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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.
Posted 14 May 2013I'm a fan of sponging off the piece to get standing water off and be more tacky, wiring it off while slowly spinning, dry my hands a bit, then lift the piece off the wheelhead and set it on a board. First time I saw someone do this I was dumbfounded, but now I don't even bother with any other ways like water-sliding a piece or using bats (I really only use bats on stuff like large bowls) - but I'm also not a potter doing this daily, and I don't hold any sentiment with pieces until they are glaze fired.
Posted 14 May 2013CMC gum solution. Many commercial glaze companies use a fair amount of this in their products as well as other gums/bentonite/hectorite, etc to help with suspension and brushability. It will help with suspension similar to bentonite and epsom salts (and you can even use both/all) -- but an additional benefit is that when it dries, the CMC forms a sort of "hard shell/candy coating" similar to that of dried snot/snail trail - it sounds gross, but when dry it will help keep the glaze where you put it and be more abrasion resistant to your hands or additional brushwork before being fired. It also helps the material to "flow" and be more brushable.
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- July 18