Saturday, January 30, 2010

New pots old plants

Pelargonium radicatum in a 2.5" diameter pinched oval.

Othonna euphorbioides in a 4" oval

Tylecodon pearsonii, 3" diameter cascade

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paperclay and rice

Instead of throwing out some ol' rice I mixed with some paperclay

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bad kiln

The last few loads have been my wife's glass so the kiln doesn't go over 1455deg. I did a bisque fire on Monday and got an error code "err8", the manual does not show this. Called Cress, they said it was because the temperature failed to rise, could be caused by a broken or damaged element. Tuesday I turned the kiln on and kept an eye on the temperature reading. It got 1690 and would not increase then the err8 flashed on the screen. Next I opened the kiln to see if any of the elements were out.

All the coils are glowing , so now what? I close the lid and turn it off the power, the fan stopped so I assumed it was off. Went back to the garage 3hrs later and the kiln was still hot! popped the lid and all coils still glowing. Unplugged it this time and called the manufacturer again, the tech said it was a relay causing the problem. I'll do another test today and call him back.

In the mean time I put my partially fired bisque pots into the small kiln, will take two loads to get them all.

This is half the amount. I'm experimenting with making cracked ovals, so far so good. I'll do some glazing and staining over the weekend then fire next week. Also starting a large oval tomorrow, a 22in diameter is the proposed width.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter staging

Pelargonium klinghardtense
Pelargonium rapaceum

Aloe plicatilis

Tylecodon reticulata

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Electric vs kick wheel

About 2wks ago I purchased a used potter's wheel of Craigslist for $75, motor ran smooth it just needed mounting bushing to be replaced. While inspecting the housing I saw it was an old Spirit wheel put out by Leslie's Ceramics, so I put it in the back of my truck and headed over for some advice. One of the stock workers came out and gave me a brief history of the wheel and about them being discontinued. He also said if I need parts they have plenty of old machines in back. Purchased 8 bushings for $26 and now I have a functioning pottery wheel!

I've been throwing on a kick wheel for about 14 months and half way decent at creating a pot, so I though it would be easy to transition to an electric model. Started small, about a pound of clay. The speed will definitely take some getting used to....and there's no in-between, it's either stop or full speed. So I lost a few from centrifugal force but I started to get the feel of it and wanted to see how much clay it could handle. Sad to say the drag of working with 5lbs was to much for it, not the motor but the coupler, the part makes the wheel spin can't handle the torque. Maybe if I used my fingers tips more to shape than the palms of my hands there would be less drag.

I made about 15 1-2lbs pots over the last week at the cabin. When I got home Sunday I tried the kick wheel,with 10lbs of clay. What a difference, I had much more control. Every was much easier to handle, I do like the slower speed better.

Anyway, I'll have to take some photos of the pots I made...stay tuned.