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About Benzine

  • Rank
    Socratic Potter

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  • Gender
  • Location
    The Hawkeye State
  • Interests
    The Arts (Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Graphic Design), Running, Music (Mostly Rock), Movies, Technology
  1. Thinning a Commercial Brush Glaze

    What if I added a deflocculant? That way it would flow easier, but the water content would be the same.
  2. My Art Club students are glazing dozens of the same form, for one of our projects. I was initially going to use one of our dip glazes, but don't think we have enough, nor do I think I have enough time to order more of it. So I do have quite a bit of another color that will work, but it is a brush on glaze. The instructions say that it can be thinned for dipping or pouring, but don't specify how much I would want to thin it. For dip glazes I've always gone with the "Heavy Cream" consistency (What's a hydrometer?), but I wasn't sure if that's the consistency I would want for something that is normally brush on. My concern arises from the fact that I know that commercially made, bottled glazes, that are meant for brushing, have additives that make them easier to brush, like gum. Anyone have any experience/ suggestions on this?
  3. This is my every day. It's taking a toll on my back. In some circumstances, I'll have the student give up their seat, especially if the fix requires precision.
  4. Dry wood ash on glazes

    11 herbs and spices?
  5. And my students laugh, when I point out the instructions on the glaze bottles, about no eating, drinking or smoking, while glazing... They ask, "Who would do that?"
  6. Some I break, some are still sitting around for me to rediscover, and once again mock me with failure... Usually, if I am not happy with something it doesn't make it to firing. Those that do, the defect is usually with the glaze, and I keep them, because I like the form. Others, I have in my classroom to discuss the issues. For example, I have a small vase with a really nice glaze combination, that cracked because that combination cause some severe dunting. It illustrates nicely how a clay body and the applied glaze interact with each other.
  7. I have seen plenty of students dry out their clay from overworking. Especially those, who have never worked with clay, who enjoy "playing" with it, As the clay is exposed to air, it loses moisture, especially as it is needed and more and more of it is exposed to the air. Couple that with the hands pulling some of the moisture out, and it doesn't take long to dry out. How warm the clay is really doesn't contribute much to how quickly it dries, unless a person is generating a couple hundred degrees of heat. An absorbent material however, like canvas plaster, cement and dry air, will pull water out of the clay rather fast.
  8. Blistering / What Causes it?

    Any time I've run into similar issues, it was because of underfiring/ cooling relatively quickly.
  9. I don't even let my students glaze all the way down to the base of the foot, and we use low fire glaze, which barely move at all.
  10. Basically, they are the equivalent of the spike strips the Police use to end high speed chases...
  11. Undercut, like a sharp inward angle/ bevel. This can be done when finishing throwing, (I usually opt for a wood knife for this), or when trimming a foot. In either case, this angled/ beveled portion is partially hidden by the shadow of the rest of the form. In some case, I underglaze my feet black, which hides the bare clay, and adds to floating appearance that the trimmed foot helps create.
  12. Clay right out of the bag, should normally be workable, unless it has been sitting around for a few years. As I always tell students, the clay dries out your hands, and your hands dry out the clay. It's the "Circle of Life"... I warn my high school students against overworking the clay, which can cause similar cracks. The middle school students, are REALLY bad at doing this. They just want to mess with the clay, without having a set goal. So as they are "Thinking" about what they are going to do, they just smoosh the clay, press on the cement boards, tear it apart, etc. By the time they starts building, the clay just wants to crack, and fall apart. If coils are what you want to work with, perhaps make the clay a bit softer, by adding some additional water. Poke some holes in the clay block, and add some water to the bag. Let it sit a couple days, and it should work a bit better. Unless of course, there is just something with the clay formula, that just makes it less plastic, as others have suggested. Best of luck in your journey into the world of clay.
  13. If one of your students....

    You mean the rest of the world (and life in general) will not go the exact way that a single individual has planned?!...
  14. If one of your students....

    As others have stated, you responded appropriately. In one of my recertification courses, the focus was classroom management. One of the things they talked about, was not to berate, or try to embarrass a student, in front of the class. All that does, is give them an audience, and likely make you look like the "bad guy". You did the right thing, by addressing the problem, and giving a different take on why the glazes didn't turn out right. Another thing the course talked about was, when you have a student who is complaining and trying to rile everyone up, give them a chance to share their views, but at another time. And I've used that technique before, when a student was giving me attitude about something. I said, "If you would like to continue to discuss this, we can do it after class/ school." Once again, it takes away their audience, paints you in a positive light, and puts the work on them, for continuing the discussion. If it really something important to them, they will find the time. If not, they will probably just drop it. And lying about the glazes? I have never been accused of that one! I've had glazes turn out poorly, usually a matter of mixing the bottles up, or poor application. I always offer to refire, if they would like.

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