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Magnolia Mud Research

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About Magnolia Mud Research

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    ceramic chemistry

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  1. Magnolia Mud Research

    Triple beam or digital scale?

    I prefer the triple beam for the following reasons: I do no need to make glaze batches that require more than ~3 kilos of any ingredient. which means that I can always get to the necessary amounts in one weighing for each ingredient. The precision of the triple beam is adequate for all the batches I need, even for cobalt (which often needs ~half gram amounts) for 100 gram test batches. Triple beams are easy to maintain. Always works and never needs a fresh battery or an electrical outlet. Both triple beams and digital scales need to sit on a level platform for reliable data output. The triple beams are very easy to calibrate, digitals are not, my experience is that those using digitals do not know how to calibrate the scale, and therefore fail to do so. Calibration of measuring instruments is essential for both glaze making and kiln firing. The biggest issue I have observed over the last decade is that most folks do not know how to use a scale that requires the operator to deal with the 'tare' weight of the container of the materials being measured on the scale. A good digital will have such a button for that, but even the tare feature must also be calibrated at regular intervals. Mark, a full time production potter, handles large quantities of materials on a frequent production cycle. A hobby or part-time potter handles small quantities on a less frequent schedule. Both weighing contraptions are adequate if well maintained. The final decision is really a personal decision, for your situation. LT
  2. Magnolia Mud Research

    first craft fair WWYD?

    Tony's "crack" is a special version of a shino glaze that develops cracks in the raw glaze surface before the ware is fired to maturity.
  3. Magnolia Mud Research

    first craft fair WWYD?

    Have a look at Tony Clennell's birdhouses: http://smokieclennell.blogspot.com/2018/09/one-flew-over-cuckoos-nest.html
  4. Magnolia Mud Research

    Metallic lustres

    Acrylic paint is a water emulsion of poly-acrylates which contains only elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Clean combustion of the acrylate produces carbon dioxide and water. Use same good sense as you would with using paper clay, wax, CMC, glaze resists, etc. As my grand pappy used to say, “always stand up wind of the fire”.
  5. Magnolia Mud Research

    Metallic lustres

    Rae, Several years back I conducted some experiments using acrylic paints (mostly artist paints and white and black house paints) as a source of color in cone 10 reduction firing. A few semesters ago I repeated part of that experimental protocol on fused glass work. If the pigments in the acrylic paint are based on metal such as copper, iron, chrome, cobalt, etc. the residue after the organic medium burn off the residue will contribute to some color. The intensity of the color will depend on the pigment and its loading in the medium, and the specific metal specie that remains in the surface layer of the fired object. Many of the common artist acrylic pigments are now all organic species and will burn off. The ingredients in the paints are listed on the container, often in pigment jargon of pigment numbers. There are several websites that have decoder rings to translate from pigment code numbers to specific chemical identities. No, I do not have urls. After the experiments I only now use cobalt and black iron acrylic paints in my ceramic work, and then only as an accent effect on raw clay surfaces. Without the specifics of the pigments, just try a bit of acrylic, or other painting medium on a test piece and see what happens. The worst that can happen is that you become addicted to the technique. LT
  6. I don't know for sure when I learned to throw clay, but it must have been about the time I started first grade at school. A new house was being built next door and my dad allowed the neighbor to level some of the hill we lived on. The part next to the house was a hard yellow clay and that was the material I learned to throw with. Took only a couple of days, with my dad as a teacher, to learn to throw straight. (I also learned to bat the clay 'balls' thrown at me). By high school time, I had given up throwing clay and was more interested in chemistry and engineering. Resumed my clay throwing around '05. The biggest difference now is that the clay is softer; back when I first started clay was always thrown dry; now the throwing clay is always wet, soft, and sticks to the bats.
  7. Magnolia Mud Research

    Uneven temperature Minnesota flat topkiln

    Part of the problem in many of the gas kilns is that the exit hole is too big. Another is that the stacking does not allow the gases to circulate within the kiln. The burners should be causing the gas inside the kiln to circulate. Of all the kiln books I have examined (10+ I think) only Mel Jacobson's "21st Century Kilns" has addressed the circulation issue. Nils Lou's book hinted at the problem and did identify the oversized exit hole as being a cause of both wasted fuel and poor temperature uniformity. LT
  8. Magnolia Mud Research

    Saggar and Raku Kiln Questions

    my first Raku kiln was a propane BBQ grill with charcoal briquettes added as fuel; tumble stacked the pots in the charcoal. The grill work fine cooking burgers in aluminum foil ; therefore: should also work fine 'cooking' pots in foil saggars. LT
  9. Magnolia Mud Research

    Used fire brick changed my plans

    is that trench 10 feet long or 10 feet deep?
  10. Magnolia Mud Research

    About slip casting

    Actually you need to have both; air flow to carry the vaporized moisture away from the mould; and you need thermal energy (aka heat) to convert the solid plaster hydrates to dry plaster and vaporized moisture. The temperature does not need to be significantly increased, but the water does need heat to become vapor. Warm dry air is all that is required - just a few degrees (5-10 degrees) above room temperature is adequate.
  11. Magnolia Mud Research

    Georgie's Cone 6 Trailmix leaching water, mildew issues

    Been reading the Bernard Leach's book this week. His solution was to use a slip that matured at the firing temperature to 'seal' the earthen ware his pottery produced.
  12. My current fad is the use of soda ash, twenty-mule-team Borax, and TSP solutions sprayed on to raw clay surfaces - especially surfaces created from dry clay embedded in the moist surface of a clay body prior to the surface being stretched. Firing is cone 10 gas kiln.
  13. Magnolia Mud Research


    Mark, Have you considered just having fun watching the bubbles form when mixing the acids with baking soda? … with the HCl acid the resulting mix can be used in your salt kiln.
  14. Magnolia Mud Research

    Used fire brick changed my plans

    Question: Is it a good idea to build a wood/gas kiln underneath the electrical power lines?
  15. Magnolia Mud Research


    You could make stannus chloride from tin oxide and hydrochloric acid. LT

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