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Hello, I am new here and also just taken over a small pottery studio with limited experience. I have done pottery as a hobby and now in at the deep end, which is fun but also daunting and expensive! I have looked online for the best and cheapest way to make underglazes for kids to use on greenware for one-off groups. (also considering just keeping it un-glazed and send off bisqued to paint at home?!) I made some stained glaze powder/ ball clay concoctions but were very weak in colour and too thick. Can someone please advise on the cheapest way to make underglazes? I have seen other potters have jars of it in kids classes in the past... Does mixing it with ball clay always dull down the colour and what ratio is best? Using just water is too runny. Advice greatly appreciated. Thanks
Hi All, I have just finished making over 200# of plaster molds for our local Art Center and have come up with a few questions. This is not my first time to make , but with the quantity I made, I seemed to have a variety of different â€˜problemsâ€™. I actually only â€˜lostâ€™ about 5 pieces of 50, so I feel quite successful as I do not work with plaster that often. With your help, perhaps what I perceived as â€˜problemsâ€™ will not repeat in future mold attempts. For my molds I used new pottery plaster. I weighed out my water and pottery plaster, as directed with my molds, to the ratio of.7 . Plaster was sprinkled over the water and then left to slake for 2 minutes. I then mixed gently from the bottom, getting rid of all lumps. Then I let sit a couple minutes more, gently mixed, and poured it gently into silicone sprayed molds. (Most of the time the plaster settled/slaked under the water but several times not all of the plaster settled so I had extra mixing â€“ I did not notice any difference in my water temps or time â€“ any ideas why it did not settle â€“ plaster set up quickly). I learned that water should be cool rather than warm or it sets too quickly. Several times, altho the plaster was mixed well, as it set in the molds, a thin layer of water formed on top â€“ what did I do wrong? (I just laid a paper towel on the plaster to soak up the water.) Also, twice the plaster did not even get warm - why? But it set up and appears OK. I thumped my molds on the floor after filling to get rid of air bubbles but occasionally I had a few, very small, bubbles show up. They donâ€™t look large enough to cause surface problems in my clay â€“ weâ€™ll see. I have been told to wait to fill the molds until you can draw a finger across the mixed plaster leaving a slight indentation in the mixed plaster surface â€“ is that right? At times it then seemed to set very quickly once I started to pour. I did learn that different brands of silicone release differently. Molds have dried nicely by placing them in the area of our wood burner â€“ can do a lot more at a time rather than in an oven! However they do take about 4 days to dry. Thanks for your comments! They are always appreciated! I learn so much from this forum!!