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Evelyne Schoenmann

Firing of pots with cracks made with Sodium Silicate

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There is a discussion going on the site where Randy Brodnax shows his trick with the nice cracks made with Sodium Silicate. We all are in the dark how to fire the pots. On his DVD one can see that he fires his pot in a gas kiln in his backyard, but it would be great if anybody could tell us whether one can fire the pots also in an electric kiln (temp.??) or in a pit fire (or drum) and whether one can glaze the pots after drying and before firing. A week ago I was writing to the email address of Randy Brodnax, but, alas, didn't get an answer. Maybe he's out of town.

Anybody?

 

Thanks in advance and greetings from Switzerland

 

Evelyne

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

I never thought of firing them was anything out of the ordinary. My students make them

and we fire them like anything thing else. It depends on if the clay is low fire or high fire.

Just fire according to what type of clay it is.

 

Marcia

 

 

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meisie    1

There is a discussion going on the site where Randy Brodnax shows his trick with the nice cracks made with Sodium Silicate. We all are in the dark how to fire the pots. On his DVD one can see that he fires his pot in a gas kiln in his backyard, but it would be great if anybody could tell us whether one can fire the pots also in an electric kiln (temp.??) or in a pit fire (or drum) and whether one can glaze the pots after drying and before firing. A week ago I was writing to the email address of Randy Brodnax, but, alas, didn't get an answer. Maybe he's out of town.

Anybody?

 

Thanks in advance and greetings from Switzerland

 

Evelyne

 

 

I want to say the same as Marcia. I went to a friends studio and he used sodium silicate to make the cracks and he appears to fire in his electric kiln as he would any pot. I have done a couple of pots this way but as of yet have not fired them but I never expected that they would need to be fired any other way that what the clay body type I have dictates.

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acg    0

There is a discussion going on the site where Randy Brodnax shows his trick with the nice cracks made with Sodium Silicate. We all are in the dark how to fire the pots. On his DVD one can see that he fires his pot in a gas kiln in his backyard, but it would be great if anybody could tell us whether one can fire the pots also in an electric kiln (temp.??) or in a pit fire (or drum) and whether one can glaze the pots after drying and before firing. A week ago I was writing to the email address of Randy Brodnax, but, alas, didn't get an answer. Maybe he's out of town.

Anybody?

 

Thanks in advance and greetings from Switzerland

 

Evelyne

 

 

I want to say the same as Marcia. I went to a friends studio and he used sodium silicate to make the cracks and he appears to fire in his electric kiln as he would any pot. I have done a couple of pots this way but as of yet have not fired them but I never expected that they would need to be fired any other way that what the clay body type I have dictates.

 

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acg    0

Sodium Silicate has been used a lot in our community studio. ^10 gas-redution, raku fired, ^9 salt-fired, ^6 oxidation. Just match clay body to temp.

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Bill T.    4

I have seen Randy do this several times at the Texas Clay Festival. He uses a homebuilt Raku kiln and treats the ware like you would raku. He sometimes sprays and sometimes uses horse hair. Very impressive treatment to the pot. Not really sure of the clay, but I know he likes Soldate a Laguna Clay high fire.

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Thank you very much Marcia, Meisie, acg and giltex58 for your replies regarding the sodium silicate firing. I saw Randy doing the firing in the Raku kiln on the DVD, but I don't know whether you can put an object cracked with the Sodium Silicate also in a pit with direct fire. I'll give it a try in May, when I will do my next pit fire. The clay I use is a high fire clay (refractory).

Happy Sunday to you all!

Evelyne

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I know this is an old thread, but it matches my needs, so I hope it's ok to revive it.

 

I use the facilities of a community studio, and therefore have to be careful of not ruining "everybody's good time". I know that salt firing is damaging to the kiln, but what about sodium silicate? Does it leave residue in the kiln during bisque firing?

 

Thanks in advance.

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bciskepottery    925

The amount of sodium silicate you are using would not cause any damage to the kiln elements. Any residue that accumulates on the elements would burn off in the next firing. Most of the sodium is likely burned off when you are heating the sodium silicate solution with a propane torch or heat gun before you stretch out the form.

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JBaymore    1,432

Fire it in anything you want.... no issues.

 

The clay that has a lot of sodium silicate on it can cause issues in the RECLAIM department.  If I screw it up (rarely anymore) .... I just discard that clay.

 

best,

 

....................john

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Sorry about the late reply - December is so full of stuff that needs to get done.

 

It's a lot of fun, and I nice challenge to throw with only one hand.

 

I've begun to experiment in earnest with the sodium silicate, and while the glazed pieces won't be ready until next week I thought I show some of the pieces I've made so far.

 

udstilling.jpg

 

This bowl is going to be part of a three piece set for an exhibition in February. I've thrown the bowl using the sodium silicate method first, and since added plates with texture to the bottom to make it appear as though the form is carved from something more dense. This is the smallest piece, which is in the kiln now for the bisque firing.

 

wood1.jpgwood2.jpg

 

The second piece is the first one I made - aka "the experiment". I've coated the pot twice, which was almost too much for the clay, the sodium silicate almost pulling the wall of the pot apart. It gives it a nice woody texture though. True to it's name I've experimented further during the glazing process. I've used "gosh", which as far as I understand is a mishmash of different oxides, in the "crack", and wiped off any excess gosh in places where it should not be. Finally it has been glazed with a matte white glaze. 

 

More to follow as the pieces get finished.

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Babs    386

Throwing with one hand, Hmmm That is serious potting, you must have great technique! Great texture and pots, remember to post the finished pots. Love to see them.

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Hi Mouten Keramik and a belated welcome to the forum! Thank you for showing us those beautiful experiments. Yes please, show us the results after the 2nd firing. With "throwing with one hand" you mean the bellying out the pot from the inside only with one hand (because you can't touch the outside anymore because of the sodium silicate)?

I love the idea with the added plates (top picture).

All the best for your February show!

 

Evelyne

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Pres    896

As I look at the pieces done with sodium silicate, have seen some crazy things that get me to consider not the firing itself, but the surface treatment in the glaze fire. I have seen pieces fired in wood, raku, and soda/salt fire where the natural glaze of the process allows the effect to come through quite handsomely. I have also seen pieces glazed with transparent/translucent glazes that mimic or act the same as the before mentioned surface treatments. I have seen a few pieces where the surface was glazed with opaque glazes wiped and glaze again. Some successful, and some so putrid as I would consider them failures. . . who am I to judge. Personal taste.

 

The point is, when working with this technique one must be watching ahead to how to treat the surface in the final firing. Glaze the inside, leave the outside unglazed, glaze the inside, glaze parts of the outside, glaze in a transparent glaze, or work in some other direction. hmmmmm. ...

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PRankin    181

This was one of my first successful attempts at using sodium silicate and stetching the pot to form crackling. It is wheel-thrown earthenware clay. White slip was mixed with sodium silicate and then applied and dried in the sun for about 3-4 hours. I then stretched it from the inside on the wheel.. It is fired at 04 in an electric kiln and glazed with a blue transparent glaze.

 

I am Paul from Brooklyn, NY and I have been actively working with clay for about 2 years. I have been lurking on this forum for more than a year, enjoying everything you all write, but i never really had anything to say or add, or knew when to jump in until now. Hi!

 

post-61902-0-88858600-1421510606_thumb.jpg

post-61902-0-88858600-1421510606_thumb.jpg

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oldlady    1,323

for those unfamiliar with this technique, there are lovely pieces shown on the facebook website for Pottery Boys.  Glenn Woods has been doing this for awhile and his pots show the care he takes with every step.  watching his demos is a treat.  he showed us a new related step at the last guild meeting, where a textured slab was shaped into to a cylinder and stretched. they are fired in electric kilns to cone 6 using little loafers clay.  

 

mark, this makes the little loafers stop loafing!

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Paul: welcome to this forum! We are happy that you finally decided to speak up! I like your glazed pot with the sodium silicate cracks. Funny, I never thought of glazing my pieces when using sodium silicate. I always either pit fired them or did Obvara. There are many most beautiful obvara'd (is that a word??) pieces in Marcia Selsor's gallery.

 

oldlady: thanks for the tip!

 

Evelyne

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The point is, when working with this technique one must be watching ahead to how to treat the surface in the final firing. Glaze the inside, leave the outside unglazed, glaze the inside, glaze parts of the outside, glaze in a transparent glaze, or work in some other direction. hmmmmm. ...

 

I second that Pres!

 

Jackie: welcome to the forum. Glad this topic is of interest to you.

 

Evelyne

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JBaymore    1,432

I've been using the sodium silicate business for probably 30 years or so now.  On a lot of work.  Someone from Japan or Korea first taught it to me.... but it is so long ago I can't remember who.  Tons of ways to work with the general concept.  It can be used on slab work also (think about it.)

 

The key here is to think of it as a path to an end... not as an end in itself.  It's a slick trick to create a (what used to be unique) surface.  The question is how do you mesh that technique and that surface into your own particular aesthetic expression.

 

I use up my photo file size allotment here on the anagama construction pictures I posted a short while .... so can't post any more here..... but in my gallery are a number of pieces that use that technique as a PART of the whole expression of the pieces.

 

Here's one:  http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/gallery/image/3035-yakishime-gourd-shape-vase/

 

best,

 

........................john

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