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Chris Campbell

Stream Of Consciousness Back Fires ....

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OK ... So I decide to start a yard sculpture ... the thing gets bigger and bigger ... taller and wider ... On the second floor of my house with no idea how to get it downstairs into the garage where the kilns are.

 

On the plus side it will fit in the kiln as I keep those dimensions front and center in my studio.

On the negative side, this thing weighs a lot.

In hindsight it would have been a lot smarter to take an hour to add paper pulp to the clay.

In hindsight I guess I should have made it in two parts.

So Plan A is to put it on a piece of canvas and get help wrangling it downstairs.

Plan B is to whack it, convert the clay to paper clay and start over.

Plan C ....... Well, now I know why I don't make large things.

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Plan D . . .  fire it in place (although  the insurance folks might have an issue with that . . . but you could end up with a swell new house);

Plan E . . .  move studio to first floor (you really don't need that living room or dining room).

You really can't have too many plans. 

 

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Someone at our studio made a huge fish sculpture in several sections. It fit in the kiln but with over two bags of clay she could not lift it while working on it.  Never make a piece you cannot lift. with a little help, it came out pretty well.    rakuku

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I was in a similar situations several months ago,  I decided to make a freestanding bubbler fountain.  The finished size is about 20"x42", I realized I would have to make it in 2 sections to fit into my Skutt.  I didn't take into account how heavy it would be, even fired it's heavy.  Each firing I had to take apart the Skutt and have my husband load each half and them rebuild the kiln around it.   After the four firings I swore never to do a project that large again.  I haven't tried it out yet but it looks good.    Denice

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I do a lot of my larger pieces preplanned on paper or on computer. Most of these are small enough to fit in the kiln, some not. Years ago, while building sets I learned to preplan carefully, as I had a set piece that fit well on stage, went through the wing doors, and the shop doors, but would not go through the outer doors to the auditorium. The 18 step staircase with railing and top landing had to be cut into 3 sections, wheels added to each and stabilized/reinforced to move into the wings. So now everything I do, from planning buit-ins, to bookcases, to large pots of multiple sections gets preplanned. But then the planning is methodically cognitive, passion is in the details.

 

Pres

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When I was going to the gym regularly I could lift/carry up to 40 lbs for one trip if I had to, tho roughly 25-30 was all I could do with repeated trips. Now, after a winter of being a slug, it is a strain to move 6-11 lb. kiln shelves from studio in house to kiln on porch. Back to Planet Fitness I must go!! So much planning, measuring, attention to all kinds of details and not-readily-foreseen factors goes into ceramics- I am amazed-and glad to get these tips BEFORE I paint myself into a corner.

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Plan H - Break out a window (every studio needs more light anyway) install a winch on the side of the house put the sculpture in a sling and winch it down.

 

A bonus for this is a bigger better window improves your home value.

 

T

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Plan H - Break out a window (every studio needs more light anyway) install a winch on the side of the house put the sculpture in a sling and winch it down.

A bonus for this is a bigger better window improves your home value.

T

That is a better plan than firing it in place ... : - ) ... So far, I have moved it on to a portable shelf ... now seeking volunteers to portable it down a flight of stairs. Maybe the local gym?

Then of course lowering it into the kiln since I really, really, really don't want to break down the rings.

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YAY! Good luck with the next step.

T

Next step appears to be going south at an even greater speed ... now I have made about 400 fish for the installation with no solid plan for how to mount them outdoors. Picture fish swimming in and out of green shrubs ... Hmmmm ... A plan would have helped but nothing is fired yet ... paper clay slip and a Dremmel tool might have to come to the rescue.

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I just fired a gingerbread church. It was 27"x 24" at it base and 24" high. It weighed about 65 lbs. Two of us lowered it into the kiln with tiedown straps.

 

 

I feel your pain and celebrate your success.

 

Jed

 

By-the-way, the next house will be smaller.

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How were you able to lower that into the kiln Chris?

Very slowly! My helper and I got it downstairs on an old refrigerator shelf ... Then we each grabbed a side of the sculpture and went for it. I assured my helper that if it broke I would just re-cycle the clay and make another ... so at least one of us could relax. : - ) I had pre-centered a smaller whole kin shelf for it to sit on so it would not rest between two half shelves.

It is still sitting there un-fired since it is still cool to the touch.

 

P.s. ... Yes Jed, my next one will be smaller too!!

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Have you got block and tackles so far North, or is that blocks and tackles, or blokes and tackles?? Saw a photo of a potter with one of the aforementioned situated on a swivel above  his kiln, just raised the pot on shelf, swung the apparatus around and lowered it down.... Don't go for small get on with it,  she says in the middle of housecleaning.....

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Update! Out of one fire and into boredom.

 

So have found my solution for mounting fish for outdoor display and the paper clay slip is working perfectly to join the dry fish to the damp clay supports. BUT the job is so boring. I am only placing the first layer of fish with slip, the next will be placed with glue so they hide any supporting areas and blank spots.

 

Oh well, onto the next step.

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wait a minute, chris!  those fish are not made of colored clay!   start over and do it right!  you have a reputation to uphold!

 

 

(not to mention upholding all those fish)

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I had a friend that was given a grand piano. The piano company took out his double window and used a large crane to hoist it through. The local paper took pictures.

 

Chris, very cool looking. I never make anything so large. Arthritis. I'm lucky I have my son around to move heavy stuff for me.

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I hate using comment space to say "like this", but the limit is so....well, limiting. Apparently I hit my limit, even tho I have not hit "like" since yesterday (what's up with that?). Anyway, Chris, I LIKE those fish a lot! Can't wait to see the finished piece(s). Old Lady & Mark C have great fishies too...maybe a fish challenge? 

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