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rerere our own, glass, burners, wheels

updated sat 23 oct 04


Louis Katz on fri 22 oct 04

Lots of rules on this list lately. I don't play by em. My involvement
in the glass studio was one of the most productive times of my life.
I own a kiln at home with Gail Busch my wife. She paid about $200 for
it. It might be 2 cubic feet with its blank ring. We took the blank
ring off a long time ago. I have almost never fired any work in it. I
fire a soda kiln I made at school. I don't own it. It is not a
community kiln. It was made to fire unevenly, although I over did it a
bit it has proven to be more educational that the dead even stoneware.
Nothing like having students discuss where to put each piece what it
might look like one way or another. Couldn't expect another kiln to be
so good.
You must have good burners? Bull. I like good burners but the best
thing I ever did was put one reasonable burner and one pipe burner on
my soda kiln. It backburns and puts a stream of trapped carbon through
the center of the kiln. Wonderous.Probably never would have happend
with those wonderful Eclipse or Pyronics mixers with good flame
retention rings.
I built a nice 720 sq. ft studio in my yard 10' ceilings, mahogony trim
(picked up off the beach), good light. I work at school. Made my own
wheels. I use one I purchased mostly. My wheel is good for one thing
though, I can set it to move the wheel head up and down 5 times every
revolution causeing wavy pots. I found it easier to do this with my
hands. The wheel shakes the pots so much it is hard to through a very
large form, even on slow.
I often try to use the worst clay I can find. I find the results more
honest than trying to throw "loosely". I made some 1/2 inch grog, this
loosens my throwing a bit too much.
Mixed some limestone chunks into slip to get some aesttetic lime blows.
It is cool. Haven't mande anything I like with it yet.

In this business the best thing about rules is breaking them.