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Can you thin commercial glazes meant for brushing to use for dipping?


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#1 dprjessie

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:02 PM

I have several Amaco Potter's Choice glazes that I really love, purchased by the gallon, Chun Plum, Blue Rutile, Ancient Jasper, and Textured Turquoise. My problem is that I would like to dip my glazes rather than brush, but these glazes are soooooo thick and obviously meant for brushing. I first tried thinning down a test portion of the glaze with water and by the time I added enough water to get a dipping consistency the Chun Plum was no longer pink it was brown and the others were either brown or black. Then I even bought some Spectrum glaze thinner. I added the recommended amount, but then had to add much more to get anywhere near dipping consistency. This helped a bit, but the next time I went to use the glazes it was as if they had thickened right back up! Now I'm wondering if I should add more Glaze thinner and just keep adding until its a true dipping consistency? I'm afraid of ruining the glaze all together. These are float glazes and it seems to me that these glazes need to go on so incredibly thick in order to be the color they are meant to be. What's worse is that, brushing or dipping, they take FOREVER to dry. Is there any way to speed that up? I imagine that buying the dry version of the glaze and mixing it myself might solve the problem because maybe Amaco doesn't put as much gum in the dry glazes, but the smallest amount you can buy is 25 lbs and costs a small fortune. I'm dying to know if anyone has had any success dipping Amaco Potter's Choice glazes, in particular these colors, and also if anyone has had success thinning down a gallon of commercial glaze and using it to dip/pour. Right now I am bisque firing 11hrs to cone 04 and glaze firing to cone 5, as fast as my kiln will get there which ends up being around 7-8 hours, with a ten minute hold at the end then cooling naturally. Would a different firing schedule help the color come out better when applied thinner? Or would bisquing to a lower/higher temp help the glaze dry faster. I would love to hear any suggestions!

#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 10:51 AM

I would suggest you call the folks at Amaco and ask for advice. They are nice people and can probably give you the answer.

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#3 Lucille Oka

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:10 PM

Amaco has on their website quite a bit of information about the Potter’s Choice glazes they explain in detail about the application and results. Thinning down the PC glazes will change the end results of color and texture. The information also specifies how many coats to apply and what brushes to use. The proper application is needed in order to achieve the test sample result. Some of the glazes require 2 or more fan brush coats in varying directions. Some of the glazes in the PC series require even more specific applications. The heavy components in the glaze are necessary for the breaking texture and thinning down will change the balance of the heavy particles. Also the information states to ‘allow the individual coats to dry before applying another.’



Here is the info link-


http://www.amaco.com...-amaco-glazes/
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#4 azjoe

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:55 PM

Most commercial "ready to use" glazes say they are formulated for brushing. This makes some sense since a pint jar isn't big enough to dip most pottery, nor is there room to add water. Nevertheless, in my own work, I usually prefer to use commercial glazes thinned somewhat... I've alwasy used water with good results.

Ultimately, you need to "play" with a glaze to really get to know it. Some glazes just do not give good results when brushed because of their ingredients... out of the jar they glob, add a little too much water and they don't cover well. Glaze "thickness" isn't the only variable... clay (both color and "coarseness"), decorative textures (particularly the sharpness of edges), layering of multiple glazes, your kiln/firing schedule, etc. all affect the end result. Some glazes are pretty "finicky"... others produce good results across a wide range of conditions.

When investigating a new glaze I always like to fire some test tiles first... this lets me know how thickness affects results, whether the glaze sags or runs, what the glaze color will be on my clay, etc. Test tiles are easy to make... I texture one side , leave the other side smooth. Typically I dip my pieces, so I dip a tile 3/4 of the way in for a count of 2, let it dry then dip it in again to 1/2 for a 1-count, let dry and then dip again 1/4 in for a 1-count... now I have a single tile with three different thicknesses of glaze. If none come out the way I expected, then I try adjusting more or perhaps the firing schedule. I keep notes about what I've done so I can replicate the process in the future. (If I were going to brush the glaze I'd brush it on the test tile... two coats, three coats, 4 coats).

... these glazes are soooooo thick and obviously meant for brushing.


Typically you want the glaze thickest when dipping, a little thinner for pouring, and still thinner for brushing (since you want to apply multiple coats for even coverage). Laguna recommends, for example, that their dry glazes be mixed to the following specific gravities: (Baume scale) 55 for dipping, 47 for pouring, 43 for brushing. I know you're talking about Amaco PC glazes, but the same should hold true I think. I assume they package Ancient Jasper as thick as they do because they want you to apply it really thick... the developer of the glaze suggests 4-coats ( See this discussion ).

A good rule of thumb to start with is you want the glaze layer on the bisque to be about the thickness of a credit card when you're ready to fire. Many glazes have much different needs, however... eg, Ancient Jasper more thickly, clear glazes typically thinner. The glaze mixture needs to be thin enough (ie, contain enough water) so it flows (instead of globing up) when brushed, or thin enough so it deposits the right thickness when dipped for 3 seconds (or whatever time you dip for), or thin enough so it adds the correct thickness when poured. That's why you need to "play" a little so you know cause and effect of variations to get the results you want/expect using the methods that are right for your situation and experience.

#5 Pres

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:27 PM

I have several Amaco Potter's Choice glazes that I really love, purchased by the gallon, Chun Plum, Blue Rutile, Ancient Jasper, and Textured Turquoise. My problem is that I would like to dip my glazes rather than brush, but these glazes are soooooo thick and obviously meant for brushing. I first tried thinning down a test portion of the glaze with water and by the time I added enough water to get a dipping consistency the Chun Plum was no longer pink it was brown and the others were either brown or black. Then I even bought some Spectrum glaze thinner. I added the recommended amount, but then had to add much more to get anywhere near dipping consistency. This helped a bit, but the next time I went to use the glazes it was as if they had thickened right back up! Now I'm wondering if I should add more Glaze thinner and just keep adding until its a true dipping consistency? I'm afraid of ruining the glaze all together. These are float glazes and it seems to me that these glazes need to go on so incredibly thick in order to be the color they are meant to be. What's worse is that, brushing or dipping, they take FOREVER to dry. Is there any way to speed that up? I imagine that buying the dry version of the glaze and mixing it myself might solve the problem because maybe Amaco doesn't put as much gum in the dry glazes, but the smallest amount you can buy is 25 lbs and costs a small fortune. I'm dying to know if anyone has had any success dipping Amaco Potter's Choice glazes, in particular these colors, and also if anyone has had success thinning down a gallon of commercial glaze and using it to dip/pour. Right now I am bisque firing 11hrs to cone 04 and glaze firing to cone 5, as fast as my kiln will get there which ends up being around 7-8 hours, with a ten minute hold at the end then cooling naturally. Would a different firing schedule help the color come out better when applied thinner? Or would bisquing to a lower/higher temp help the glaze dry faster. I would love to hear any suggestions!


Crazy as it seems, I used to have gallon jugs of commercial glazes that were for painting. I thinned them to the point that they coated my hand evenly, used a drill mixer on them and I then strained them like others that I mixed. Never had a problem with them, but then they were not AMACO glazes either.

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#6 Magpie

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 09:40 AM

Hi dprjessie,

I had this same question and I emailed Amaco a while back. They emailed me back and indicated that you could turn the brushing glaze into a dipping glaze...they sent me the following instructions.

AMACO SUSPENDAID
AP – NON-TOXIC

Suspendaid is an anti-settling additive. It is used to change a brushing glaze to a closer workability of a dipping glaze. To do that you should disregard the brushing glaze directions on the label and follow the following general directions.

1) Pint (16 oz) Directions: A) Take out 4 oz. of glaze from the pint jar. Add 4 oz. of water and 1 tablespoon of Suspendaid. Mix thoroughly before using for dipping.

2) Gallon Directions: A) Take 2 pints of glaze from gallon jar. Add 1 and ½ pints of water and 6 oz. of Suspendaid. Mix thoroughly before using for dipping.

3) Dry 1 lb Directions: A) Add 1 pint (16 oz.) of water to 1 lb. dry glaze. Add 2 and ½ tablespoon (1 oz.) of Suspendaid. Mix thoroughly before using for dipping.

Glazes vary in viscosity, therefore if you feel that your dipping glaze needs to be thinner, add a little more water. If your glaze settles, then add a little more Suspendaid. With practice you will learn how much water and Suspendaid needs to be added for the dipping glaze consistency that you like.

I purchased a gallon of albany slip brown and a gallon of blue rutile. I am an avid glaze stir-er so I didn't think the Suspendaid was necessary. So, I just thinned the brushing glaze with water using the amount of water in the instructions as a guideline. My kiln is cooling right now...so I'll post the results once it's cool.


#7 funkpod

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:59 AM

Hello, I know this is an old thread, but how did the thinning out of the glaze work out?


Hi dprjessie,

I had this same question and I emailed Amaco a while back. They emailed me back and indicated that you could turn the brushing glaze into a dipping glaze...they sent me the following instructions.

AMACO SUSPENDAID
AP – NON-TOXIC

Suspendaid is an anti-settling additive. It is used to change a brushing glaze to a closer workability of a dipping glaze. To do that you should disregard the brushing glaze directions on the label and follow the following general directions.

1) Pint (16 oz) Directions: A) Take out 4 oz. of glaze from the pint jar. Add 4 oz. of water and 1 tablespoon of Suspendaid. Mix thoroughly before using for dipping.

2) Gallon Directions: A) Take 2 pints of glaze from gallon jar. Add 1 and ½ pints of water and 6 oz. of Suspendaid. Mix thoroughly before using for dipping.

3) Dry 1 lb Directions: A) Add 1 pint (16 oz.) of water to 1 lb. dry glaze. Add 2 and ½ tablespoon (1 oz.) of Suspendaid. Mix thoroughly before using for dipping.

Glazes vary in viscosity, therefore if you feel that your dipping glaze needs to be thinner, add a little more water. If your glaze settles, then add a little more Suspendaid. With practice you will learn how much water and Suspendaid needs to be added for the dipping glaze consistency that you like.

I purchased a gallon of albany slip brown and a gallon of blue rutile. I am an avid glaze stir-er so I didn't think the Suspendaid was necessary. So, I just thinned the brushing glaze with water using the amount of water in the instructions as a guideline. My kiln is cooling right now...so I'll post the results once it's cool.






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