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Working Deep MESS

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Jackie Beckman
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Working Deep MESS

Postby Jackie Beckman » Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:08 am

The next two pieces I'm working on are very involved and will take quite some time, so while I'm doing the assembly on those, the kiln was empty - hate that, so I threw in an experiment. I have wanted to play around with working deep for about a year and a half but haven't had a chance. I figured I'd put one in my smaller kiln because it didn't matter that it takes 2 days to fire - nothing was going to be in it anyway.

Even though it was just a test, I sort of had high hopes for it. Wrong. Turns out it probably will NOT be something I add to my tool box . . . unless someone out there can help me fix it.

It's 14 layers. (about 1 3/4" post firing) I followed the working deep recommended firing schedule from Bullseye, but I should have known when I read it, that I needed to tweek it for my kiln. To squeeze out bubbles they have a 3 hour and 45 minute soak at either 1200 or 1250 I forget now, but I know for me, that's not right. I should have done 2 hours at 1150 and 2 hours at 1200 - but I didn't. Oh well. Also - all that glare - I'm not used to that anymore.

I'm thinking to fix the piece I may flip it and re-fire. The weight of all those layers should flatten out the top nicely, but I'm not sure. I haven't fired anything right-side-up in so long, I forgot about those ugly little surface bumps that can happen - especially with all those layers.

The schedule ran about 48 hours for this firing, so I know to refire it will be much much longer, probably close to double that, and I even wonder if it's worth it.

I also wonder how slow to ramp up for a piece that thick. I'm thinking about 25 degrees per hour - is that too fast? (On the way down this last firing I took nearly 20 hours to get from annealing to 740!!)

Anyone have any ideas? Here is a link to some images of the piece:

http://dell.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67 ... 76ae3de43d

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:13 am

Jackie

I have no practical experience, but I have had the process explained to me by the "Master". You should plan to do it in 2 steps. First you do the middle, colored layers, upside down, with some clear on top. You can fire hot enough for the bubbles to pop on top. When cool, you hand pad grind down the volcanoes, set down 2 layers of clear, then your colored piece upside down so the big bubbles face down. Then cap with 3 layers of clear and fire again. This time the "big" bubbles are trapped in the bottom of the matrix and you don't fire hot enough for them to rise to the top.

Follow your instincts about the soaking.
Bert

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Brock
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Postby Brock » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:14 am

I have no practical experience, but I have had the process explained to me by the "Master"

Who dat?
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:21 am

Cindy-Next-Door and I were just talking about this at the bus stop - it sure is nice to have someone to brainstorm with! She was a huge help in getting me to see the parts of it that ARE good. Anyway, I think I'm going to do another one. This time I'm going to build it upsidedown - I'm used to that, and I like doing work that way. Also, in discussing it with her, we thought it would look better to have the strips (background) at the very top surface with no clear covering it, and the "riot" as Brock calls it, at the very back. This way I can still texture the frame/strip section, but the clear covering the "riot" will remain smooth. If anyone's interested, I'll let you know how that works out.

Amy Schleif-Mohr
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Postby Amy Schleif-Mohr » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:27 am

Jackie, 25 degrees and hours is wayyy slow. On pieces that go from 2" to 1" I go as fast as 100 degrees and hour and that's on the 5th firing.

As for your anneal, in my kilns, I would go AFAP to 980 soak for 4 or 5 hours, 10F hr to 900 soak for half the time, 20F hr to 600 no soak, 100F hr to 200 off. If you are doing this in your little brick skutt that should work. My kilns are brick but about twice the size. That should give you a ball park to start from.

As for your bubble issue, sorry really can't help you.

Amy

The Hobbyist
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Postby The Hobbyist » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:40 am

Jackie, my first reaction would be to refire the same piece face down and try to get all the bubbles out or at least toward the back. Then, since the front is now textured anyway, go to work on it with your grinder.

It's too nice to relegate to the "mistakes" bin...............Jim
"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. " Steven Weinberg

Bert Weiss
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Postby Bert Weiss » Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:15 pm

Brock wrote:I have no practical experience, but I have had the process explained to me by the "Master"

Who dat?


Ray Alghren You were there with me as I recall.
Bert



Bert Weiss Art Glass*

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Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:27 pm

Amy Schleif-Mohr wrote:Jackie, 25 degrees and hours is wayyy slow. On pieces that go from 2" to 1" I go as fast as 100 degrees and hour and that's on the 5th firing.

As for your anneal, in my kilns, I would go AFAP to 980 soak for 4 or 5 hours, 10F hr to 900 soak for half the time, 20F hr to 600 no soak, 100F hr to 200 off. If you are doing this in your little brick skutt that should work. My kilns are brick but about twice the size. That should give you a ball park to start from.

As for your bubble issue, sorry really can't help you.

Amy


Well, that's good to hear, Amy (your ramp rate) but I still think I'll go slower - I have only side elements in that kiln, and I don't want to take up my big kiln for a week on an experiment. Probably somewhere around 50dph - I was planning on 25, so you still are saving me a bunch of time.

As for the bubbles - I know how to avoid them in the next one - I'll soak at 1150 instead of what they suggest - that will work in my kiln. As for the existing internal bubbles in this piece - I'll have to live with them, but by re-firing upsidedown atleast I'll have a nice smooth surface.

My annealing was as follows:

AFAP to 960 hold 4 Hours
12 dph to 740 no hold
24 dph to 655 no hold
120 dph to 75 then off

(Naturally, I could turn off the kiln earlier as it won't cool 120 dph anyway at the bottom end of that schedule)

It's sort of like cooking - the first time you make a dish you follow the recipe - after that you know what you want to change.

Jackie

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:32 pm

Jim Wolverton wrote:Jackie, my first reaction would be to refire the same piece face down and try to get all the bubbles out or at least toward the back. Then, since the front is now textured anyway, go to work on it with your grinder.

It's too nice to relegate to the "mistakes" bin...............Jim


Yes Jim, I am going to try this after all. I wasn't sure it was worth it, but the smaller kiln will just sit empty anyway, so I might as well. I don't think it will do much for the internal bubbles, but the new face of the piece should be nice and smooth. I don't like all that shine anyway.

I was just going to chalk it up as a loss and move on, but it's given me ideas to work from, so I may as well go with it and see what I can learn. Something I like may develop if I play with the ideas a little bit.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone-

Jackie

Carol Silrum
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Postby Carol Silrum » Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:17 pm

Still rather a newbie here -- let me ask an unartistic question: What kind of electric bill do you have?? I am in Southern Calif. Though I would love to do some of this type of work (right now I just make jewelry in a Hot Box) -- I can't imagine what the electric costs would be for making pieces that require the kiln to be on for 48 hrs.!

By the way - I think the piece you did is beautiful!!
Carol Silrum

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:25 pm

Silrum wrote:Still rather a newbie here -- let me ask an unartistic question: What kind of electric bill do you have?? I am in Southern Calif. Though I would love to do some of this type of work (right now I just make jewelry in a Hot Box) -- I can't imagine what the electric costs would be for making pieces that require the kiln to be on for 48 hrs.!

By the way - I think the piece you did is beautiful!!
Carol Silrum


Thank you Carol. It's not nearly as bad as you're thinking. The elements are only actually on a very small percentage of that time. Maybe 10% or 15% of the firing time. Ask Phil Hoppes or Tony about that to be sure, but I think that's all the more they are on in a firing like this.

Carol Silrum
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Postby Carol Silrum » Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:31 pm

Thanks Jackie,
I do have hopes someday of doing some larger pieces. I have made a few tiles in the hot box and really enjoyed the process. I need a bigger kiln!!!
All the best-
Carol

Marty
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Postby Marty » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:37 am

Jackie- surface work on that one will only expose more bubbles.
Live with it and do another- Ray Ahlgren's method works nicely.

Phil Hoppes
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Postby Phil Hoppes » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:51 am

Jackie Beckman wrote:
Silrum wrote:Still rather a newbie here -- let me ask an unartistic question: What kind of electric bill do you have?? I am in Southern Calif. Though I would love to do some of this type of work (right now I just make jewelry in a Hot Box) -- I can't imagine what the electric costs would be for making pieces that require the kiln to be on for 48 hrs.!

By the way - I think the piece you did is beautiful!!
Carol Silrum


Thank you Carol. It's not nearly as bad as you're thinking. The elements are only actually on a very small percentage of that time. Maybe 10% or 15% of the firing time. Ask Phil Hoppes or Tony about that to be sure, but I think that's all the more they are on in a firing like this.


Jackie's right. I've got hour meters installed in 2 of my 3 kilns. To date at least on "typical" firings the ON time of a kiln is typically 10% of the total schedule time. For a 48 hour cycle I would suspect it is probably closer to 15% as your holds tend to increase that amount. For Jackie's big Paragon kiln, she uses 80Amps @ 240V or 19.2KW. She used her Skutt which is much smaller so I'm guessing that it's about 30Amp @240V or 7.2KW For a 48 Hr cycle her elements are on for approx. 3 hours. Even though Roger works for SRP, I'm guessing she doesn't get a discount so at approx. 10cents/KWH this cycle costs:

19.2 KW x 3Hr x $0.10/KWH = $5.76 on the big Paragon
7.2 KW x 3Hr x $0.10/KWH = $2.16 on her Skutt

BTW Jackie, I liked your experiment. Another try to push out some of the bubbles and I think you will have something quite nice.

Phil

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:06 am

BTW Jackie, I liked your experiment. Another try to push out some of the bubbles and I think you will have something quite nice.

Phil


Thanks Phil. I'm anxious to try the one I build face down. I think with the strips being at the face, so that I can blast and texture them, then the imagery being at the very back, it may be something interesting. (Everyone really should have their very own Cindy-Next-Door to discuss these things with!) And now that I know I can fire it for less that the cost of a Venti Latte, I'll give it a shot. Thanks! :)

Phil Hoppes
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Postby Phil Hoppes » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:19 am

Jackie,

Thanks again for the lamp mold. Reslumped the flattened taco and presto! I have a lamp shade. Didn't stick at all either. I watched it like a hawk and stopped it at just the right point. You'd never know the sucker has gone through 3 slumping cycles. Drill a hole here and I should be in business.

Tnx again, you are a lifesaver (and a lampshade saver!!)

Phil

Jackie Beckman
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Postby Jackie Beckman » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:24 am

Phil Hoppes wrote:Jackie,

Thanks again for the lamp mold. Reslumped the flattened taco and presto! I have a lamp shade. Didn't stick at all either. I watched it like a hawk and stopped it at just the right point. You'd never know the sucker has gone through 3 slumping cycles. Drill a hole here and I should be in business.

Tnx again, you are a lifesaver (and a lampshade saver!!)

Phil


Oh Goodie! I'm so glad it worked. Pictures - don't forget the pictures when you're done.

Pam Hrycyk
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Postby Pam Hrycyk » Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:38 pm

Jackie Beckman wrote:Everyone really should have their very own Cindy-Next-Door to discuss these things with!


That is so true - can you send me one?

Pam

Phil Hoppes
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Postby Phil Hoppes » Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:11 pm

I'd wait until Cindy-Next-Door rev 2.0 is released. 1.0 was a fantastic success but I hear 2.0 does windows. Ar Ar Ar Ar :lol:

Sorry Cindy......couldn't resist an opening for a really bad pun.

Steve Immerman
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Re: Working Deep MESS

Postby Steve Immerman » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:10 pm

Jackie Beckman wrote:Anyone have any ideas? Here is a link to some images of the piece:

http://dell.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67 ... 76ae3de43d


Jackie,

I really like it and think you should keep experimenting with the concept. But, I agree with Marty. Consider this one a learning experience and make another with the two firing/flip over techinque.

If you're not sure what to do with this one, you can send it to me and I'll give it a good home :wink:

Steve


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