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RonSa

Mixing glazes again.

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I've always mix ingredients by adding the one with most most material first and working down to the least. Today while mixing I was wondering if there  is a different order I should follow or if it really doesn't matter.

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I think I read somewhere that if your mixing into water, you should start with clay. So that the other materials go into the clay water mixture instead of hard panning at the bottom. 

I am not sure how correct this is, but this is how I do it: I mix clay, then silica, then feldspars, then colorants.

 

Edited by Joseph F
Benzine, RonSa and douglas like this

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I tend to mix largest ingredient to smallest, just because that's the way most of my recipes are written out.  Clay tends to be in the top 2-3 ingredients for most things that I mix. I slake everything for at least an hour before I sieve twice. I don't know that it matters greatly, as it all gets pretty well combined in the end. 

That said,

I know there's a couple of ingeredients that need to be treated specifically or they don't suspend properly.  Bentonite for sure, but I can't remember some of the others. Maybe someone else can chime in on those?

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When I put recipes into the catalog, I always go from most to least, except for the clay (usually EPK) and silica. Clay and silica are always last on the list. By organizing them all that way, I can quickly and easily see which fluxes are being used at the top of the list. I can also easily find the clay content and see how much there is, because that will help determine how big a batch I can mix (more clay = smaller batch), and if I'll need to add flocculant.

When making the glaze, like Jospeh said you should always start with the clay, as it helps to keep the other materials from settling out hard at the bottom.

dangerouspottery, RonSa and Benzine like this

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1 hour ago, Rex Johnson said:

...hmmm...I just mix the total of the ingredients dry before adding the water. Churn it up good with a paint mixer and electric drill and sieve it 3-5 times and mix again.

You work outside right Rex? No way I would dry mix ingredients indoors, there would be particles hanging in the air for days afterwards. The air might look dust free but it’s the tiny particles you can’t see that are the big problem. 

I know you aren’t advocating this but you never know if someone reads a post and goes ahead and does it in different circumstances.

S. Dean likes this

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I tend to mix and use next day as particles get wetter and glaze can thicken overnight.That said I have used glazes the same day mixed many hundreds of times as well.

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I prefer to use them a day later, because some particles take longer to hydrate and the consistency will settle down by the next day. However, just like Mark, there are plenty of times when I use them the same day, because production demands don't allow time to wait. Doesn't seem to affect the final result, but it does cause more insecurity until you unload the fired pieces. So waiting one day frees you of some worry. 

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I prefer to wait next day as well. The glaze will thicken if it has a decent amount of clay in it, which will change your application the next time you go to use it. So if you want more consistent results be aware of this and it wont matter if your use it the same day or later, you will know you need to thin it or not. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Joseph F said:

it wont matter if your use it the same day or later, you will know you need to thin it or not. 

If the correct amount of water is part of your recipe (and it boggles my mind when I see or hear of potters who just eyeball the water amount) then you can go ahead a use it right away even if the consistency hasn't settled yet. It's just easier when the glaze has fully hydrated and the consistency looks and feels right. 

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Just now, GEP said:

If the correct amount of water is part of your recipe (and it boggles my mind when I see or hear of potters who just eyeball the water amount) then you can go ahead a use it right away even if the consistency hasn't settled yet. It's just easier when the glaze has fully hydrated and the consistency looks and feels right. 

True. Knowing your specific gravity is very important once you know the glazes your going to use every day. One of the huge benefits of using a set of glazes. I didn't measure SG most of the time because I was just testing. So I did a lot of that eyeballing your talking about. Lots of fails because glaze was to thick or thin when I tried to use it later. 

 

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