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  1. njabeid

    The Price Of Art

    The best explanation of the 'value' (or rather the price)of art I found is "Playing to the Gallery" by Grayson Perry. He knows what he is talking about.
  2. njabeid

    Engobe And Glaze

    Following various trials, and having read the excellent Digitalfire article Min recommended (info I had sought but not found, particularly on the double interface), here is a vastly improved result: (for some reason the phone camera distorts things - the plates are actually round and entered), the old plate on the left and the new one on the right. Thicker engobe did shiver off some pitchers, but the Hopper cone 4-6 engobe seems to hang on here. The glaze is a bit cloudy in the centre, I suspect due to thickness. Very happy and grateful for the help!
  3. Make sure the lithium carbonate is finely ground. I am also learning to make glazes, and my first purchase turned out to be as coarse as salt or sugar. It made interesting shiny dots in the satin glaze, but now I have the finer particle size the glaze works better. For fun you should try a bit of Strontium carbonate. It gives a sumptuous satin surface and good colour response.
  4. njabeid

    Engobe And Glaze

    Thanks again! Alas! the only ingredients I have for Fish Sauce are bentonite and silica. I'll look up some equivalents and definitely try it. I suppose once one puts down a thick layer of engobe or slip one gets into the realm of COEs. After many tests and trials I have managed to make some glazes that fit my clay, including a really nice strontium one (satin and quite opaque)... It's all wonderful fun, a surprise retirement hobby as satisfying as it is frustrating. I would love to see your work (Avatar is tantalising) but you are very discreet here. Cheers! :-)
  5. njabeid

    Engobe And Glaze

    Thank you! My glossy transparent recipe is: Ferro Frit 3124 - 60, nepheline syenite - 10, wollastonite - 10, kaolin (A polywhite) 10, silica - 10. It is simple and works nicely. It definitely mists a bit where it is thicker. Here is a plate with pathetic brushwork (trying not to unstick the stencil instead of doing it on the wheel which looks pathetic anyway in my hands), and you can see the mist in the middle. Is it thicker there?? Yes, I'm firing up to 1120C. I tried a couple of firings at 1099C because my teapots were dunting and I wondered about cristobalite, but now I'm back at 1120. And yes, my clays all darken considerably with temperature. This is the 'red' clay - green, bisqued and glazed: and this is the kaolin clay bisqued with engobe on, and two different finished pieces, one with opaque satin blue glaze: My feeling is that engobe should stay opaque and not show the clay through it, and that long ago I tried thicker engobe and it all fell off taking the glaze with it! But my learning curve has been a roller coaster, starting at low fire. I had more or less given up on engobes and tried opaque glazes, and that is why I didn't dip the cups - the inside is poured opaque satin, vs. the glossy outside. But since I got a die-cutter and tackled the Walata designs, engobe (and its frustrations) is back on the agenda. Here is a cup with brushed engobe instead of sprayed (:-/) (also showing some spotty blue and green engobe). I'll try the recipe you quoted, and try thicker engobe, that will keep me out of mischief for a while. Thanks a lot, have a lovely day.
  6. njabeid

    Engobe And Glaze

    Thanks Min. By "smooth" I mean not spotty, i.e. as smooth after glaze firing as before. I have tried dipping, brushing, spraying, pouring, sponging... but the glaze just highlights any irregularity. My pouring is dismal, brushing even worse, sponging splotchy. Spraying is the method that gives the most even coating, but obviously there are still thicker dots. Dipping is nice, but being alone and learning I don't always have a big enough bucket. If the engobe is like a sheet of paper, why does it become "thinner" - i.e. translucide - at a higher temperature? My impression that the glaze is dissolving the engobe is due to the fact that the transparent glaze does go misty. By the way, I'm in Mauritania, so thousands of miles from pottery resources, and the inspiration for these particular pieces is a particular style of house painting in a place called Walata, which is very white (even though I am doing it in negative, not yet having made a stencil for white-on-clay): I'll definitely run some tests with different thicknesses, and at the same time learn to appreciate my faded look. Thanks again!
  7. njabeid

    Engobe And Glaze

    Thank you all for those great answers. I'll try them out, but I have had the same problem with a much paler kaolin clay (beige fired to 1,120°C). The clay coming through or the glaze melting the engobe? There is a double interface, and I'm not sure the glaze won't fall off if I make the engobe much thicker. I'll take on board your appreciation of the snowy look - except that sometimes I really would like to have a solid background, e.g. for some cups I'm trying to make with a special logo, for which I need pale green and pale blue but only get spotty results. I'll try thicker, hot chocolate, yes. The recipe I use is: kaolin 20 calcined kaolin 10 talc 25 Ferro Frit 3110 15 Silica 15 Borax 5 Zirconium silicate 10 With all that in, it should stay opaque. Pretty, you say your slip also changes with temperature. I wonder whether it is just impossible to get a smooth result with glaze on top, even though Robin Hopper says this engobe holds up to a high cone. Again thank you. This is the first time I find my way into this forum, but now I know where to go! So much to learn.
  8. njabeid

    Engobe And Glaze

    In a remote location, self-taught and still learning, I use local clay that vitrifies at 1,150°C and make my own glazes. Not many recipes around for this temperature. To cover the red clay I use engobe made following Robin Hopper's recipe. Pots are bisque fired at 1,020°C, then glazed and fired again at 1,120°C. Problem: all my glazes (particularly the glossy transparent one based on Ferro Frit 3124) seem to dissolve the engobe, making it patchy and translucid. I tried 5 other engobe recipes with essentially the same result. Is there any way to prevent this, or is it inevitable at this rather odd half-way temperature? Thanks for any ideas. Bisqued items: After glaze firing :
  9. njabeid

    Why Porcelain?

    While porcelain users are looking this way, I have two questions. I am in West Africa, far, far away from any other potters or materials suppliers, but am learning happily, mainly thanks to internet and books. I am using locally dug clays, and having major trouble fitting glazes. However, I have found raw kaolinite, and have wet it, ground it and thrown a few bowls with it (pure, no additions) to try it out. I also mixed some with my other clays, with nice results, but all are pink or red and I love white. As Neilestrick says, it has a sumptuous texture, and although soft and floppy seems to behave well, particularly for a first trial run, so I assume it is far from being pure kaolin. But I have nothing white to add to it. Now I am going to fire these test bowls. Question 1 : is raw kaolinite porcelain? Is it used like this? It is cheap, so price is not a problem. Question 2 : what firing temperature (electric) should I aim for? More importantly, what happens if I decide to fire it to only cone 6 and it does not mature completely?

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