Monday, May 28, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
There are a number of quality and historically renowned brands of stoneware and handmade pottery. It takes a while to learn about the variety and type of pottery available. Among the most known are Boleslawiec polish pottery and Raku pottery.
Raku is a method of firing clay that began in Japan during the Momoyama period, more than 350 years ago. The name Raku comes from the Japanese ideograph, raku, and means pleasure, enjoyment, and happiness - a reference to its origins in hand-formed vessels designed for tea ceremonies.
Raku firing as practiced in America is the result of experiments begun by Paul Soldner in 1960. In Raku firing, pots are fired fast - about 40 minutes, then they are removed them from the kiln.
In raku firing, pottery dishes are colored by means of glaze and smoke. The bowls and pots are formed, dried, and then bisqued to a low temperature. Raku pottery is fired only to fairly low temperatures; the pieces will not be fully vitrified, and will not be as strong as pottery fired to higher temperatures. Raku pottery is decorative only and not for food use.
Raku has many variations and can yield many different results, even within the same firing. Some pottery bowls will have a matt finish and mild color. One stoneware baking dish will have flashes of metallic copper. A few pots will have outstanding colors in random patterns. A few stoneware bowls may break in the firing.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
It's easy to become bewildered by all the fireplace options that are out here.
Fireplace screens come in an assortment of styles designed to fit your lifestyle.
As a rule, a fireplace screen stands in front of your fireplace to block
pieces of ash and sparks that may come out of the fireplace. They also serve
as a reminder to stay at a certain distance for your own safety. While they
don't provide complete protection, they can certainly be helpful; and they
can look stylish as well.
Fireplace screens and spark quards are generally constructed of sturdy
fireplace curtain mesh that can be styled in various geometric patterns.
Generally, the wire should be black since that will entail the least
cleaning. The lighter the color, the more cleaning difficulty you can
expect. A common fireplace screen is mesh curtains that slide from the
center to either side. The wire mesh screens are woven like a chain link
fence and hang from a rod just like your curtains. This rod is mounted from
your lentil bar, the flat steel bar that supports your bricks at the top.
The simples design of spark guard fireplace screen is a rectangular, flat fireplace screen that sits in front of your fireplace. Even this design should have a couple of doors that can be opened to allow you to reach the fire without removing the screen. A simple wrought iron design over the
screen can add to the effect. Wrought iron can also be added to the top of the screen for an ornate look.
Single panel fireplace screens is a rigid mesh panel framed on all four
sides and is designed to lean against the opening but they can be free
The single panel screen is usually supported by feet on either side to keep
the screen from falling forward and supports that project from the back into
the firebox for stability.
A shallow arch beneath the straight top can add its own beauty. The arch
doesn't have to stay below a straight top. The top itself can form an arch.
Or dispense with the rectangular shape entirely. The entire
small fireplace screen can be in the shape of an arch.
Bowed fireplace screen is a free standing single panel screen that has a
gentle curve. The screen will sit on your hearth without the support of
front feet or rear stabilizer bars. Three panel folding fireplace screens
feature a center panel that is on average 30 inches wide and two side panels
ranging from 8 to 12 inches wide.
These screens can extend their versatility with a three or even four panel
design. With a three panel design, the middle panel is the widest and
functions as the main screen. The side panels can be bent back at any angle
to provide additional protection and support. With a four panel design, the
middle panel can also bend. The three panel screen is placed on the hearth
and the side panels are angled back to either side of the opening. The
screen is stabilized by the two side panels. Make sure you get a screen wide
enough so that it will cover your opening yet stand on it's own. If you have
an opening that is 36 inches wide and buy a screen with a 30 inch center
panel and 2 - 8 inch side panels the overall length is 46 inches. Folding
the side panels back to either side of the opening will allow the screen to
project around 4 inches onto your hearth giving it the stability to stand on
its own. A 10 inch wide side panel will give you around a 5 inch projection
and so on. Make sure you have the proper depth on your hearth to accommodate
the projection of the screen.
Four fold fireplace screens feature four fixed mesh panels that fold like an
accordion. This type of fireplace screen is easily folded when tending your fire.
Finishes are vary - from bronze iron fireplace screens to fireplace screen bronze finish
Designs could be as follows: ornate fireplace screens, fireplace screen fan...
Fireplace screens range from large fireplace screens to small fireplace screens ( in width from 31 inches to 52 inches and in height from 32 inches 36 inches). Many manufacturers offer custom sizes as well.
Monday, June 27, 2011
An air conditioner (often referred to as AC ) isa home appliance, system, or mechanism designed to dehumidify and extract heat from an area. A single hosed unit has one hose that runs from the back of
the portable air conditioner to the vent kit where hot air can be released.
Another application for portable air conditioner units is for the temporary rental in emergency situations such as power failures at warehouses, offices, or data centers. Portable air conditioners are movable units that can be used to cool a specific region of a building or home in a modular fashion, not requiring permanent installation. For large buildings, ground source-coldness is successfully used to reduce energy consumption of central air conditioner systems, often in combination with heat pump based heating systems.
Air conditioners (for cooling) and heat pumps (for heating) both work similarly
in that heat is transferred or "pumped" from a cooler heat source to a warmer
"heat sink". PTAC systems may be adapted to provide heating in cold
weather, either directly by using an electric strip, gas or other heater, or by
reversing the refrigerant flow to heat the interior and draw heat from the
exterior air, converting the air conditioner into a heat pump. Since
evaporation occurs when heat is absorbed, and condensation occurs when heat is
released, air conditioners use a compressor to cause pressure changes between
two compartments, and actively condense and pump a refrigerant around. Visit to find out how to choose the right Casement Air Conditioner, Casement Window Air Conditioners, Small Air Conditioner, small room air
conditioner or Through The Wall Air Conditioners for your home. When purchasing Casement Window Air Conditioner unit you must choose one that will be able to cool the size of your room. Our lineup of small air conditioners will help you to pick up the right portable air conditioner to enhance the comfort of your home. When purchasing Window Casement Air Conditioner unit you must choose one that will be able to cool the size of your room. Our lineup of small air conditioners will help you to pick up the right air conditioner to enhance the comfort of your home.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, nearly all air conditioners used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as their refrigerant, but because these chemicals are damaging to Earth's ozone layer, CFC production stopped in the United States in 1995. ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners are 10% more efficient than non-qualified models. Room air conditioners originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in October, 1996.
If every room air conditioner sold had earned the ENERGY STAR, it would prevent 900 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to the emissions from 80,000 cars
Monday, August 3, 2009
PORCELAIN, the name of that kind of ceramic ware which is characterized by a translucent body, also loosely used for the finer kinds of ware generally, popularly known as "china". The French porcelaine, from which the word comes into English, is an adaptation of the Italian porcellana, a cowrie-shell, the beautifully polished surface of which caused the name to be applied to the ware. The Italian word is generally taken to be from porcella, diminutive of porco, pig, from a sup-posed resemblance of the shell to a pig's back.
CERAMICS, or KERAMICS, a general term for the study of the art of pottery. It is adopted for this purpose both in French (ceramique) and in German (Keramik), and thus has its convenience in English as representing an inter-national form of description for a study which owes much to the art experts of all nations, though " ceramic " and " ceramics " do not appear in English as technical terms till the middle of the 19th century.
The word "pottery" (Fr. poterie) in its widest sense includes all objects fashioned from clay and then hardened by fire, though there is a growing tendency to restrict the word to the commoner articles of this great class and to apply the word "porcelain" to all the finer varieties. This tendency is to be deprecated, as it is founded on a misconception; the word "porcelai " should only be applied to certain well-marked varieties of pottery. The very existence of pottery is dependent on two important natural properties of that great and widespread group of rocky or earthy substances known as clays, viz. the property of plasticity (the power of being readily kneaded or molded while moist), and the property of being converted when fired into one of the most indestructible of ordinary things.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Pottery is one of the most enduring materials known to humankind. In most places it is the oldest and most widespread art; primitive peoples the world over have fashioned pots and bowls of baked clay for their daily use.
Pottery comprises three major types of wares: earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Pottery clay is the clay used to make the three categories of pottery. Clay is baked in a kiln under intense heat, a process known as firing, and becomes solid. Firing is used both to harden the clay and to adhere glaze to it or color it.
The first type of pottery, earthenware, has been manufactured using the same basic techniques since ancient times. Earthenware is basically composed of clay or a blend of clays that are baked firm. Because it is fired at low heat, the pottery clay retains its porous nature and does not become translucent. Earthen wares are porous and therefore not as strong as stone wares. Earthenware can be glazed, but it will never be as hard as stoneware-glazed surface. An earthenware-glazed dish will scratch or chip more easily than the harder surface of stoneware. Faience, delft, and majolica are all types of earthenware clays.
The second type of pottery, called Stoneware is generally a mixture of other clays. It is relatively rich in vitreous material and has a high degree of plasticity, so it is very easy to manipulate. Stoneware is fired at so high a temperature (about 2185 degrees Fahrenheit) that it becomes as hard as stone and non-porous. In essence, it is man-made stone. Stoneware is extremely strong and will not absorb water. Because stoneware is nonporous, it does not require a glaze; when a glaze is used, it serves a purely decorative function. Stoneware dishes can be used in conventional and microwave ovens.
Porcelain, also called china, was invented by the Chinese and consists of feldspathic material incorporated in a stoneware composition. This pottery is actually made with a mixture of several other types of clay and minerals. It is generally composed of kaolin, ball clay, feldspar and flint. Porcelain is a very hard white ceramic which has been manufactured in China since the 600s, and in Europe since the 1700s. Porcelain is fired using very high heat, resulting in a white, nonporous pottery. Porcelain is translucent; stoneware and earthenware is not. Few works of art capture the mark of an artist like ceramic bowls. Made with a variety of techniques, no two of these handmade pottery bowls are thesame. Use these handcrafted ceramic bowls and ice cream bowls to serve all of your favorite dishes - from hearty soups to delicious ice creams and other desserts.