The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic


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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 21st, '13, 16:23

can anyone tell me what sort of work surface she is using in this video?
wood?
paper?
canvass?
plaster?

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/pottery-mak ... lt-teapot/

I'm thinking of using plaster of paris to make a surface... will this be good and prevent sticking?

I'm going to try canvass too but I'm worried about the texture.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » Apr 21st, '13, 17:58

The surface is unfinished hardwood. No sealer.

best,

.................john
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 24th, '13, 16:02

Thanks, I now have a pine board surface to work on. It's perfect.

My next question is where can I get more kinds of clay to try out with this method? I'd really like something with natural speckles.

Are there any comercial clays that look really good unglazed?

The clay can be quite stiff. I'm getting accustomed to stiff clays.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » Apr 24th, '13, 19:45

One more less "selfish" question for the artists here:

How has making teapots changed the way that you evaluate teapots (comercial wares, the work of other artists)?

My humble efforts have really taught me a whole lot about what makes a teapot "good" --I also feel confident that I can identify handmade work for the most part. And further still, I now can see that some pots that I thought were "boring," in fact, show a great skill... they just have so much more to say to me.

(Is anyone else here hand-building by the way? I'm mostly talking yixingwares here. But I could see how this would apply to chawans... I'm way too intimidated to tray and make one of those!)
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby AdamMY » May 2nd, '13, 12:17

To those of you that woodfire this forum needs an appluding emoticon. I would not trade this experience for the world, but wow, the graveyard shift is messing me up horribly. (Yet I have another one in 11 hours). First of all I love how muc there is not know about "wood" all wood is clearly not equal. Though sadly my right arm can really attest that it can take some time to easily identify good splitting wood. I eventually figured it out, but yeah don't try to split some of those hard woods by hand, just don't. (I am sure I do not need to tell you guys that).

So I guess I am inspired by my recent experiences to ask this question. I understand wood kilns are definitely a collaborative effort, as looking at this now, there is no way one (heck likely even 2 or 3) people could reasonably fire a kiln easily. I have also heard of potters going to help in each others kiln firing ( I think for an exchange of being able to place some work in the kiln). So I am wondering what is the minimal number of people that can usually accomplish a kiln firing?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby GreenwoodStudio » May 2nd, '13, 23:35

Errrr, I just wrote a lengthy reply to your question Adam and then my iPad crashed....gone.

I'll try again later.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » May 4th, '13, 09:29

Adam,

Writing to you from Yixing, China.

I fire my noborigama frequently by myself. At most I usually have one other person (my former part time apprentice and friend).

A lot depends on the TYPE of wood kiln. There are many types and not all are created equal.

And woodfiring is the most expensive way to fire work. It is about the LABOR involved.

best,

..................john
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby futurebird » May 4th, '13, 18:11

JBaymore wrote:Adam,

Writing to you from Yixing, China.



Omg I'm going to go next year. I'm so excited. I hope you will take the time to tell us all about it and share some photos ... And maybe some tips for what to do and what to skip ... I'll only have a day or too since it will be part of a larger trip to see Hong Kong again and Shanghai.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby bonjiri » May 5th, '13, 01:06

john

can't wait to hear about your travels to yixing.

how many days are you staying ?

its on my bucket list to visit both jingdezhen and yi xing someday !

COOL !
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby paul haigh » May 8th, '13, 15:33

Adam- I sometimes fire my wood kiln by myself. It's not a big kiln (~45 cu ft stacking), but I am more or less going for wood fired effects. As John said- the kiln design makes a big difference, as does one's ability to pay attention and learn how a particular kiln wants to be fired AND- equally important- stacked.

I fired this past weekend- dry out fire for 5 hours on Friday night,then got a full night's sleep. Fired 12 hours, holding at 900-1000F for a good piece of it Saturday, and shut it down and slept 5 hours. Then fired 20 hours Sunday ( a friend took a 2 hour shift for me). I get it to 2300 F and hold it there 8-12 hours before I bump it up a bit at the end, burning a total of about 2 cords of wood and flattening cone 12 quite convincingly in the middle of the stack. I was hurting for a couple of days (mostly my hands, as I processed wood as I went- I normally do it the weekend before).

Normally it's 10, 12, 18 hour days with sleep between- nobody on an overnight shift. That promotes domestic tranquility, as there are no hippies going in the house in the middle of the night. Just let it cool a little, and pick it up the next day- there's no rush. With my kiln, the longer slow days up front distribute ash up top and in the back better than just firing flat out.

Here is something that really makes wood a lot easier- get a local lumber mill to deliver slab waste wood. I get a bundle (about a cord) of pine for $50 delivered, and hardwood for $100 delivered. It's thin (some is very thin- save that for burning down the coal bed), often quite dry, and requires little splitting. Heavier pieces are burned first during the slow fire. Long skinny pieces are saved for side stoking. Slab waste has more bark- that is great for wood firing as it generates a lot of ash.

For most of the firing- my Bourry Box style firebox will eat anything- logs 10" around, big slabs with giant knots-18" wide and 8" thick- not a problem! I can load the firebox, go in the house and feed/take the dogs out or grab dinner and leave it for 15 minutes at a stretch.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby AdamMY » May 8th, '13, 16:21

Maybe it is due to the somewhat large size of the kiln.
Image
Kalamazoo institute of arts Anagama kiln by Adam Yusko, on Flickr

Image
Kalamazoo institute of arts Anagama kiln by Adam Yusko, on Flickr

The front is about 6 feet tall, and it is probably around 20 feet long. But from what I gathered in the firing schedule, the day shifts focus on ramping up the heat, the over night shifts just keep the fire going, and try and "soak" the entire kiln in heat. Apparently due to the size it is somewhat easy to hit cone 13 in the front, and only have the back at cone 8 because the heat travels through the back too quick to completely saturate everything.

In fact during the last 36 hours or so we kind of fire the back and middle of the kiln like it is almost a different kiln, adding bundles of wood through side stoke holes, just to get additional heat further back.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby biglou13 » May 16th, '13, 10:24

paul haigh wrote:
......Normally it's 10, 12, 18 hour days with sleep between- nobody on an overnight shift. That promotes domestic tranquility, as there are no hippies going in the house in the middle of the night. Just let it cool a little, and pick it up the next day- there's no rush. With my kiln, the longer slow days up front distribute ash up top and in the back better than just firing flat

.....For most of the firing- my Bourry Box style firebox will eat anything- logs 10" around, big slabs with giant knots-18" wide and 8" thick- not a problem! I can load the firebox, go in the house and feed/take the dogs out or grab dinner and leave it for 15 minutes at a stretch.


Super cool that you dont have to be awake for x amount of days.
How big of drop in temp during off time? Saw video of kiln very cool. Via u tube.

Is there any noticeable difference in firing with breaks vs continuous.

I like the bourry box concept!!!!

Any pics or design drawings of kiln ?

Looks like most of your kiln is soft brick?

I was just given some hard brick and soft brick , burner parts to build a small kiln, I have an idea of what.i want... But always looking for ideas/inspiration

Adam can't wait to see you wood fired pieces!
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby AdamMY » May 16th, '13, 18:00

biglou13 wrote:
Adam can't wait to see you wood fired pieces!



They are up in the Amateur Hour thread: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17444&start=105#p244449
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby paul haigh » May 20th, '13, 07:12

biglou13 wrote:
Super cool that you dont have to be awake for x amount of days.
How big of drop in temp during off time? Saw video of kiln very cool. Via u tube.

Is there any noticeable difference in firing with breaks vs continuous.

I like the bourry box concept!!!!

Any pics or design drawings of kiln ?

Looks like most of your kiln is soft brick?

I was just given some hard brick and soft brick , burner parts to build a small kiln, I have an idea of what.i want... But always looking for ideas/inspiration

Adam can't wait to see you wood fired pieces!


The first day I slowly get it to 250F and keep it there several hours. This dries things out well, and the way that my kiln is constructed, having this slow fire time the first couple of days distributes ash up top and in the back- pots look a little dry if I don't do this. The temp drops to maybe 170 in the morning. Second day I get it to about 1000F and keep it there- it drops to maybe 650-750 F in the morning. The heat is well soaked into the bricks and pots, so it's ready to race in the morning.

My firings are much better when I have breaks like that because it slows me down, which- as I was saying above- puts ash in places of the kiln it wouldn't have gone otherwise. My kiln tends to produce a couple kinds of effects depending on how fast the fire is moving past pots.

If you go to www.sidestoke.com you can find critical dimensions for Bourry box style kilns. I have no step between the ware chamber and the firebox, so the bottom of the kiln must be stacked fairly tightly and I make semi-sacrificial tall pots for the front as a bagwall. Survival rate there is < 50%. I put a collection box between the ware chamber and the chimney with passive damper bricks in it- this is very effective in shifting heat left/right in the kiln. There are smallish sidestoke ports at the top front of the ware chamber, with bricks built in to hold longer thin pieces of wood. This really boosts temp at the top of the kiln later in the firing.

My kiln is all hard brick interior with soft brick exterior. Hard brick resists ash corrosion and holds heat, soft brick for insulation. Double layer soft brick under the floor.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Jeff Y. » May 21st, '13, 17:54

Good afternoon. I am trying to identify a serving set I have. I have posted this item on the teaware topic as well. I have come to the conclusion that part of the problem is identifing what or what process was used in the making of this set. So I thought I would let you artisans take a look and see if it is something you may recognise. I believe it is etched metal ( maybe aluminum-non magnetic ) with some sort of brownish/red coating. It only holds 5oz. One other odd thing is that the bottom 3/4 base seems to be wood and it will absorb a drop of water.
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