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Steve Lampron

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About Steve Lampron

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 07/11/1955

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Indianapolis Indiana
  • Interests
    VP of Technical Services AMACO
    Ceramic Enineer Alfred University
  1. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    John, I have not had great luck adding more glaze to a thin glaze piece but I would also never tell anyone not to try. As a general rule I would say start over with a new pot. If you decide to try adding more a good suggestion is to warm the pot so the glaze will be applied and stay where you put it. I put pots into a cold oven and heat it until the pot is 200 F. You need to soak it there until the pot becomes warm all the way through. 15-20 minutes should do it. Let me know how it turns out. Steve...
  2. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    Steve, Once you have fired too thin, will adding glaze and refiring be an option to revitalize the Ancient Jasper, or should one just move on from that pot? I have a couple of the "eggplant" colored variations. John Lowes Sandy Springs, GA
  3. Palladium and Saturation Gold Users, My name is Steve Lampron and I am the ceramic engineer here at AMACO. I want to give some simple tips about firing the Palladium and Saturation Gold glazes. Palladium: This is what I call a float glaze. This means that in order to get the shiny silver look you need to actually allow the supersaturated metallic particles to float to the surface and form the skin. There is no trick to this other than to make sure you put a good thick layer of glaze on the piece. This is true of many glazes (commercial and made at home) which need a good thickness of glaze in order to make the surface. If you do not put enough glaze on, you will not have enough excess material to float and the glaze will look totally wrong. In the case of Palladium, it will be a fairly ugly green color. We fired this glaze on all of our clay bodies at both cone 5 and cone 6 with great results. I have a caution; this glaze can be very fluid and run so make efforts to allow for this. When you first try glazes you need to run test tiles (pieces) that are fired vrtically where you vary the thickness from what you think is too thin to what you think is too thick. This will show you where to go to get the look you want, it will also show you what it looks like when it is wrong. You will then know what went wrong when you get a pot that looks wrong. This glaze will be fine at cone 5 or 6 and requires no soak (it will make it run more). A medium / 8 hour firing is good. Cool normally. I see that a few people have gotten some blisters on pots that are fully glazed. This has happened on some clay bodies I found out after releasing it. It never seems to happen on poecelain bodies and these will also give the best surface. Please try your pots again on porcelain. Saturation Gold: This is also a float glaze so thickness is important as well. The glaze doesn't turn out a bright shiny gold like gold lusters or the old leaded cone 05 golds. It turns out a dark kind of wrinkled bronze gold. It is not an easy glaze to get to look smooth and perfect. The suggestion that applying it over another glossy mid-range glaze is something that I find also helps the surface. The plain fact of the matter is that this type of glaze is difficult to use and requires alot of trial work. The kiln Gods probably didn't want this type of glaze to be made. It can be beautiful when perfected but it is not as simple to perfect as a pretty little matte white glaze. I can't stress enough how important it is for all potters (especially new ones) to test glazes well before making pots. I know the desire to just make a pot but this method will only lead to disappointment and bad pots. Let me know if this helps or if I can address any other concerns you have. Steve..........
  4. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    Pam, May I suggest that I think you are correct in your assumption that you do not have enough glaze applied. I am going to tell you my thoughts on using any new glaze. I would make 6 small test tiles or extrusions (which ever is easier) out of your clay body. Glaze two of them with what you think is the correct amount of glaze (as recommended by the manufacturer and using your glazing technique), glaze two with what you think is not enough glaze and two with what you think is too much glaze. Make sure you actually make an appreciably different application of glaze on the three sets. Fire one of each application thickness laying down (simulates a plate, etc) and fire the other three standing up vertically (simulates a cup or bowl). Make sure you put them on a scrap piece of shelf in case they flow. In firing these pieces you will not only learn what the glaze looks like when it is correct, but you will also find out what it looks like when it is wrong. You will also see the amount of flow you might expect on pieces so you can compensate for this on your ware. Some glazes will show some very distinct differences in all these different applications and firing orientations and others will show very little. Hope this helps. Steve.........
  5. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    You are all very welcome. I don't like anyone to struggle with one of my creations. I am also glad you all like the look of ANCIENT JASPER. Steve...........
  6. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    Guys, These are photos of a pot made by Danny Meisinger of Spinning Earth Pottery. It shows how the red naturally breaks to other colors around texture. Steve............ Sorry the pictures have to be so small to upload.
  7. Amaco Ancient Jasper Question

    ANCIENT JASPER: Hello all and stay with me as I am and old guy and not blog capable. I am the VP of Technical Services here at AMACO and the engineer that developed this glaze. I am very sad to hear that some of you are having difficulty with this glaze. It is actually a very easy glaze to work with and will yield excellant results. Let me give you a few tips on this type of glaze in general an then some specifics about ANCIENT JASPER. Many midrange and high fire glazes used by ceramic artists are what I call FLOAT glazes. These are the pretty glazes that tend to seperate out different colors in areas where the glazes are thicker. ANCIENT JASPER is this type of glaze and what it floating out is iron oxide. Iron is one of the more interesting colorants simply because it can be in so many different oxidation states. This simply means that it can make a ton of different colors. With any float glaze, enough thickness of glaze must be applied in order for the excess iron to float to the surface. If the glaze is thinly applied, the glaze will tend to be drier and a very unpleasant color. This glaze was not developed where any massive amount of glaze needs to be applied. If it had needed this I would have told everyone on the label. We actually never had any issues getting red at all. I always try new glazes on all of our clay bodies to make sure there isn't some issue I need to know of. We also fire them at cone 5 and cone 6 to check stability. We found no issues with this glaze on either account. By now you probably saying, great but it didn't work for me. I will list some good parameters below for you to follow and I am 100% sure you will find this glaze simple to use and that it will yield great results. 1. Temperature: The red color is actually the first color to float and the use of more heat will tend to make it turn to the purples, yellows, browns and black. This means you will tend to see slightly (and I do mean slightly) more red at cone 5 than cone 6. No soak is needed for this glaze and actually soaking it will cause more red to fade into the other colors. 2. Thickness: The glaze must be applied with enough thickness to float the iron. 3. Kiln cycle: I fire all the glazes we develop in an electric kiln at fast, medium and slow speeds. Red color will be developed at all speeds but the faster the firing ~6 hours (tons of red) the better the results. I always quality check each batch at cone 5 in 8 hours. 10-12 hour cycles will cause more red to fade to the other colors. This is most critical within 200 defrees of peak. If your elements are weak and it takes the kiln a long time to achieve the last 200 degrees, you will find less red. 4. Cool down: No special cool down is needed nor will it help develop any red color. Letting the kiln simply shut off and cool naturally is all that is needed. 4. Clay Body: I have tested this on porcelain, typical stoneware bodies, bodies with grog, bodies without grog, brown colored bodies, etc. I develop red on all of them. I have found that when using our #1 Porcelain slip that the color transition away from the red tones is very pronounced (although it makes a rainbow of the other colors). This is because for a cone 5 porcelain slip alot of soft flux is needed to tighten the body. The flux in the body mixes with the glaze and actually makes the glaze softer (simulating more heat). 5. Texture: This glaze loves texture and will make some incredible colors. The texture makes the glaze get thinner and thicker in areas. The thicker the glaze the easier it is for it to stay red. The thinner the glaze gets the hotter that area of glaze gets and it shifts to the other colors. These simple tips should help everybody that wants to make ANCIENT JASPER work. I suggest running a few tests of glaze thickness in your next kiln load and follow the firing rules above. Three nice coats on any typical stoneware body, fired to cone 5 or 6 in 6-8 hours with no soak and no special cooling curve will yield pieces just like the ones we showed in the ads. These were just pots we made in the lab. Honestly I have never actually made a pot that didn't make colors just like those pieces. I will attempt to post a few more photos here today and next week we will post a board I made with all of our clay bodies fired at slow, medium and fast so you can see the slight differences. Let me know if this helps. The photo files are too big to upload. I will have someone help me make them smaller for next week. Steve.........
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