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Glaze: Home made or store bought?


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#1 sawing

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:39 PM

Now that I have all of these pieces to glaze, I am interested in what others use. In the studio at school, we mixed all of our own glazes. This was done by the studio techs and the advanced students. Once I learned to mix the studio glazes, I experimented and came up with two nice glazes of my own. I have the recipes, but unfortunately I don't have a scale or the ingredients to do this at home. So for the first time, I am using glazes purchased from a local supplier.

My question is, which do you prefer? Your own mixes, or pre-made glazes? Do you use both?

#2 TJR

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:33 PM

I mix all my own glazes.When I am teaching high school art, I have now moved to cone 06 commercial glazes.
For my own studio, I make all my own tests and have about four glazes that I use all the time.
To mix your own, you would need an Ohaus triple balance beam scale, dry materials, two glaze sieves[80 mesh and 100 mesh], a dust mask and some ice cream pails. Each pail should hold 1000 grams of liquid glaze.
Good luck!
TJR.

#3 sawing

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

I have just a VERY little bit of the two glazes that I made in the school studio, but I used most of it up on this recent bisque fire. There's no way I can buy everything I need to do it at home right now, so I guess I'll have to live with what I can get at the store. I was just wondering if most people make their own, buy them, or use both.

#4 bciskepottery

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 09:53 PM

I mix most of my own (cone 6 and low-fire), but there are two cone 6 glazes that I buy commercially . . . but I buy those in dry weights and mix at home; no need to pay for shipping water when its available at the tap in your home. Mixing your own costs less than buying commercial glazes.

You can use a company like Glazemixer . . . they will take your recipe and send you a dry mix in the weight size you want. http://www.glazemixer.com/default.aspx

#5 Mark C.

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:24 PM

If you make your own it will help you 1st by learning about all the chemicals and how they work and how to use them.This in the long run is priceless.
second its way cheaper once you are set up-this fee will be more getting set up but in the long run will pay off.
Remember any one can open a jar of glaze but when you make your own it can have your own look to it.Like no commercial glaze will.
Having glazes that stand out is one of my most successful marking points.
I have had long term success at making my own glazes.
Mark
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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#6 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:47 AM

In previous posts on what one needs as basic chemicals there was a lot of good information.
several people listed what the basics would be and what you might want to add for getting specific glazes.
If you are going to be setting up a personal studio, the n the glaze chemicals and mixing your own seems essential if this is to be
Economically feasible. knowledge of glaze chemicals is really necessary to be aware of what you are providing to your customers as well.
John teaches glaze toxicology which should be required for people selling to the public.IMO.
You can find scales on eBay or sometimes on LabX.com.
I have had my Ohaus for 43 years. it is a long term investment and lasts longer than most wheels.
Marcia

#7 sawing

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:03 AM

Thanks for all the great info everyone! I am very fortunate to have a ceramics supply store located just a few miles from my home.

bciske, thanks for that heads-up! I am going to ask my local store if they will do that for me. Mark C, when my professor first told us about the glaze mixing assignment, I was scared to death. Turns out, that was one of my favorite things I learned all year! I enjoyed learning about and experimenting with the different parts of the glaze and how they all work together.

My home "studio" is still a work in progress. I hope to one day make all of my own glazes.

Thanks, again, for all the feedback.

#8 Denice

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:54 AM

I make my own glazes and buy a premixed jar occasionally if it looks interesting. I am always much happier with the glazes I make than the purchased one and they are also much cheaper to make. When I started mixing glazes I bought the basic chemicals such as silica, talc, and clays in 25 lb. bags, they are also much cheaper per pound this way. Then I would just pick up a 5 to 10 pound of frits, opacifiers, oxides, ect when I was at the ceramic supply store. With in a few months I had what I needed to get started, I still check out the bagged chemical when I'm shopping, they occasionally start carrying something different. I can't emphasize the importance of safety, get a box of masks and gloves from some place like Harbor freight, 10$ for 100 gloves or 50 masks. Good Luck Denice

#9 neilestrick

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:05 AM

I mix my own. I have 15 glazes for me and my students to use, so buying commercially would break the bank. You can save 80% or more by mixing your own.
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#10 JBaymore

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:14 AM

I mix all of my own high fire glazes. And I also mill and use some local materuials in some of the glazes.

For my overglaze enamels, I use commercial preparations. They are very time consuming to make well from raw materials. I've done it... and decided the extra cost was well worth it.

As has been mentioned.......... in the long run it is WAY cheaper to mix your own bulk use glazes. And you learn from it.


And yes Marcia... I do teach toxocology in my ceramic materials classes ... and I think it is very important for potters to know a bit about this subject both for protrecting their customers and for protecting themselves.

best,

........................john
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#11 sawing

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:27 AM

I can't emphasize the importance of safety, get a box of masks and gloves from some place like Harbor freight, 10$ for 100 gloves or 50 masks. Good Luck Denice


My husband is a farmer, so we have LOTS of masks, gloves, etc... And, yes, Harbor Freight is great for deals on those types of supplies!

#12 yedrow

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:41 AM

I mix my own. I need to know how the whole thing works, and I want to be able to build a glaze that fits my work as a personal expression.

Joel.

#13 Nelly

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:49 PM

I mix my own. I need to know how the whole thing works, and I want to be able to build a glaze that fits my work as a personal expression.

Joel.


Dear All,

Since setting up my new studio, I have used a mixture of both my own glaze recipes made by Tuckers (i.e., dry ingredients measured and sent to me directly) and some commercial. I have to say, for me, my glaze recipes that I know well from past experience are the absolute best hands down. I find the commercial stuff that I get in pint jars unpredictable and not nearly as attractive.

I also like to experiment. Thus, at times, I take the glazes I know and play with the ingredients/oxides/ and different colorants in small batches to see what the glaze will do in swatches on pots. Now that I have John Britt's list, I will be getting out my alka seltzer, tooth paste and cosmetics to see what I can whip up.

Nelly

#14 Red Rocks

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:53 PM

Along the same lines, what containers do you use to store your glazes once they are mixed? For the glazes I use a lot of I mix up at least half of a 30 gallon trash can so that I can dip large pieces w/o getting "glaze goobers" from the side or the bottom of the container. For my lesser glazes, I use 5 gallon buckets and if I need space I dump some into a bowl with a wider " mouth". Would be very interested to know how some of you deal with glaze storage, container size, etc.

Related to this, some of you mentioned Ohaus scales. Have any of you had experience with digital scales and if so what models?

#15 Red Rocks

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:05 PM

One more thing on this topic, I can't imagine doing anything but mixing my own glazes. It is at least half the fascination of the art of pottery for me. Learning never stops with glazes as I love to continue to test new ones as well as combine existing ones to literally create new glazes. As you learn to push the envelope, you will find that you can create a broad palette of colors with a small number of glazes, slips and oxide washes.

#16 bciskepottery

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:51 PM

"Along the same lines, what containers do you use to store your glazes once they are mixed? For the glazes I use a lot of I mix up at least half of a 30 gallon trash can so that I can dip large pieces w/o getting "glaze goobers" from the side or the bottom of the container. For my lesser glazes, I use 5 gallon buckets and if I need space I dump some into a bowl with a wider " mouth". Would be very interested to know how some of you deal with glaze storage, container size, etc."

I mostly use 5 gallon and 2 gallon buckets. I also use the large margarine tubs for glazes and slips -- they hold about 1 gallon. I also have an assortment of stainless steel bowls, kitty litter pans (small and large), and trash cans that I use for dipping trays, platters, bowls, etc. that don't work in the glaze bucket.

Oxide washes, slips, engobes, etc. are stored in peanut butter, mayonaise, and other plastic jars with resealable lids.

#17 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:55 PM

I mix all of my own high fire glazes. And I also mill and use some local materuials in some of the glazes.

For my overglaze enamels, I use commercial preparations. They are very time consuming to make well from raw materials. I've done it... and decided the extra cost was well worth it.

As has been mentioned.......... in the long run it is WAY cheaper to mix your own bulk use glazes. And you learn from it.


And yes Marcia... I do teach toxocology in my ceramic materials classes ... and I think it is very important for potters to know a bit about this subject both for protrecting their customers and for protecting themselves.

best,

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


I know you do. And others as well. Do you remember Bill Alexander? Taught at MSU Bozeman briefly before dying of results from chemicals used in Cermarics. He wrote an early paper on ceramics toxicology.
Marcia




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