My apologies, wandering around lost not sure where to post this
subject, hopefully someone will be able to steer or assist.
Yesterday I attended an art show in Tulsa. Fabulous art, wonderful
things to see.
Though not the centerpiece of her work, one lady was selling a bowl
of various clay pieces featuring various short phrases such as "Live,
Love, Laugh" (my favorite find) "Smile More" and so forth. They appear
to be small rolls of clay pressed into a small circle, then stamped with
metal alphabet letters. The backs of them were glazed.
As my last true clay / kiln experiences were back in high school, could
anyone assist with my questions? I would very much love to make some
of these for friends and relatives, but am not sure what type of clay, the
firing, glazing, etc.
I assume the pieces were flattened, stamped and fired, then flipped over,
glazed and fired again?
You probably could get away with one firing. If you do a one fire make sure that the clay is TOTALLY dry and make more than one of an item you want to make sure you get. There is more breakage when you one fire. You are doing small pieces which helps.
The cracking on the edges looks like it comes from how they were made. I would guess balls of clay were pressed down with the palm of their hand or a rounded object and left without smoothing out the edges.
It looks like an low fire Earthenware to me.
I checked the Evenheat site and they only showed the 5320XL which runs on 50 Amps so I can't comment about the kiln, but it will fire low fire clay.
Make sure the back is good and flat to glue the magnet on.
One bag of clay and one jar of glaze should make a lot of them.
You get a more even firing when the kiln is full, but it won't hurt the kind of pieces you are making. If you were doing a set of dishes or a sculpture that would be where you would want a full kiln.
If you have any other questions as you go just ask.
I single-fire all my tiles and other "flat" pieces, even to cone 10. I roll out my slabs and let them sit for a bit, and then (I think it's Pauline who gave me this suggestion) I dust them with corn starch with an old dusting powder puff. You can use a biscuit-cutter for those nice even rounds.
After I cut them, to help keep them from warping, I put them on a sheet of "greenboard"---the sheetrock they make for bathrooms. I top them with a couple more sheets of it. My smaller tiles (2" and less) are fine just leaving to dry at that point. But for 4" tiles and larger pieces, I pick up the two pieces of sheetrock with the tiles sandwiched between them, and flip them after about 24 hours, and put the other 2 sheets back on top. If they're really large pieces, I flip them again after another day. That process seems to really help keep them flat.
For the stamps, you can use alphabet noodles or metal stamps, or you can write in the clay with chopsticks---I like the bamboo ones.
After they're dry, I usually clean the rough edges on mine with a damp sponge before I glaze and fire. When I fire, I put my gas kiln on pilot all night, and then start firing the next day. You could probably put your dried pieces in a 150-200 degree oven all night to make sure all the moisture is driven out.
The advantage I see to bisqueing the pieces with words on them is that you could use iron-oxide as a sponged wash on the bisque to bring out the colors of the letters. I don't know of a way to do that successfully on greenware, but Pauline may.
I like the way you once fire your tiles. Most of my work is sculptural and It seems to be harder to make sure it is totally dry. The other thing is I can spend a couple of weeks on a piece and I would hate to see it blow up.
I don't know of any way to use iron-oxide to bring out the colors on green ware.If you try sponging off the excess you would make the surface rough and may just have the piece get to wet and lose what you have.
I don't use iron oxide, but I do use stains a lot and the same would happen with them.
Nice looking tiles. Is the pattern the last layer? Do you use a tin based white glaze? How far apart do you have your shelves? I haven't made many tiles and am never sure how close together the shelves can be.
What are you giving those kiln gods? I have yet to make one for a firing, I keep thinking I should.
I haven't been working with clay much lately, due to a torn rotary cuff in my left shoulder. I had to figure out how to make something one handed since I am taking a class. There isn't much you can do with one hand. I am going to try using my left hand with clay today and see how it goes. My class meets tonight.
HI everyone, I have been lurking here off and on for a while.. Used to do pottery in High School.. Our HS had a pretty advanced art program which I didn't fully appreciate until years later. so I am wishing I had a kiln and have been eagerly reading anytime someone posts about firing clay.
Wuvie, if you don't like the cracking and don't want to use a cutter to make your rounds you can use your finger to smooth the edges while and after you are flattening the discs. depends on how big the cracks are. little ones can be smoothed with a damp sponge.
I used to do a lot with oxides but always after pieces had been fired once. I don't think you would be able to remove the excess very effectively without removing clay also.
When just using glazes we used to partially glaze greenware and didn't have too much trouble with breakage. I don't know what kind of kiln we had but I do know it was a large walk in model. mindboggling now to think of it.
Thanks! I'm trying to finish up the inserts for my walkway and patio----these are sort of like a sampler.
I use a stable white glaze, and paint the design on with cobalt oxide or cobalt carb (or a combination, depending on what I've got). I really struggle with brushstrokes and design, so if I get something that works, I do a big batch because I'll never be able to do it again!
I can put the shelves on my small tiles like these REALLY close together (1/2 inch) but if I have 4" or larger, they can warp and bow in the middle, and stick to the upper shelf if they're that close together (unfortunately, I know this from experience...) So I always put at least 1" posts on all of them.
The chimney's off, and I'm waiting for the kiln to cool down so I can crack the lid...nerve-wracking!!!
You've had a rough year, Pauline! Hope you're on the mend soon!!!
Karen-Marie, let us know what kind of clay you end up with!
Time to get to work, now, or I won't be able to buy glaze ingredients...
Pauline, I forgot to mention that I sprinkle a thin layer of grog on the shelves before I load. It seems to help keep them from sticking and warping. I'm NOT a fan of kiln wash--it just flakes off and blows around. I use it when I have to, but the grog seems to do the trick for smaller tiles.
OK, TADA here's all you could EVER want to see of loading and unloading a small gas kiln! The top 2 shelves were underfired, and I'll have to redo some of the stuff that was on them, including a big elephant ear I was really anxious to get out. Hopefully it won't crack when I refire it---but if it does, that's what mosaics are for, right?
Jazz, I would love to sell them, but finding customers and doing custom orders while I'm still working fulltime is not appealing. Maybe when I retire I'll get serious and start selling on eBay---if I can figure out how to PACK the stuff!! In the meantime, I make the garlic trivets to donate for fundraiser raffles, and planters & bowls and things for gifts.
Most of the blue and white tiles are for my own projects that are taking me forever...LOL! But I'm getting faster and learning a lot. This kiln can be a real heartbreaker, because it's difficult to fire evenly from top to bottom.
There were a couple in between here, but has is my second batch of pot feet that I'm designing that I posted in another forum. They all came out, and I'm very anxious to get them under pots and see how they do!
So here's the lot---every one of my 4" tiles is bowed up, and the elephant ear needs to be refired, but all in all not a bad load.
Thanks for your patience, and Karen-Marie, I apologize for thoroughly hijacking your thread!!!
Oh, look at this! I'm gone all day and you all have been
having fun without me!
Not only did I have to drive to a huge town today, but I
was in the middle of a hobby store looking around to my
heart's content when a potential employer called me in
for a test. *POUT*
What's a girl to do? No time to look, no time to find something
for my coupon, it was not a fun trip at all! So, needless to say,
I came home without ANY clay. The only clay they had was something
that dried to a gray finish, not what I wanted. :-(
Janet, please don't ever worry about hijacking, I love reading all
these posts. Please, everyone, anything and everything is a good
read for me, as I'm pretty much a kiln newbie. I simply love those tiles!
The tiles are lovely, strapping them together like that is such a good idea. that blue is so rich. The garlic dishes look great.
Guess you know what you will do when you retire.
I am planning to make a mold for a spoon rest for gifts. I was looking for a simple spoon rest like were available at one point in time. Guess I am going to have to make one to make a mold of. They are all some kind of food and I want a very simple one that I can paint to individualize.
I went to the physical therapist today. Still no lifting. I can do anything else that doesn't hurt. Now to find things that don't hurt.
eco, yes, the 4" tiles were definitely flat before. I'm not sure why they warped, but they were all on the upper shelf that underfired. I'm going to try refiring them and see if they flatten out. All of the pieces in the lower part of the kiln that actually overfired a bit were nice and flat. I scored them all on the back, and they all had grog under them, so there was good air flow, so it's a mystery to me. This is the second time the 4" squares have fired like this.
Thank you ALL for the kind words about my stuff; I was really pleased with the way the brushwork came out this time. Now if I can just remember which brushes I used...I seem to do better with the smaller tiles. The 4" ones are just too big for me to paint---they're not even fun!! I think I'll stick to plain glaze on them for a while.
Jazz, did the closer picture I posted show you what you wanted to see, or were you looking for a REAL close-up? Let me know, and I'll take a couple more pix on the weekend if you tell me what you want a shot of.
Oh gal I love closeup shots.. you should see me at art shows and galleries. I like to get right in there and see how things are done. I want to see a closer pick of some of the other pieces you had in that batch.. the one large flat piece..was that your elephant ear?? and those interesting pieces with the white on them..
Those "interesting pieces with the white on them" might have been the cone packs with the white firing cones?
The only shot of the elephant ear is the last one with all the stuff on top of the AC unit (it's a handy horizontal surface). It's got tiles and cones and a bunch of stuff sitting in it. The glaze came out really nasty since it's underfired. It's supposed to be a nice glossy dark green. Next time!
The other large flat pieces were my 2 garlic trivets. Both of those came out nice, but one of them has a big chunk of clay on it that came from who knows where? I don't know if I can salvage it or not. Ceramics is always such an adventure!
DH gave me a new camera for my b'day that has better closeup capability, so I'll practice this weekend!
I've been having to work at the OFFICE for the past couple of days---what a drag!
I'll take some of the requested pix and post more info this weekend.
Yes, the garlic pieces are just big flat tiles, hand-cut & scored with a chopstick. I string a piece of leather in them for hanging. We are in the home of the Garlic Festival, so I had to do something. My most recent teacher does truly spectacular & gorgeous garlic keepers and bakers and garlic-trimmed bread trays...but no one was doing tiles/trivets, so I thought I'd fill that void. The glaze I like best for them is extremely unstable, unfortunately! It turned out really nice on these...hope I can get the crud off the one without ruining it or having to refire!!!
The shapes to the left of the container of tiles are my pot feet. I posted some closeups in another forum---I'll take some better pictures of this batch over the weekend. I like to get my containers up off the patio surface (not a fan of the drain dishes, that just collect skeeters here) and I've adapted a shape I bought into these----still working on the design, though. The first batch were too narrow, and didn't sit stable; these might be better, but I haven't had a chance yet to actually get some under any pots.
Ima, I'm a little puzzled abut the things you mentioned about
garlic. Could you possibly post a picture of the things you
mentioned with the leather strips?
Allow me to explain my enthusiasm. Years ago, we purchased
garlic in a braid. It came with a little clay medallion which was stamped
with the name of the company. I have been in love with this little thing
for years on end. Then suddenly, I saw the "Live love laugh" medallion
and it all came back to me.
Now I see mention of a similar thing and I'm dying. I must make these,
even if it is just to entertain my silly whims, LOL.
I'll sneak a quick post in here while a work-file is loading...
I promise to take better pix of garlic tiles and pot feet this weekend. I have some older pix, but will post some from this load. It will probably be Sunday, as tomorrow is monthly Women's Work Day at my friend's house.
KM, some of the tiles in this load I used rubber stamps on. (Suckered into a bunch of neat ones on eBay over the summer, and have just started playing with how to use them in my clay projects.) Might be a way for you to easily get your garlic shape stamped into a clay disc? Or, of course, you could make your own out of clay and then fire, or make one out of plaster for a totally original one.
I use an earthenware that is made to Raku. I don't very often raku, I use it because is very versatile. It can can be fired anywhere from cone 04 to 10. It makes nice tiles. It has a bit to much grog to comfortably throw. I don't throw so it is no problem for me.
Pagan, I'll see if I can give a brief tutorial on glazes without putting everyone to sleep!
The basis of all glazes is silica, clay, and a few other basic mineral elements that will affect their melting temperature, and other characteristics. The colorants are mineral oxides (iron, cobalt, tin, etc.) When a glaze is fired, all of the ingredients combine, react and bond chemically with each other, as well as with the available oxygen in the kiln. How much oxygen is available during various stages of the firing impacts how both the clay and the glaze will turn out.
In an electric kiln, the firing is typically "oxidation", which means that there is lots of available oxygen during the firing. In a gas kiln (like I use), I can do either oxidation or "reduction" firing. In a reduction firing, the burners and dampers are partially closed down to "reduce" the amount of oxygen available at specific temperatures, when the clay and glazes are "unstable" and looking around for oxygen molecules to bond with. If there aren't a lot of oxygen molecules available, it impacts the color of the clay and glaze in SOMEWHAT predictable ways. For example, an iron-rich glaze will typically be greenish in an oxidation firing. The same recipe in a reduction firing will typically be rusty brown. I've read that it's possible to do reduction in an electric kiln, but it's very hard on the elements, which aren't designed to handle it, and they won't last as long.
I use an iron-rich clay, and do an early "body reduction" step at about 1000 degrees, which (as you can see in the pictures of the pot feet) turns the clay dark reddish brown. I also do a "glaze reduction" when the kiln is getting up around 2200 degrees. That's when it all gets really interesting.
Adding the temperature variable to the chemical changes that are going on inside the kiln just contributes more to the mix. Temperature is affected by the size of the piece, how much other stuff is with it, where in the kiln it sits, how close it is to the burners and the top of the kiln where the chimney is, etc., etc., etc. Bill increased the gas pressure on my kiln line recently, so that added another variable.
I use both ceramic cones (which are those white teeth-looking things) and a pyrometer (like a hi-temp thermometer designed for kilns). The cones are formulated to fall over at specific temperatures----but the cone's fall is also determined by the amount of time it's been at that temperature. I put 3 or 4 cone packs in my kiln, so I can see how it fired in each of those places.
SO. The white glaze I use is "stable", meaning it always turns out white, no matter what. The Popsicle Slide that I used on the garlic trivets and on the embossed tiles, is NOT stable. It's impacted by every little thing that I listed above, and more besides! I've had it turn out a lovely shade of lavender, which was what I was hoping for on the tiles in this load (sigh). The green glaze that I used on the leaf has a lot of iron in it, and I think its problem was that it just didn't get to a high enough temperature. I'm going to refire it in the next load, and we'll see.
KM, I have worked with a red-iron earthenware. I found a body I really like for throwing, and it polishes like a dream for pit-firing. I've fired it as high as cone 5, where it completely vitrifies, which I like for utility pieces like planters. I also throw a little bit of it into my stoneware mix for color.
My local supplier changed hands recently, and I hope I can still get it!
That was an excellent description. Probably the most clear I have seen.
I forgot to say I found an example of a spoon rest I like and am going to make my own mold from it. Part of the reason I am doing this project is that in the class I am currently in we are making molds. I have never made a mold with this teacher and she is so good I want to try out her method. I have made a few molds for tiles but I really don't have much need for molds other than that. I also do not like to work with plaster.
Do you do much pit firing? I just did one last weekend, only I did it in a garbage can. Did I say this before?
I took a class from Michael Wisner and learned so much from him. We did both smoke firing and polychrome pottery. I never burnished so much in my life. I also was fortunate to buy one of his black pieces at a very good price.
I'm both sorry and grateful - I thought it would be an easy answer to the tune of "oh, when the moon is full, the glaze is darker, but I like a clear sky so mine often turn out light with spots..." I didn't realise that it would be an answer of that depth, and I appreciate you typing that all out for a newbie-wannabe!
I was given an electric kiln with a few accessories - none of which are an instruction manual. I am so throughly intimidated that I don't know where to begin, so I've pestered you folks a couple of times... thanks so much.
I promise, when I get home this p.m. I'll find the durn model # and see if I can get a manual and a decent how-to book. I've been itching to try this and I need to go until I get stuck!
Let us know what brand and model. What are the accessories? Did you get shelves and posts? The posts are solid rectangles to hold the shelves up and apart. If you google it to get the information send us the link so we can see it please.
Pauline, I'm awestruck by that website! What amazing pieces! I love pueblo pottery and design--his meld of pueblo and modern is incredible. I think I might KILL for that silver pot!! The most recent community college where I took classes did one or two pit-firings a year---typically one per semester. I always enjoyed them, but got very few pieces out I would keep. I do have one little burnished, pit-fired pot that I thought was good enough to keep.
Pagan, nothing to be sorry for---it was fun! I've been doing ceramics for various years, and dabbled in a little teaching here and there. I'm thrilled that Pauline, who taught pottery for REAL, liked my explanation!
As soon as you post pictures of your kiln and what came with it, I'm sure we'll all overwhelm you with information!
I'm lurking on Trash to Treasures all the time, where a lot of the glass-firing people hang out. I want to try that in my electric kiln! Somehow I want to combine clay work with glass, and I just haven't figured it out yet...
Tomorrow, I'll post a picture of my kiln-sitter so you can see if you have one on your kiln. It makes a difference what kind of cones you use. Paragon's a great old brand---they've been around forever.
That's funny - we all posted at close to the same minute. Great minds!
Thanks for the link, Wuvie - I can find a .pdf for the kiln sitter on there, but so far nothing that clues me in on the model of the kiln itself... maybe the .pdf will give me a hint. I'll go back and look at it.
Imapigeon, here's a pic of the kiln that shows the kiln sitter. Shows how far in the dark I am - I thought it was just part of the kiln.
Jenks: Glaze on the garlic is called Popsicle Slide; it was developed by one of my fellow students; I'll share the recipe if you're interested. It's a rutile glaze. As I said, you have to be careful with it on vertical pieces---it can turn out like the two pieces here, or pale lavender, or blue.
Cat, you want to use BAR cones for your kiln. After I fix breakfast, I'll post a couple of pix for you so you know what to get. The kiln-sitter is really nice, because the kiln will shut itself off when the cone bends to the proper temperature.
Wow this has been busy since my last post. By the way you do have posts in that photo of the accessories, along with the shelves and the come shaped thing is to plug the holes on the kiln when you are firing. You can then open some to add more air and also to check how the firing is going.
That is great that you found the pdf. Paragon makes nice kilns and they are considered electricity "misers"
Yet another post while I was typing. My Skutt has a kiln setter and I really like it.
That silver is what he gets from the smoke by burnishing the clay over and over again. It is a super shiny black that looks silver in the photo and close to that in real life. The piece I have of his is from when he was just experimenting with that indention that he is using now and hadn't started to sell them yet so mine is from when he was "painting" on them and getting a dull black on shiny black. He did show us his tool to make the indention. A filed down hacksaw blade. He makes his tools like he learned from the Pueblo Indians. He makes the brushes from very fine human hair and they are only a few hairs per brush to get a very fine line.
zen: TOO COOL!!! How thick does he make the pot walls to make that deep indentation?
I never thought about making my own brushes...there's Michaels coupons to be used...LOL! But what an interesting idea...
Here's another link for you; it's to one of the pages on the Orton Foundation website, which has a ton of info on firing, kiln use, etc. It also explains cone numbering, which you need to have at least a general understanding of when you decide what kind of clay & glazes you are going to work with. I have used other brands, but I have the most experience with theirs. Some shops will probably sell you one or two cones at a time, which might be the way to go until you know what temperatures you're going to be consistently using. http://www.ortonceramic.com/resources/
The picture below shows you the kind of cones you will want to use in your kiln-sitter. You can see they are shaped completely differently from the ones in my firing photos above. Assuming your kiln-sitter works the same way as all the ones I've ever seen, you place the cone on the brackets inside, and then you use the lever outside to lift and set the "finger" on top of the middle of the cone. Then you press the button to start the kiln firing. When the cone bends, the finger drops, and the kiln shuts itself off. It's SO nice not to have to babysit a kiln every step of the way! However, things still go wrong, so even after you have plenty of experience with your kiln, I recommend that you never leave it totally unattended.
I went to measure the one I have and it is just shy of 1/4 inch. I just ordered a new cable to load photos into my computer. After I get it I will take a photo his and the two pots I made in his workshop.
Somehow in the process of having to take my computer into the repair shop twice in a row I lost the cable. I am sure now that I ordered a new one the old one will shop up, but both John and I did a through job of searching for it. At least we thought it was through. It is probably some place safe.
My cones are triangular...I put them in the setter triggers and make a cone pack to put in front of the peepholes just in case.
So you do the scoring once they are a bit dry... thanks! I am about to install new bathroom...you have me tempted to make my own tiles...but... a bathroom is probably not the best place to begin! ;) LOL I guess I could see how some come out. I always wanted to try the Alexander mosaic on my shower wall...That might be easier! double wink!!!
I'm not sure I'd want to shower with all those spears on horseback thundering at me in my nakedness, but to each his/her own LOL!
When I make the tiles using my slab roller, I score when I clean the edges when the tiles are dry. I don't bother scoring the smaller ones, as (since I use the grog on my shelves) they don't seem to warp. If I extrude tiles, I have the grooves built into the die, but since I got my slab roller I haven't been doing them that way.
It seems odd that the hex tiles and the elongeated hex tiles (which have the same surface area) don't seem to warp----only the squares. I still think maybe it's got something to do with the firing cycle, and I'm going to refire that batch to see if they flatten out.
I've made a lot of tiles for the front sidewalk/courtyard project, and I'm getting to the point where I may actually have enough to finish it soon!!!
Jenks, extrusion is actually how a lot of commercial tiles are made, but I wasn't thrilled with the results. I have a die the thickness of the tile that's smooth on one side, and ribbed on the other. I lay out the "ribbons" and cut them to length.
Problem I had with extruding is there's so much waste for the amount of clay I put in it. And there are huge air bubbles if I try to put one pug in on top of the other, so that's more waste. The slab method worked much better.
I found tile cutters at Bailey Pottery that I just love----they're like biscuit cutters in various shapes and sizes. Now all I have to match up is the design on the tiles when I get them out of the kiln. When I was cutting them by hand (all the ones I've laid so far in my walkway and steps were all by hand) before I could paint them I had to match up the sizes and shapes, too! If you're doing a backsplash or something and want the tiles all the same size/shape, I HIGHLY recommend you look at those tile-cutters. They ain't cheap, but they are a HUGE time- and aggravation-saver!! There's an eBay site that was selling the 4" square ones, and their profits go to charity, and they're cheaper. But that's the only size they have.
So, do any of you have a favorite supply source? I haven't looked around too much, but so far the only supply I've found in my area is a Hobby Lobby - this might end up being the occasional Nashville trip for supplies. I can't imagine that it makes too much sense to have wet clay delivered - the shipping'd kill ya...
I get most of my supplies at Continental Clay. It is about a 15 min drive for me.At least it was before the 35W bridge fell. I would think the shipping would be a killer. You could order other supplies. I typically buy several hundred pounds at a time and get a price break that way.
Last night in class I made a spoon rest mold and had to go in there this morning to take it out of the form and clean it up. It is always interesting to learn yet another persons method of making molds or other things for that matter. Last night be ot 3 different ways to measure the water and clay needed. We had worked out the materials using pounds and the scale was set for kilos. When we got a huge amount of dry plaster we stopped to figure out what was going on. I am sure glad I didn't mix up 36 kilos of plaster.
hahahha---you would have had enough to ship chunks to everyone on this forum!!!
So how did your spoon rest turn out?
Regarding suppliers, I have one fairly local but I'm not crazy about them. I really liked the guy who used to own it, but he sold to some folks I don't like as well. I'm still using scrap clay, so haven't had to buy any for a while. When I do, it'll have to be from them, unless I can talk my former teacher into selling me clay from the school.
Shipping is somewhat painful, as zen points out, but if I can get what I want delivered to my doorstep, it's worth it. Bailey is the only place I've seen these tile-cutters in all the different shapes and sizes, and until I get all the ones I want (think I'm about there) I've been getting stuff from them. Their service is great, and their prices are good.
I've been to Laguna in SoCal, and not been impressed.
Believe it or not I checked the mold today and it still isn't dry enough. It is fairly humid here most of the time and it takes molds a long time to dry. There are times they actually get mold before they are dry. How do you like that a moldy mold.
I should probably go back to the studio and put it up on stilts to alow air movement all around it.
Sunset published a nice little paperback book called "Ceramics", and also Golden Press had one called "Step by Step Ceramics" that I've had forever. They're undoubtedly out of print, but you might be able to find them in a thrift store or an online used book outlet. Both have excellent basic information about working with clay, handbuilding, a little throwing, and some fun starter projects.
If you want to make tiles, there are two you might want to check out. For a total beginner with clay "Making and Installing Handmade Tiles" by Angelica Pozo is excellent. If you have some experience with clay, "Handmade Tiles" by Frank Giorgini is one of my all-time favorites.
I don't do much handbuilding, but I'd bet zenpotter can provide some great resources, as that's her area of expertise.
cat and ima, I have that book and love it. I think any book that Lark publishes is good.
I am still baffled just how the cable vanished. The only thing I can think of is that when the computer was out getting a new hard drive I had the cable on top of my file cabinet. It may have fallen off the cabinet and into the trash can that sits right next to it. I remember putting it there and seeing it there later on. Grrrrrrrr
Can you see my hair flying by in tufts? They sent the wrong cable. I called customer service, they sent me to parts and accessories and the woman I got spoke so little English that we couldn't communicate. I called again and got a woman whose English is fine, but didn't have a clue what I needed.
So I did what I should have done in the first place called a local camera shop and can get what I need by just going there. All along what I wanted was a card reader and the right memory stick. Sony insisted I needed the cable no matter what.
There goes another tuft of hair.
Now I just need to remember why I wanted the thing in the first place. (not really)
Well I can now post photos.
You are really going to wonder why you have been waiting to see this mold. It isn't much to look at. It is propped up on a radiator with a fan on it since it still hasn't dried.
If you aren't familiar with a press mold here is what it is/does. I made a spoon rest out of clay but did not let it dry. (Now I wish I had taken photos.) I put coddles around it. Think a dam to hold the plaster in. You brush Murphy's Oil on all the surfaces the plaster will touch. Then pour the plaster in. After it is set you take the coddles off and the clay out. A press mold.
Once the mold is dry I roll out a slab of clay, cut it to the side of the mold, press it into place, let it set a bit take it out, cut around it and I have a spoon
rest. It is a way to make multiples in a hurry.
Reminds me of the molds I had to make in school - one for concrete, one for plaster. I ended up using vegetable oil as the releasing agent, but that was from cardboard boxes and plexiglass. What a mess that was!
Imapigeon, if you are still hanging out - did you ever figure out how to get your tiles to flatten out? I saw a reference to it the other day while reading. Evidently poking holes in the back or carving grooves stops it from warping.
If you like I will re-find the reference and let you know...
I took a photo of the back of one of the tiles I made along with the ribbon tool I use to score the back. The scoring is between 1/8 and 1/4". I don't make tiles very often, but so far I haven't had warping issues. I am almost afraid to post this in fear that I will now start to. I dry them slowly between two pieces of sheet rock.
Well, what's odd is that I don't score my garlic trivets, and they never warp. Nor do I score my octagonal tiles...and neither do they. I put grog under all of them, so they get air. I'm wondering if it's got something to do with the square shape...I use a fork to score the square ones, and the ridges aren't as deep as yours. I'm still wondering if they'll flatten out when they're refired to full C10...all the ones that warped were underfired. We'll find out next weekend!
The indentations on the garlic are on the front, though...and about the same depth as the ones I'm doing on the backs of the squares.
Zen, another wrinkle is that I'm single-firing these. Not sure if they'd be flat when I took them out of an 04 bisque or not. I know my first batch of tiles that I bisqued was flat, but then when fired to C10-11 some of them warped. That's why I went to the slab process instead of extruding. The extruder blank I made has nice deep grooves, but there's too much twisting in the extruding process. Or maybe, as with many things, I just don't know how to do it right!!
After you extrude them or roll them do you use a rib to smooth/arrange the particles in every direction? I use a large mud knife or a metal rib on any slab that I work with. It relaxes the stretched particles and helps to keep them from warping and cracking.
I get the same results with cone 10 tiles. I am not one for single-firing I don't trust it or maybe I don't trust myself to do it right.
I have to admit I hate to clean an extruder so I don't use one very often. That being said I am making an extruder blank to help in the process of making pedestals for my sculptures.
I grew some big luffas a few years ago, and they are the BEST for cleaning the extruder barrell!
No, I haven't been using anything to smooth the slabs----but I'll start today! Thanks for the hint!
Single-firing is the way I do all my flat pieces. It's saved me a ton in energy costs. Of course, I can only do it because I've got my own kiln. I've had very few problems----no more than I would have had if I'd bisqued them. The only bad load I had was when I put the shelves too close together, and some of the 4" tiles bowed up in the middle and touched the bottoms of the shelves above them. THAT was a bummer.
Talk about a blast from the past! It has been almost two years since
I last posted on this thread. I have good news and bad news. :-)
Bad news first. Bought a box of clay and haven't done a thing with it.
Good news. Hubby installed electricity in the garage, my kiln has been
moved, hooked up, cleaned and test fired. I am on a cloud!
Last night we slumped a few cobalt blue glass bottles right on the shelves
to make cheese trays. Suffice it to say we are thrilled and can't wait to
do more, more, more! They turned out FABULOUS except for one that
apparently rolled during the process.
Is there any reason why I could not fire glass bottles AND little clay discs
at the same time? I was thinking I could use up the extra space between
the bottles, leaving room, of course, for air flow or whatever.
Thanks to all of you on this thread, you've been a wealth of inspiration while
I waited oh so impatiently for the kiln to go into the garage.
If you clay matures at the same temps you need to fire the bottles to, it shouldn't be an issue.
We melted some of my tumbled faux sea-glass wine bottle pieces into the bottom of a cone 5 pot, and it came out very nice. It didn't melt at bisque temp, but did at glaze.
Congrats on getting your kiln going, Wuvie---can't wait to see some pix!