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2Nd Newbie Question - Resist Ideas For Holes In Pendants

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Hello Again,

 

I am using an electric test kiln to make smaller items, including flat pendants with a hole that's about 2, maybe 3/16ths before  bisque firing.  Any ideas for an easy way to protect the holes so that I don't have to spend a lot of time cleaning out glaze from the holes before the glaze firing?  

 

Last time, I just painted on glaze and then tried to clean up any slops in the holes which took forever.

 

My next try, I guess, would be carefully trying to use a brush to apply wax resist - sounds time consuming as well?  Any ideas?

thanks!!

 

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I have 'plugged' holes to keep glaze out with wood toothpicks, twisted pieces of paper, spaghetti, wax, and Elmer's glue. 

 

Always remove the plugs, or at least wipe the plugs clean of glaze, because the plugs will burn out but the glaze on the plug will not.
 
LT

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My thought on options since you have a lot of holes is what I do is use a drill bit to quickly twist it.This is after glazing and knock most down and leaves such a small amount it will not fill hole. I have few  drill sizes with wood handles so they are easier to hold and spin. The other Quik way would be use a small brush and use wax in the hole . You will have to blow on them hole right after glazing to keep it glaze free. The wax will burn away.

The last idea which is one I have yet to try in a production application but on small scale works is wet the hole  with (small Bruch/or cut sponge/airbrush ) right before glazing so glaze will be this at that spot.

I like techniques that only require one step in a production situation.

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I like Magnolia's ideas, they are probably a lot easier than what I've been doing:

 

I'm a more or less beginner doing small work like you are dAO, and on a steep learning curve. So far I have only used wax resist, usually painted in the hole as you described. I've had issues getting too much wax resist around the outside of the hole which is not the look I want. From what I've read on the forums the only way to get wax resist off clay is to bisque fire it again. Since I don't have a kiln of my own yet this is a big problem for me. Recently, I had to use a plastic knife to carve the dry wax resist off the threads of the jar to get the jar open. I had the idea to roll the dry wax into little plugs and insert them into the jewelry holes. This stuff really stinks in a chemical way, so I'd wear gloves. anyway I left the plugs in, but you could probably push it out and it would leave enough wax to resist the glaze easily. The dryish wax was easier to handle this way, and I like the idea of reusing as much of it as possible.

 

I'm thinking about trying little paper pulp plugs, maybe coated or mixed with a little wax or white glue?  They should just dry out quickly and shrink, and burn out quickly, but so far untested idea.

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Also, I quickly learned to make the holes larger than I did when I first started. This bypasses a lot of worries and leaves more options open for what I'm materials I'm going to use as hangers. Generally I use a drinking straw of the fast-food milkshake kind, which means I have to partly design the piece to still look nice with larger holes, but this seems to be working OK for my somewhat primitive/bohemian themed work.

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Thank you, Everyone.  These are all great ideas and very helpful for different options.  Always good to know that others are wrestling with the same issue.  I appreciate your time and input

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I insert a Q-tip wetted with water-based wax resist until the glaze is dry; if any gets in the hole, I use a hole cutter (Kemper's graduated) to ream it off. If I am using a runny glaze I also wipe wax resist on my bead tree rods from which I hang the pendants. 

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Wet pipe cleaners work amazingly well for this. There are actually pottery tools that are a stiffer wire pipe cleaner, basically, or like a bottle brush. It helps if you don't let the glaze dry completely before you try to clear the hole, though. 

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I use a small copper wire to poke out most of the clump of dried glaze, then use a bead reamer like this one to clean out the rest. It only takes a minute or so per bead, shorter than waxing and then having to clean out the waxed hole anyways, the wax usually allows at least a little glaze in the hole, makes a mess of the reamer. A Dremel tool with a diamond tipped reamer works really quick, too. This tool is great for 3mm or slightly larger holes.  I wax the really large holes or remove enough glaze with a damp cloth from a small area to allow it to be hung on a bead tree.

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With any tool for cleaning out the hole, if you can set the tool in some kind of holder, then you can pick up a bead, *apply bead to tool, put down bead, pick up next bead** (repeat from * to **) much faster than having to pick up bead and find hole while holding tool in other hand.

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I recommend having a couple of diamond drill bits on-hand.  Obviously using a a resist or a temporary filler to keep glaze out of the hole is the 1st line of defense, but sometimes things happen and the hole heals over with glaze anyways -- for these you need a drill bit that can penetrate glass....hence the diamond core drills for a rotary tool/drill.

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