The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic


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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Feb 17th, '14, 23:02

John and Shawn,


Sincere thanks to you both. I read your perspectives to my wife today and it confirmed her intuition and helped to push her toward a medium-sized kiln (220-240 VAC). Andrzej wrote me an email saying that both his kilns go to 1320 C but that he usually fires around 1200 C to not push the kiln element too hard. Petr suggested as both of you did, to not go too small, saying that he's known others whom bought smaller kilns and then had to start looking for a bigger kiln not long after because of the limitations.

GreenwoodStudio wrote:TeaArts-

I would also suggest going for a medium size, 240 v kiln. I really like a company called L&L kilns. I have one (I'm sorry but I can't remember the model #, I think it's a version of heir E23t) it's a medium sized computerized kiln divided into 3 rings. The really cool thing about this kiln is that I can remove rings if I want to, so potentially I could fire just one ring if I had a small load of pots or just wanted to test something. It's a pretty cool option.


Shawn, I had a kiln lined up for free that was made up of stackable rings but that kiln connection fell through. My wife was saying that she read up on L&L Kilns and there were some good reviews.

Ideally we are hoping to spend no more than $500 to start. Right now my wife is looking at a Crest FX1414P and Crest FX1814M, both on Craigslist nearby.

One of the concepts that I talk about in my kiln design classes is that the kiln in a studio is in many ways THE most important piece of equipment, because it is the "governor on the engine" or the "restrictor plate on the pipeline". The nature and size of the kiln you have dictates many aspects of the studio operations. It dictates the types of wares you can produce (firing type and range), the maximum scale in each dimension, and the turnaround time / cash flow (if a business venture).


John, thanks for this paragraph; the points were well taken and helpful.

So, after considering the gracious feedback from everyone my wife would like to ask you all what size (interior dimensions) kiln you judge to be sufficient and useful for her to start with. What would be a minimum or optimal size for someone with a natural skill, throwing part time, but whom also has to improve her technical understanding and whom has never operated her own kiln? She is looking to create for herself and to potentially sell to others in the future. We are also wanting not too large of a kiln to save space in the garage, which already has my woodworking tools in part of it. Lastly, my wife is curious if "digital control" is worth the money/investment.

Thank you so much!

Blessings,

Scott
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby paul haigh » Feb 18th, '14, 09:45

I really do not know much about electric kilns (I have the biggest one that the power to my shed will handle for bisque firing), but L&L, Skutt, Paragon, and others all make decent kilns that come up on Craigslist.

Computer control would be a serious "nice to have". People have made great pots in electric with a kiln sitter, but I'd think the ability to have programmed ramps and holds/soaks could really help sort out glaze faults.

A kiln that is smaller is less efficient in terms of energy used per pot.

Take that from whence it comes- I have never personally set up and fired an electric kiln for glaze. If I was buying one for hobby/personal purposes, I would still not go smaller than 5 cu ft, and would lean towards 7.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Feb 18th, '14, 14:15

Paul,

Thank you very much for the added insight.

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

Postby biglou13 » May 3rd, '14, 23:43

Any one have pictures of Koge, Ishi-Koge, koke- Koge.
Other than the kusakabe book I'm having little success in my research.
I think I have a few pieces with koke-Koge
I'm learning about these pieces, and Koge
They are rough, even sharp in places, harsh in places, with soft smooth sensual places. I'm attracted and fascinated by its beauty both visually and tactile. I'll try and post my images tomorrow.

Granted these coarse effects are better left for anything but matcha chawan. Are these pieces functional? In tea/ chawan sense. If inside of bowl is functional/ smooth enough and just enough Kuchi zukiri/ lip, is smooth , can you use for matcha/ tea? Can a Koge chawan be used in the ceremonial sense. Are the ones that are too rough, valued as purely as collectible? ( sense they cannot be used in functional)

I'm at the mercy of kiln master and loaders. So I cannot control the placement of my pottery in wood kiln. Every firing I'm amazed at the different results I get.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » May 4th, '14, 11:13

The appreciation of Koge is a highly "specialized taste".....and a VERY Japanese aesthetic...... born of the "wabi-cha" school of things.

I have a number of pieces of that type of work..........both my own as well as Japanese potters works.

If you know what Post Grapenuts cereal is, a lot of koge effect resembles that kind of particle glued all over the surface of the piece,....... from something like a single layer to encrustations that are many inches thick. Color can be a full gamut from charcoal black thru grays, browns, and even into a deep purple range.

The most prized pieces have an area of distinct runny shizenyu (natural ash deposit glaze) on one part of the form....... with a section of koge right up against it (usually below)......... and then blushing into an area of significat youhen flashing. Hard to get that all on one piece. In most kilns, these pieces are in the firebox areas of an anagama or sometimes a noborigama.

While the "rules" for Chawan can be broken at any time by a tea master.......... generally speaking koge is not the province of Chawan. Hanaire or mizusashi are more common. Koge is typically "harsh" for hand feel... so even on the outside of a Chawan.... not likely desireable. Impossible to ritually clean. It would instantly DESTROY a chasen if it were on the inside.

I have to say that I've seen few to no Japanese potters making Chawan with deliberate koge (or other crazy levels of roughness). I've seen plenty of American (and other nationality) potters doing so........ but most to all of those bowls will never see a real tearoom for Chanoyu.

Let me see if I can find a picture. More later.

Here's one.........

KogeEffect-Baymore.jpg
KogeEffect-Baymore.jpg (221.26 KiB) Viewed 378 times


best,

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

Postby debunix » May 4th, '14, 11:38

Interesting textures--they look like ceramics pulled up from shipwrecks with encrustations of eons over formerly smooth wares. And interesting how something that mimics a natural change that takes many, many years to form is so very difficult to recreate in a firing process that takes only days--skill and luck taking the place of eons.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby biglou13 » May 4th, '14, 14:30

i was hoping to post today but got called in to work.
i undertand the grape nuts, i was thinking 10 grit sandpaper. no pretty drips and runs. ill post image tommorow

here is one with lesser effect its sandpaper not grapenuts yet. not quite koge not quite korogashi not quite sangiri....
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby FiveStar » May 4th, '14, 15:58

I had one "Chawan" in the last anagama firing that came out with a good bit of this crusty ash on the outside. The color and texture was wonderful and worked BEAUTIFULLY with the piece. Sadly, there was one chunk the size of a dime directly in the center of the floor of the piece. I've tried to break or rub it out, but to no avail. So it's become a nice piece to float flowers or candles in, but sadly would shred a whisk.

That's the nature of the high risk/high reward firing that is a wood kiln!
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby biglou13 » May 6th, '14, 15:59

Here it is
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby biglou13 » May 6th, '14, 16:05

image.jpg
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Inside

This is the smooth spot, just smooth enough lip to drink from.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 9th, '14, 02:02

John, Shawn, Paul, Andrzej, and especially Petr, Thank you all for the previous opinions and insight into kilns. We finally found a Skutt km1018 that had only been used 10 times. The owner fired up the kiln for us and it works great, was garaged, and is in great condition.

My wife has been driving to a local kiln to pay to have her pieces fired and it will be nice to have everything in house with the new kiln. Now all I need to do is run the wire for 240 to the garage from the outside panel.

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

Postby JBaymore » May 9th, '14, 11:45

Glad you found it. Congrats.

This is REALLY important.......

Contact the kiln manufactuirer and get their specs for the gauge of that exact length of run of wire you need to put in. Do not 'save some money' in any way on that job; it can come back to bite you in the butt later. Use copper wire (even if your local area allows using aluminum). Even if your electrician has some ideas to do it cheaper...... be very sceptical.

Also....many electricians are used to home heating appliances. Those units do not tend to have the EXTENDED high current draw cycle that ceramic kilns do. You can 'get away with' things on an electric stove or dryer that you can't on a kiln.

I'd also recommend that you have the kiln hard wired into the shut-off box which will be located right at the site of the kiln, and not use the plug on the cord (if it comes with one). Plugs contacts (both male and female) slowly corrode over time due to the presence of air. Corrosion creates resistacne to electrical flow. Resistance tio electrical flow equates to heat being generated. Those plugs are a major source for fires on electric kiln installations.

best,

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

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 9th, '14, 13:59

John,

As always, thank you for your diligent and detail-oriented mind. My inner detail hound deeply appreciates this in you.

When we bought the kiln my wife's American father (father from when she came to the U.S. as an exchange student) accompanied her to check out the kiln. He works in nuclear grade ceramics for reactors and such and is an engineer and electrician, amongst many other things. He will be helping me run the wire.

I really appreciate the recommendation to call the manufacture in regards to their recommendation on the length of copper to run. Nearby we have a ceramics studio that specializes in and is an official dealer for Skutt. So I'll talk to them some more and make a call to Skutt.


Thanks again!

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

Postby shyrabbit » May 11th, '14, 15:56

Actually calling the manufacturer and getting their requirements and specs for wiring is only part of the equation. For instance, a particular kiln my have a specification for a #6 copper conductor, but what they don't tell you is it depends on the wiring type. You need to refer to a few different tables in the NEC having to do with conductor temps. to determine what actual gauge of wire you will use and it all depends on the type of wiring you select.

If you work your way through the heat tables you will find the only way to comply with the NEC 2011 is to use EMT pipe with individually pulled wires. In most non commercial installations people will use a "bundled" cable like "Romex." If you are planning to use a bundled cable you will need to know that the NEC will require the wire to be #4. This is because the bundled wiring is gaining extra heat from the other wires in the bundle. While the #6 wiring, as specified by the manufacturer, is sufficient to carry the required load it is not sufficient when using any type of bundled cable.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby FiveStar » May 14th, '14, 12:04

OK, here's a question for those potters making gaiwans, and shibs. I'm trying to wrap my mind around glazing and wadding for wood firing some that I'm currently making. I'd like the gaiwans to be glazed inside and out, so I"m assuming that will mean the lids won't be able to be wadded and set on top like a normal lidded jar. I can see leaving bare clay on the rim of the lid, but the inside of a gaiwan should be totally glazed, or totally bare. I'm mainly looking at Shawn here, since I've seen his gais and shibs be totally glazed before. Will I need to wad the lids and fire them beside the bowls?

My other option, would be to leave the insides bare clay, but I feel that would limit their use to a single tea or type of tea.
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