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Posts I've Made
Posted 21 May 2013i would also guess those are sprigged details. make a simple positive from clay with a good amount of relief, then slap some plaster over the top of it for a quick sprigging mold/stamp. you could even do this by carving into a piece of clay and bique it. this will be the best method for results you can easily duplicate. next method would be to hand-form the details with either fresh clay or a thick slip to trail on the surface. i'm sure you can find some videos on youtube these days that will get you in the general area you're looking for.
Posted 21 May 2013my grandfather was a dental tech and made silver crowns for teeth all the time. he also used the same method for making gold and silver jewelry for the family. his studio was in the garage, so i got to see the process on a regular basis growing up.
he used a spring-loaded centrifugal casting machine. The hard part is making the positive out of wax and casting a shell for it out of plaster of paris. The basics of the process are crank the casting machine to preload the spring and apply the stop pin, Insert "mold" into one end of casting machine, insert prepped silver into the opposite end/crucible. Melt silver with a $20 propane torch, pull the pin and let 'er rip. Couple minutes later the plaster is ready to break open and pull out your silver positive for cleanup work. Pretty sure you can buy a centrifugal casting machine for less than $150 - dunno if i'd risk my kiln for doing this. Just having to replace the elements after opening up the kiln at red heat a few times, or fixing a mishap would cost more than the centrifuge.
Posted 20 May 2013how are you programming the kiln? with "Cone Fire" or manually programmed? If it's Cone Fire and the temps are off, I cannot help here since I never use it -- but if you're firing manually, simply do a few firings with cones inside to get an idea of how your kiln acts when set to a specific temp, with a specific type of work...then simply adjust your temps accordingly. For example, a ^04 firing set at 1941* only gets a ^04 to be barely tipping, then you know you need to set your temp slightly higher (like maybe 1955*) -- of course all this truly depends on what type of work/quantity/volume inside the kiln since the heat work will change depending on the stack. Good luck!
Posted 20 May 2013Welcome to CAD!
I would just make a simple Excel spreadsheet and try to make it work as well as you can get it to. If you find a template or program please let me know, as this is something i've also been looking for and I NEED one!
How does you lab deal with glazes? Do you guys stock "communal glazes" in large buckets, or does everything get mixed on a per-piece basis? If you have all communal buckets, I'd say you have it fairly easy since you are making large quantities and can easily write them down in a log of some type. If everyone has access and freely mixes at their leisure then it's not so simple.
In my lab, we have no communal glazes and everything is mixed on a per-batch/piece basis, by students. Getting students to write down what they use is near impossible - for clay, I can manage to record what they make and when, but glaze is impossible (especially when you have people making washes, etc without weighing material). To make it even more difficult, about a year ago, admin changed things up and now I have to designate exactly which classes are using what material and how much since they all have individual budget accounts -- whereas before I just had a bulk "student materials" account for all the year's classes, and we just kept everything fully stocked, then split it evenly. With the new system, it's a freaking pain in the rear to figure out how much glaze material each class consumed -- oh yeah, and this all has to be figured out at the beginning of the quarter/when I buy materials throughout the year, so I can tell the instructor how much money they will have for clay/everything else! how the heck am I supposed to predict what glaze materials are going to be used in the future?!?!?!
I really haven't figured out an accurate way of doing so, but my current method is with 2 logs of glaze materials - the first one is a listing of everything in the glaze room, letting me know how much was in each bin at the beginning/end of the quarter - this way I have a general idea of what got used during the quarter, but this needs to be divided between the classes and I have to guess who used what...Sure this seems like it would work out quite fine, but no....I have to tell the accountants which classes to charge when I BUY the materials -- so I have a 2nd spreadsheet showing all of my materials purchases over the past few years - this sheet helps me determine which classes to charge it to since I can see a log of how quickly something tends to disappear ON AVERAGE.....by no means is this method accurate, but at least I can now guess how many classes say 50lbs of Frit #3134 will last -- still doesn't solve the problem of having one class decide they want all cobalt blue glaze and the other only wants to use slip.
So, if you figure out a better method for figuring all this stuff out, I'm all ears. I wast thinking there's gotta be some spreadsheet templates floating around for some type of warehouse or something similar that might work, since I've constantly got materials going out, being purchased, and restocking, etc.
Posted 16 May 2013yes, it's a pretty low salary and doesn't mention anything about benefits. many universities would give full benefits to a 50% employee, but since it's a small community center....
on the plus side, it's located in one of the nicest parts of CA and you get to use the facilities.
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