or food safety guidelines. We have all seen the end products on EBay and art fairs. 

That said: technology has opened doors on previously extremely challenging techniques and glazes. I spent all of one month attempting to fire crystalline glaze in an old kiln with a sitter before I quickly realized I was not spending 8 hours babysitting it. Kiln controllers rank high on technological improvement list. Anyone who had or played on a kick wheel: would say the same about an electric wheel. I have been playing around with self glazing clay bodies----one of these days....

T

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1 hour ago, glazenerd said:

However, the ease of operation does not require the user to acquire any basic working principles of functional or food safety guidelines. We have all seen the end products on EBay and art fairs. 

My hunch is there probably always were people who work like this and always will be. Agree that it seems to be more in our faces now than pre internet / widespread computer access times. I think it's hard to change some peoples beliefs; doing so makes them admit they were either wrong, misinformed or need to update their knowledge. If a pot looks nice and sells well then isn't that enough kind of attitude.

I had a read through Laguna's article, "Why Are There So Many Different Clays From Laguna Clay Company?" interesting that they referenced midrange claybody recipes they acquired through some of  their acquisitions that date back to the 40's and 50's from recipes from Southern California and the easter seaboard of the US. 

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I started slow cooling in the 70's with the school kiln, an L&L I ordered, by rubber banding the drop tab to the cone rod after it dropped. This allowed me to "second guess" the cool down of the kiln. When the lid was became cracked in the late 80's I bought a thicker lid, and that aided some of the slow down also. I always worked for the best surfaces with the kids pieces, as I believed some of them to be gallery worthwhile considering their attention to detail and creative thinking, I could add a bit extra by being a little more careful and cognizant of the firings. Just reminisce the amount of electric Oxidation firing technology that came about in the last 50 years!

 

best,

Pres

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