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John Damm

How many times should I dip my pieces into my glaze

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I'm just starting to learn about glaze making and firing on my own. The local ceramic shop told me that you should dip your pieces into glaze 2 times, but the videos I've been looking at usually show just one dip and I've yet to see one mention dipping twice unless you want to mix two glazes on the same piece. Assuming the correct viscosity (which I've been reading about) is one dip usually enough or is it unique to each glaze.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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4 minutes ago, John Damm said:

I'm just starting to learn about glaze making and firing on my own. The local ceramic shop told me that you should dip your pieces into glaze 2 times, but the videos I've been looking at usually show just one dip and I've yet to see one mention dipping twice unless you want to mix two glazes on the same piece. Assuming the correct viscosity (which I've been reading about) is one dip usually enough or is it unique to each glaze.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Depends on the glaze.  I never dip twice unless I'm dipping in two different glazes.  Instead of multiple dips, you can extend the amount of time the piece is submerged in glaze.  I do 3 seconds on my clear because it's a bit finicky when it gets thick, but I dip 6 seconds in cream breaking rust because it looks great thick.  Once you get some glaze mixed up you can do some test tiles with 3 and 6 second dips to see which one works best for your glaze.

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Also make note of the thickness of your glaze. A glaze that's had the lid left off might end up a little thick after mixing. Either add water to keep your glaze to a specific consistency or make a mental note to hold it in for a shorter period of time. If you're a little extra particular about keeping your glaze really consistent you can measure the specific gravity. This number will essentially tell you the ratio of dry material to water. 

I agree with liambesaw 2 dips is almost always too much. A glaze at a proper thickness that is mixed well before use should be good with one dip and the thickness of glaze can be modified by the amount of time you have it in the solution. 

Great questions, good luck!

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Just a quick note. When we formulate glazes for dipping we always prepare test tiles showing single and double dip results. Often if you look at the test tile it will be dipped diagonally once then the opposite diagonal a second time. The overlap area represents the look of a double dip. Since you are new, a three second dip is common but not set in stone so many glaze formulators will set their dipping glaze specific gravity to accommodate a three second dip and create a glaze that covers well with a single dip yet can be used artistically with a second dip. Experience is king here and you will develop your method for your look and result. As always testing first may save some of your wares, and you will be on your way to mastering your looks.

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I set the glazes in my studio to be the correct thickness with a 6 second dip. People don't always pay attention to what they're doing, so a 3 second dip doesn't leave much leeway. If they go a second or two too long with 6 seconds, it's not such a big deal.

How long you need to dip will depend on the viscosity of your glaze and the absorbency of your pots.  If you bisque to cone 06, they'll take up water faster than if you bisque to cone 04. Stoneware isn't as absorbent as porcelain. Thin pots need a less watery glaze because they can't hold as much water.

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