17 March 2009

short clay.slip trailing and upholstery

happy st. patrick's day i suppose. 2 inches of new snow here this morning but 27 degrees and rising.
one of my lingering cone 6 projects is a 24" bowl for a baptismal font. i often take orders for items that i don't regularly make knowing that although it could be a pain, i will undoubtedly learn from it. (occasionally what i learn is not to take the order:) )

anyway...i'm at the tail end of my cone 6 stoneware and after using the last bag for my first crack at the bowl (20 pounds) i started pugging away last night. i use two plaster 'bray trays' for recycling and have a 4" de-airing venco pugmill. anyhow....i ended up with the shortest clay ever.....this may have happened 2 times over the last 10 years so i don't have a good immediate remedy. it was so short that the pugs were breaking off from their own weight. my reclaim was quite dry but not unacceptable and the pugs weren't really 'delaminating' so i dipped them in my throwing water and ran them back through with little success. my understanding is that 'short' clay is short on fine particles that are often discarded with the throwing water when one is recycling but i keep all my dirty water and decant it off the top of my slurry buckets. i wrapped up the pugs in plastic hoping that they would chill out a bit (and magically plasticize) so we'll see if i can throw them today. any thoughts on this would be appreciated...my idea is that the clay might have been thrown and pugged one too many times...

as for my slip trailing experiment from the other night...it went quite well on the second try. once the slip sat overnight and the borax dissolved along with my bulb syringe getting properly cleaned out, it flowed nicely. i was more concerned about shrinkage and adhesion and will look closely today.

also...on a side note. i reupholstered one of our kitchen stools yesterday and it went surprisingly well... joanne's is always good for discounted fabric but i must warn against using copper 'cut tacks' for upholstery...too soft, what was i thinking? i got the job done but bent many a tack beyond repair. i will use a staple gun on the next one, i was just trying to avoid digging around in leif's shop looking for it.

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