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shawnhar

Gluing finished pieces together?

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2 part epoxy, JB Weld, superglue, embed them in concrete? What would you use if you wanted to wanted to make a bunch of flawed mugs one solid piece? I'm thinking about making a piece of yard art with my fails.

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Concrete will be the cheapest, and the easiest. Not sure if it will provide the longest durability though; being porous, any water will get absorbed into the concrete, and if it freezes, will expand and break the ceramic; likely the bond between concrete and ceramic wont be very strong to keep the pieces from falling off the concrete core.

There are lots of two part resins, which have a great adhesive quality to them (would stick to the mug), which could be poured in, rotated around to form solid layer, and excess poured out. Non porous. Not as cheap as concrete though. There are also waterproof, resin bonded gypsums, which would do the same thing, without being as stinky/difficult to deal with as the resins, but also expensive. You could also use spray foam; adheres to everything, is waterproof, but difficult to control the expansion, and doesnt leave a very nice finished surface.

Are you wanting long term yard art, or just something for a one time installation? If the latter, just use concrete, and let em die after the viewing. You could also imbed a piece of rebar into the concrete, poured into the mugs, which would act as the yard stake, and if turned upside down in yard, the mug may keep water from getting into the concrete----> not falling apart as quickly.

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Are you looking to turn it into a solid block - or do you want to have air-space around the mugs (I'm picturing a pile of mugs that looks like they're randomly stacked - and could fall over at any moment).  

If the latter is anywhere close to your intent,  2-part epoxy (JB Weld is one brand, PC-7 is another) is probably your most versatile option.  Most common color is gray, but you can also get white or clear - just make sure it's UV resistant if you want it to last a while.   Also:  if you've got a lot of mugs to join, mix the epoxy in small batches & do a few at a time - otherwise the epoxy might set before you've put them all together, and then you'll have an 'epoxy rock' to add to your art. 

Either way, forget 'super-glue'  it doesn't fill gaps - so only works well on smooth surfaces that fit tightly together.

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One thing that @Rockhopper  kind of touches on, but in a different way, is that many resins will produce an exothermic reaction; if mixed in large quantities you can have a runaway reaction, where the pot of resin will begin to smoke feverishly, and if provided some sort of combustible, could cause a fire. Not to mention some very nasty fumes!

I kind of assumed you wanted to fill the mugs up with a material, to make them a solid piece. I hadnt thought about it like rockhopper did.

If you wanted a piece of wall art, you could put all the mugs on their feet, inside of a coddle, and pour a resin maybe 1" up from the bottom. Would hold all the mugs in place in whatever grid pattern you desire. If the mugs were on an angle, it could become something of a living wall.

Ive actually been thinking of ways to use scrap materials as an art media; been thinking of pouring waste glaze into thick ceramic tubes to fire. Use a wet saw to cut discs of these fired clay/glaze chunks, and embed them in resin, maybe in table tops, wall pieces, cutting boards (maybe not a safe idea)....

 

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I was thinking more like Rockhopper suggested and a "pile" of mugs at different angles, had also thought of trying to make a fountain. The other idea was an animal shape of some kind. I didn;t think about the concrete expanding/contracting might break the ceramic, that's good to know. I've burned epoxy resin before, and gotten fiberglass resin on my hands, you only do that once. I don't mind spending a little money for a nice resin/epoxy if it's strong enough to bond and last forever.

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You could get UV curing epoxy just like industry and create your structure fairly quickly without all the setup time and bracing in position. Might free up your creative process doing this. Plenty of sources on the net. I only use regular epoxy these days when there is no need to position it in place for the big glue up. UV cure allows me to fix someone’s broken favorite decorative  piece and they walk away in minutes smiling.

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Just thinking outside the box... have you thought of firing them into a mass?  I've had my share of kiln sculptures.. the latest one was a 12x24 shelf that broke during the firing.

The mass since sitting on the corner of the wedging table. I plan on turning it upside down adding small led lights and making a chandelier.

20181219_162317.jpg

20181219_162329.jpg

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Right Rae :D but I doubt anything will be able to withstand the freeze thaw cycle. Winter can be pretty tough on ceramics left out in the weather.

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27 minutes ago, Russ said:

Right Rae :D but I doubt anything will be able to withstand the freeze thaw cycle. Winter can be pretty tough on ceramics left out in the weather.

Actually, I was referring to your chandelier :D 

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14 hours ago, Russ said:

Pings from "people" or cooling ceramics too fast "pings"?

Maybe you haven't had the experience of hearing a "ping" from a pot which has been out of the kiln for months or even years? Slow cooling or mere adjustments to circumstances? I was hanging with other potters in the studio when we heard a "ping" from the "keep it 'cause I love it but it's a second" shelf. After careful examination, we discovered that a teapot lid, which had been glazed shut years before had suddenly freed itself!

As @neilestrickmentioned about glass cutting, fractures run through glass (or glaze) differently than clay. I'm just suggesting that trusting glaze to glue the chandelier securely together would leave it vulnerable to fracture by "conditions" or by bumping. And why I suggested reinforcements. 

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I figured out that slooooooow cooling of the glaze firing will virtually eliminate pinging. Being patient when it's down to 300f  is rather hard but think about how much time and effort went into making an entire kiln load of wares and being so impatient that one is willing to take the chance of ruining all that hard work.  If pinging is an issue perhaps allowing the kiln to cool to room temperature would be worth a try.  I know that glaze to body fit is a whole other issue but I'm just saying it might be worth a try...

That aside wouldn't it be fun to purposely "glue" a mass of rejects together in the kiln?

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I thought of glazing them together, but some of the pieces have already been fired 3 or more times, and would be difficult to support in the kiln. I think I will get a small 2 part epoxy syringe thingy and experiment a bit before actually building something.

I have enough pots in my little studio now that there are a couple of "pingers" hiding among them, and I don't know which ones are doing it! - I never open the kiln above 300f now for the same reason, I even prop the lid and listen for a bit to make sure. I thought all that high heat pinging was just crazing though and not the glaze fit.

Edited by shawnhar

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4 hours ago, Rae Reich said:

Crazing IS glaze fit.

Indeedily Doo. Crazing is when the glaze is stretched over the body. Shivering is the opposite, it's when the body shrinks more than the glaze.  Pinging is the noise of glaze unable to hold the compression because the body hasn't shrunk at a similar rate as the glaze.  Ping ping ping!  Did a test cup of "John's beads" today and it was very ping-a-licious but it doesn't matter because it's an accent glaze.  Still unsettling to hear it though.

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Thanks Rae, I was referring to the JB weld "minute weld", they don't make a product called "fast set" as far as I can tell, they have" kwik" weld steel reinforced and "minute" weld.

Ya'll done educated me on crazin, but now I have a question. What is the name of the pinging when you open your kiln at 600f? The sound of all your glazes breaking into tiny little pieces that leaves the "crackle" look? It's more of a "tinking" than a "pinging", and lots of them, sounds like a hot engine just after being turned off on a summer day.

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