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- 08-January 11
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- May 18 2013 07:13 AM
Topics I've Started
Posted 6 May 2013I make a lot of organic shaped bowls using acorn and other winter squashes as "molds" - that is, I form clay over the squashes to create the bowl shape I want.
It's not always easy to find just the right shaped squash at the market or farm stand (I get a lot of funny looks at the grocery store, as I examine the squashes very closely, sometimes for several minutes each!)..and when I find one I particularly like, I want to make as many bowls as possible from it. So I thought I'd try making bisque molds of some of them, to avoid losing the great shapes when the squashes eventually rot! (they last a surprisingly long time)
I've never made bisque molds before -- any advice about what kind of clay, and what cone to fire them to?
I've just made one today from the cone 6 porcelain clay I use -- (it's drying now) but I'm wondering if there is some reason to make these molds from low fire clay instead? I was planning on firing this cone 6 porcelain mold to cone 04, for the purpose of making the mold - but not sure that's right.
I have low fire cone 04 white clay, and I also have some very sturdy cone 6 black clay - which never warps..wondering if it might be a suitable choice for this task, aside from the issue of it possibly staining the white cone 6 porcelain I will be using to make the bowls, from these molds.
Thanks for any tips.
I've attached some pix of the what the bowls eventually look like when I'm finished embellishing them.
lace bowls.jpg (315.86K)
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two lace bowls.jpg (262.98K)
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Posted 23 Feb 2013I'm making rustic stoneware spoons and spreading knives to go with my salsa/dip bowls, and have been glazing them on the bottom and putting them on old sheets of wire stilts that I inherited when I bought a used kiln. Not ideal - hard to sand down the jagged pinholes that form at such high temps.
Any alternative? I want to glaze both sides -- because of the function of these pieces. DSC08077.JPG (567.42K)
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Posted 7 Feb 2013I got a new kiln two weeks ago with an electronic controller (yay) and am very pleased with it. But the pre programs for fast and slow bisque have pretty slow ramp ups -- an 04 bisique program runs between 10-13 hours. A fast glaze firing takes 4-5 hours at cone 6.
This is the opposite of my old prehistoric kiln (Duncan) -- which had a dial and three settings -- overglaze, ceramic and high fire. It was set to ceramic for an 04 bisque (or lowfire clay glaze) took about 6 hours. It was set at "high fire" for a cone 6 glaze - and took about 10-14 hours (depending on the age of my elements).
I never had any issues with the faster bisque firing schedule with the old kiln - which I couldn't control.
I understand that the slow ramp up on the new kiln is to release water smoke etc. safely -- but I wonder if this is really necessary. Could I be bisque firing more quickly - and if so - how do others program their controller for a faster bisque?
I'm using cone 6 stoneware, and also occasionally cone 04 earthenware. My controller is Bartlett model V6-CF
Posted 28 Jan 2013The other day I had some pieces drying in my kiln room - and decided to place some on the lid of the kiln, which was on for a bisque firing. These were small pinch pots that I'd made to do glaze tests on, so I wasn't terribly concerned if something happened to them - it was an experiment.
They dried quickly, of course, and when I fried them a few days later on a fast bisque setting, there was no problem.
I'm wondering though if this is something others do? The reason I did this is because I wanted to see if it would dry more evenly -- the bottom is always the last to dry and there's always the risk of cracking on the rim when I dry pieces in my normal way.
Is it dangerous to dry pieces so quickly on top of the kiln while it is firing? (this was early stage of the firing -- the temp inside the kiln was below 1200F at that point). I remember seeing something here about someone doing this -- I recall cringing at the time -- thinking it was NOT a wise idea to dry pieces so quickly.
Posted 15 Jan 2013Hello,
I live in Toronto and about to make the plunge and buy a new kiln. Locally, ConeArt and Euclid are available to me. I am wondering if anyone has opinions about these two brands. I know ConeArt has a "double walled" kiln - not sure if that is really a benefit or not. I've spoken with them about the kiln and seen their video and it looks like a very good quality kiln. But I know some say that the double wall isn't really that big an advantage in electricity saving etc. Just wondering what others might think.
I fire stoneware - bisque to 04 and glaze fire to cone 6 -- I do this about once a week -- sometimes less, sometimes more. I need a good, reliable kiln!