As a ceramics student and a novice woodturner, I naturally succumbed to the desire to make my work as thin as possible. Thinner bowls and cups are lighter and more pleasant to hold. They are also much harder to create. Making thin work became the goal of my craft and the criterion by which I measured my level of skill.
It was not until I had achieved that goal that I realized what a false idol it was. Continue reading
Last weekend a good friend of mine loaned me his Shimpo electric potter’s wheel. I was stoked to get started and after a quick run to Home Depot to pick up a couple of bolts to set the table attachment up, I was ready to go! Unfortunately, I got half way into my third bowl when the wheel stopped turning. I scraped my half made bowl off the wheel and began investigating it. After chasing down voltages with my Volt-Ohm meter, I believe that a component on the controller card has burned out. The voltage going into the switch looks good. The voltage going into and out of the bridge rectifier looks good. The voltage going into the card looks good but I only get ½ volt DC coming out of the card to power the motor. I searched the internet for a replacement card but was not able to find anything.
I finally emailed the manufacturer and for $280 they are sending me a new card. This has been a very frustrating experience.
I bought a used kiln off of craigslist. It is a bit small and old but it is a perfect starter kiln. It is a Cress electric kiln and can go to cone 8. This will be a change from everything I have done before. I have never had my own kiln and I have never fired a kiln (gas or electric).
My new (old) kiln
Now I am getting a 220 V line put in so I can fire my work at home. I will be borrowing a wheel from a friend and getting some cone 5 clays and glazes from the relatively nearby Laguna clay company. I hope to be able to begin making work by October.