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Salt & Pepper Shakers Holes

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#1 AndyL


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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:33 PM

I want to make Salt & Pepper Shaker Sets as gifts for friends but the holes keep sealing with glaze. I'm thinking of leaving toothpicks in the holes to burn out?? What do you use?

#2 Mark C.

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:51 PM

My glaze at cone 10 is to runny so I do not make them.
If you are firing to a cooler cone and the glaze is simi matt or matt just clean out the holes with a drill bit after glazing and you should be fine-The toothpick will burn away way before the glaze melts so thats not gaining you much. If your low fire or mid range glaze is runny you can drill the glaze more around the hole (thinner glaze near there).
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#3 Lucille Oka

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:55 PM

There are several options, make the holes bigger or apply less glaze. After fabricating the clay use the drill and after glaze application use the dampened brush applicator to clean the holes of excess glaze. There is a S&P hole driller and a hole brush you can get from Kemper Tools.
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#4 scoobydoozie


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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

Absolutely, use toothpicks. We've been doing that in cast ceramics for years. Works like a charm. If you have a hole still seal up, try the carbide drill bits from TrueBite. Have used them for years.


#5 Denice


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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:00 AM

You could probably still get plugged holes using the toothpicks I try to leave the glaze a little thinner around the holes and never had any problems. My son was wanting to make a zen condiment tray using kosher salt as the sand and he wanted the pepper shaker to look like a water washed rock. So I made him several rocks to choose from, I didn't glaze them, I fired them to vitrification and then put paste wax on them. A easy but stylish X Mass gift and no glazing. Denice

#6 Brian Reed

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

My suggestions would be thinner glaze in that area as well as a little larger holes. You could quickly dip or brush some water over the top of the shakers before glazing. This keeps from too much glaze absorbing which would give you the same effect of thinner glaze in that area without altering your glaze.

My 2 cents.
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#7 oldlady


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:52 AM

have you considered waiting until the piece is glazed and then drilling tiny holes where you want them? the holes will be clean and then you can fire the pieces.
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#8 yedrow


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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:12 PM

You can stop up the refill opening and wax a circle over and around the holes, and wax them closed. That is the best solution I've found. It leaves a patch of bare clay, but that isn't the end of the world. In my experience a glaze quite often does't come off of bisque as powder, it comes off as flakes. So, when you try to open a hole up one or two may drill out clean, but you will always get some that chip out and leave a poorly glazed, uneven area.

When doing the drilling method I've always used a small clay knife (blade about 1" long and 3/16th wide, tapering to a point). I twist it as I push it into the hole. This allows me to softly scrape away the glaze and the knife always fits the hole up to the clay. I use the same knife to make the holes and then wallow them out a little to compensate for shrinkage.

I've never tried the tooth pic thing, but I've heard of it. I quit making salt and pepper shakers since they're more difficult than mugs and don't sell as well.


#9 Diana Ferreira

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

love the sound of what you made, Denice!

#10 trina


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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:34 PM

Hi there,

I have stuffed the holes with small sized pipecleaners that I wet first in water. Then when I dipped the piece the glaze doesnt stick on the pipecleaners as much, then once the piece is dry enough I pull the cleaners out and they take all the excess glaze with them and clean the holes again. T

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