Wednesday, November 20, 2013

12 Inch Cylinder Club

A challenge was posted to the Ceramic Arts Daily forum a couple of months ago: to throw a 12 inch cylinder with 3 pounds of clay, in only 3 pulls. I finally found time to give it a shot, and here is the result:

This was actually my 4th attempt. The first try got up to 11.5". The second and third tries were complete failures because my clay was too wet. It just couldn't handle the aggressive pulling. So with stiffer clay I was finally able to do it. My second pull got me to 11 inches, so I knew I had it at that point. I used Standard 365 porcelain. Fun stuff.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easy Load

I had the good fortune to sell an L&L Easy Load EL2448 kiln recently. These kilns are about the size of a large refrigerator, but weight much more, about 1,400 pounds, so it can be a complicated ordeal to move them into place. Because of their size and difficulty to make, they are not returnable, so a 4 page checklist is required before the kiln can be ordered. Most importantly, you have to make sure it will fit through all the doorways and such in your building. This particular kiln went into a high-rise building in Chicago, and had to go from the first floor loading dock to the 10th floor ceramics studio. So we had to walk the entire route and measure every door and elevator opening to ensure it would fit.

I was very nervous the day of the move, but everything went according to plan. I had a crew of 5 guys helping me out, although in the end 3 of us could have done it. We moved it on a pallet jack, and had no trouble moving across the thresholds of the freight elevator. There were wood floors in the studio, so we put down sheets of masonite to protect the floors as we rolled the kiln through. To get it through the kiln room doorway we had to remove the door latches and swing the door wide open 180 degrees. We had one whole inch of clearance through the doorway, 1/2 inch more than expected! The whole process took 2 hours, but it went amazingly smoothly and the kiln is now in use.