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Puzzlebox Art Studio

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  1. Re-Glazing A Broken Piece--Possible?

    oldlady, thanks for the offer but it's really not necessary! We make our own molds for the pendant shapes. I really appreciate your kind thoughts, though. We actually had a big flood in the last few days, haven't viewed the handbuilt videos yet but thanks for sending, Pres. I do already know sort of how to make handbuilt mugs, but am struggling to make them look less childlike while not using double or triple the time it takes to make them on the wheel. Labor time of course figures into our final prices. One more quick question about the re-glazing...do pieces generally shrink AGAIN if they are re-fired? I was planning not to re-glaze the broken handle pieces as it's the inside of the mug that matters more (a few spots left bare by glaze). But I worry that the handle pieces won't match up to the body anymore if the mug body shrinks.
  2. Re-Glazing A Broken Piece--Possible?

    Thanks, everyone. The problem is it's a painted cup with a pretty intricate design and there's only one. Even worse, the artist who actually owned the pottery wheel left the studio and took it with him after I finished a few mugs, so we can only make hand-built mugs from now on and I'm still working out the most time-efficient design. Well, the truly worst thing is that the breakage is from total stupidity, as I literally dropped something onto the handle. The person who was going to buy it is affiliated with the studio so he's pretty understanding about it (as long as there's a discount), but it's a bummer. I was kind of imagining that the glue would hold just long enough for the glaze to get liquid (although as mentioned in my first post, I don't think this glaze is particularly runny) and then seal it after the glue burns off. So great if that could actually happen!
  3. I broke the handle off a mug that needed re-glazing anyway. (there didn't seem to be any structural issues with the handle previously, I actually dropped something heavy onto the handle). It was an underglaze painted mug with clear glaze that left a few bare spots so I wanted to re-coat with clear and fire again...so that would be the 4th firing including bisque (don't know if that makes a difference). Can I just glue the handle back on, glaze and fire? Or does the glaze seep through the cracks and force the broken bits off again? This is mid-fire, and not a runny glaze. If it's not a problem to do that, does type of glue matter? Super glue, or is just white latex glue OK? (that's what I already have available, so it's easiest!). Thanks!
  4. Increasing strength of small pieces

    Three times. I thought the original ceramics teacher/kiln manager told me that firing fewer times might result in weaker pieces...but we have lots of miscommunications due to language barrier! I've never tried underglaze on greenware. Clear glaze is done by dipping. We don't have a sprayer, but wish we did! Prior to coming here, I had very rarely used underglaze and didn't know much about it. I would worry about painting on greenware because I imagine mistakes can't be fixed as easily as on bisque, although for pendants that's less important than a piece that took more time to build. So my confusion with the paper clay is...if the paper burns out, would this not leave tons of tiny holes and weaken the clay after firing? Honestly, I don't know how it works but am just trying to imagine it. I did a little searching on this and am seeing that it's stronger to build with than plain clay, but in my mind the lighter result after firing would be even more delicate than before.
  5. Questions about using wax resist

    Trying it now, not great results. Although the wax seems thin, it's just because it's so hot. Turpentine helped. But it seems our glazes--rarely used, since we use underglaze and clear glaze the most--are just too thick for multiple dippings. Do most of you mix thinner glazes just for the purpose of using for wax resist designs? Many that I saw online seemed to have been dipped 3 to 4 times.
  6. Questions about using wax resist

    Thanks for the info, good to know it's just the fumes that are the issue. We work entirely outdoors so I had never really noticed the fumes before. Hoping to get some tests done today.
  7. Increasing strength of small pieces

    Interesting. We are constantly making paper pulp because we also make some paper mache products. I had some mugs I was making as test pieces, that formed a few small cracks when they dried. I tried mixing some of that pulp with clay and a little glue to fill the crack. It got damn hard and I guess I am not sure what will happen after firing...does the paper not burn out? I will look for recipes. Does lowering the temperature affect how the glazes work, though?
  8. Questions about using wax resist

    Thanks, really appreciated! It was my first visit to this forum so it was a little hard to tell whether not people care how close the replies hew to the topic. As for the size of the pieces, it's for functional wares, not for the pendants. But they'd be fired WITH the pendants, which have painstaking paintings on them so I just wanted to be safe. Doing the first test run tomorrow on a few plates & bowls, alongside some of the most detailed pendants we've produced yet and I just don't want screw them up. Feeling reassured now!
  9. My studio produces some small, easily-droppable pieces like pendants for necklaces and keychains. I believe that since I started working here, the kiln manager made some improvements (perhaps just increasing temperature) but I'm really not eager to test too many pieces that we spent a lot of time painting by throwing them around. This concern popped into my head today because I DID drop one from the most recent firing but it didn't break, but then another employee dropped a different one from a firing a few months ago, which did break. We're in small-town Thailand. The clay we are using is simply called "white clay" but is not porcelain. (looks brown when wet). The pendants are cut from slabs (rolled w/ pins). Don't remember the temp for bisque fire, but underglaze fire is at 1150 C and glaze fire is at 1240 C. Each pendant is 1/4" thick at maximum, but sometimes become thinner after sanding. The glaze doesn't run, so we glaze down the sides of the pendants, only cleaning off the very bottom. Looks like this when finished. Does anyone have general thoughts on what makes some small ceramics sturdier than others? Is there anything we should be doing? Since our customers also live in Thailand, the loss of an $8 pendant due to breakage is a bigger deal here. We don't want people thinking this is a foolish purchase! Plus, as the painting technique on the pendants grows steadily more detailed, we'd like to bump that up to $15, but don't want that to be risky for customers.
  10. Questions about using wax resist

    Sorry to ask another wax question, I see another from just a few days ago but decided it didn't match quite enough to tag on. 1) I manage a small art studio in small-town Thailand where we also make batik. The wax we use for batik has varying proportions of paraffin mixed in. Could we use this for wax resist on bisqueware, rather than making a separate wax resist? I saw one "recipe" online for a homemade wax resist that was basically just paraffin and turpentine melted together. Is there any reason for this, rather than just straight beeswax or beeswax + paraffin? Is turpentine necessary? The wax seems thin enough when melted. Oh, and for batik we use it when smoking-hot melted, but I got the impression that this is bad for bisqueware. Why? 2) If only some pieces in the kiln are using wax resist and others are not, is there any unintended side effect? Like, I dunno, smoke damage or other "deposits" on the non-waxed pieces? I think we count as medium to medium-high fire here. Not reduction. We normally do detailed underglaze painting on the bisqueware and fire at 1150 C, then add clear glaze, fire 3rd time at 1240 C. Maybe there is no such thing as damage from the wax burning off other pieces, I just have no idea and want to protect the super-detailed painting on the other pieces. 3) When I have used wax resist myself in the past at other studios, I just painted it on and left it as that. This was with reduction fire, though. Today I saw a few references online to scraping wax off before firing (bisque, not green). When I tried to modify my Google search to purposefully find more results about scraping off the wax, I couldn't. So...um, is that just crazy and unnecessary? It seems nearly impossible to scrape off a wax layer without taking off the glaze layer underneath. But it made me wonder about reasons for removing most of the wax.