How to do a Pit-Firing

This is the sort of thing you can easily do in your own backyard (subject to local council regulations of course). It’s a simple firing technique used in many ancient cultures across the globe and popular with potters today.

Difficulty Level: easy      Time Required: half a day


Here’s How:

  1. Dig a pit of the appropriate size, depending on the amount of work to be fired.
  2. Place a bed of dry leaves and twigs and possibly coal, which will burn slowly, at the bottom of the pit
  3. Place the pottery on top of this.
  4. Carefully sprinkle oxides and carbonates around the pieces (particularly copper carbonate), which volatilize and result in flashes of color appearing on the fired work.
  5. Cover the work with more leaves, twigs and dung (if available), building up a mound over the pieces.
  6. Once the stacking process is finished, light the pile around the edges and leave to smolder for several hours, or until the next day.
  7. Towards the end of the burning process, bury the pit in earth or sand, which will cut off the oxygen supply and create a strong reducing atmosphere inside the mound.
  8. Allow the kiln to cool overnight and open the next day.
  9. Remove excess scum with a wire brush under a running tap.

Tips:

  1. Additions of grog or volcanic ash ‘open up’ the clay and make it more resistant to heat shock.
  2. The best color results can be achieved with iron bearing, or red clays.
  3. Bisque firing the work first helps to prevent shattering and cracking.
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Favicons: How to.

Download The Plugin
You’ll need the Windows Icon (ICO) file format Photoshop Plugin to export to the .ico file format. You can download the plugin from Telegraphics. The plugin reads and writes ICO files in 1, 4 and 8-bit Indexed and 24-bit RGB modes, and also reads and writes 32-bit “XP” icons (with 8-bit alpha channel). Make sure to install the plugin before you begin this tutorial.

Let’s Begin
Because 16 x 16 is such a small canvas area, it can be very difficult to be creative. So instead start your project with a canvas set at 64 x 64 (always use even multiples when you plan on resizing files). Do this by selecting File>New, and opening a new canvas that is 64 x 64 pixels in size.
Adobe Photoshop tutorial – Favicon.ico — How To Create A Favicon In Photoshop
The Design
If you already have a logo you should reduce it to the 16 x 16 size to see if it holds up. If it doesn’t look good at this size, work with the 64 x 64 canvas and try creating a simple design that incorporates colors from your website’s palette.

When you’re ready to test the design select Image>Image Size menu and enter 16 x 16. Click on Resample Image and choose “Bicubic Sharper” from the drop-down menu (CS only for this step). This is the best setting for making sure that an image doesn’t blur as it’s being resized. If it’s still not sharp enough, go back and oversharpen, oversaturate and/or heighten the contrast of the original image and then resize it again.

If you feel the icon is not quite what you wanted, just keep tweaking it until it is perfect. At this tiny size it can take a few tries before you get it right.

Saving The Custom Icon
Adobe Photoshop tutorial – Favicon.ico — How To Create A Favicon In PhotoshopGo to File>Save As and make sure you name the file favicon.ico. Under Format you must choose Windows Icon (ICO) from the pulldown menu. This format will only be available in Photoshop after you download and install the plugin. In the next step you’ll need to upload this new file to the root folder of your website, so it’s a good idea to navigate and save it to that location on your hard drive now.

Uploading The Favicon.ico File
Connect to your server and upload your Favicon.ico file to your website. You must place it into the same directory as your home (index) page, and leave it loose, making sure not to put it in an images directory or other folder. The standard location is the “root” folder of your site, which is same directory as your home (index) page, not inside an images directory or other folder. If you put it there (and name it favicon.ico), most browsers will find it automatically.

Some browsers will look for a direct link in the HTML source code to your site’s favicon.ico file. You can help these browsers by adding this link in the head section of each page on which you want the Favicon.ico to appear.
Here is the link code to include:
Once you’ve added this code, upload all of your modified pages.

(Some people suggest that the following is actually more correct: You can use both if you want!)

If you want to use a GIF or PNG instead, use this format instead (just remember that it won’t work in IE):
or

Testing
If your new Favicon does not show up right away, try refreshing the page or clearing your cache — or put a ‘?’ at the end of the url, which will trick a browser into thinking the page is new and not cached.

Troubleshooting
Browser Issues: Microsoft IE 6 for Windows will not display the favicon until the URL has been added to the favorites. Or try this trick: go up to the address bar, click on the existing (usually the IE default) favicon, then “jiggle” it a bit and let go. That will reload the page and should get the new favicon to show up.

Safari for the MAC will not display an updated favicon until the browser cache has been cleared. But choosing ‘empty cache’ from the menu won’t help because Safari stores favicons in a separate cache. Go to Edit > Reset Safari, and check “Remove all website icons”. If you can’t find that, you must empty the icon cache yourself. Look for it in User>Library>Safari>Icons. On the Windows version of Safari, find C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\Safari\WebpageIcons.db. Quit Safari, delete the file, restart Safari. (Sometimes you need to restart the computer too.)

On FireFox, clear the cache and restart the browser. On Opera, just refresh.

Windows can actually be the most beligerent about not updating favicons for Internet shortcuts (on your desktop, for instance). This tip from http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials:

1. Right-click on the Desktop.
2. Select Personalize and select Display Settings (or simply Settings on XP).
3. Change the Color from 32 bit to 16 bit and click Apply.
4. Change the Color back to 32 bit and click Apply.

File Format Not Available: The Windows Icon (ICO) file format will not be available until you have downloaded and installed the plugin, and then Quit and Restarted Photoshop.

Troubleshooting Update
One person who had trouble with Internet Explorer 7 has sent us a little tip:
I had some trouble with IE 7 — but the addition of these 2 lines of code solved the problem:

I found the info here:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/html/3251565.htm

By bluedawg Design Posted in How to