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Waxing Bottoms


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#1 ron

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 06:52 PM

I use wax resist on the bottom of glazed pots but the senior center I attend uses Parrafin wax in a hot electric skillet and the ceramic store in Gulfport won't fire anything for you with either on them. So whats up with that? And if useing any which one is best for the kiln? thanks

#2 clay lover

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 07:36 PM

What do people in Gulfport do, scrub bottoms?
I have a very busy potter friend who uses the hot parrafin in the elec skillet method, her bottoms are PERFECT with no cleanup or wiping off.

#3 JBaymore

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:26 PM

The fumes from paraffin are not great to breathe. Ditto for burning "latex" resist. That is likely the reason the place does not want them in the kilns. They might have an issue with inadequate ventilation on their kilns. Or thier emissions out of the vent system might be a "political issue" in the neighborhood, and the burning resists produce some really obvious smells.

For a lot of forms it should be possible to glaze withouit any "resist" material on the feet at all. In many cases, not needing ANY cleanup. In other cases without using any resist, and just some wiping with a very wet sponge should take everthing off.

We teach that in my college. Why use wax or latex whern you don';t need it, but out of "habit"? We think students should be skilled in a lot of different ways to solve issues.

In my studio I use some melted parrafin. I use it a lot for glaze decoration purposes. The wax pan has an active vent hoood directly around it. More like a fume hood in a chem lab. But I glaze fire in a 5 chamber noborigama...so the burning resist is not a real issue.

best,

...................john
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#4 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:11 PM

Peronally I don't particularly care for melted parrafin because of its low flash point and it flammability and the need to have a heat source. I prefer to use a commercial water-soluble wax formulated for the purpose: a number of pottery supply houses have the wax available. I realize it is more expensive than parafin but it's a lot safer. Another wax I have used is a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil which l ike to use on wooden utensisl that come in to cantact with food, it paints on quite readily and works as a resist but I think the commercial product is quicker to use, it's consistent, and works well.

Best regards,
Charles

#5 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 04:26 PM

I have used wax resist as well as paraffin cut with mineral oil. One easy way to clean bottoms without either is to use foam like a 1 inch thick foam mattress or pillow cushion from a fabric store. After dipping a mug in glaze press and twist on the foam and the bottom comes clean. You may need a little cleaning but maybe not.

#6 Deb Evans

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:20 AM

all wax resists will burn off with in 200 degrees or so. Fumes from candle wax ( oil base) is cancerous to breath, water based /plastic waxs fumes are not healthy either.
If your kiln is in the same space where you are working , be very carefull and try to time the kiln firings when you're not 100% in that work space. Bisque and glaze fumes are not good to breath, period. Indoor kilns should be in a seperate room and vented to the outside.



#7 JLowes

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:54 AM

Another way of "resisting" glaze is to set the pot with its bottom in an appropriate level of water for a bit before glazing. The water soaks into the clay enough to make wiping off glaze very easy. Experimenting with time and depth will be required until you acquire the right combination for your clay and glazes, but then it becomes a natural. I used to wax, then went to twisting on the sponge or foam trick Marcia mentioned, then came across this idea online and now stick with it. It gives a nice even line for the glaze too.

#8 Red Rocks

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:36 AM

I have used wax resist as well as paraffin cut with mineral oil. One easy way to clean bottoms without either is to use foam like a 1 inch thick foam mattress or pillow cushion from a fabric store. After dipping a mug in glaze press and twist on the foam and the bottom comes clean. You may need a little cleaning but maybe not.



Hi Marcia:

What is the purpose of the mineral oil and what % do you use?

Thanks

#9 Red Rocks

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:37 AM

Another way of "resisting" glaze is to set the pot with its bottom in an appropriate level of water for a bit before glazing. The water soaks into the clay enough to make wiping off glaze very easy. Experimenting with time and depth will be required until you acquire the right combination for your clay and glazes, but then it becomes a natural. I used to wax, then went to twisting on the sponge or foam trick Marcia mentioned, then came across this idea online and now stick with it. It gives a nice even line for the glaze too.



This seems too good to be true. I am going to try it and report back... what a time saver this would be.

#10 yedrow

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:53 AM

I use paraffin was from a hot skillet. I think I'll try some of the other methods, but I go through so much ware it is difficult to imagine them not being time consuming. Also, I can't see how I could do lidded objects effectively without the wax. Come to think of it, I'm always overlooking a bottom or two during a glazing session (I calm 'em the lucky mugs), when I go to wipe them off it really is a chore, I've never had glaze come off easy. I use a sponge and my bottoms are as good as I've every seen (I work with a 30 and 15 year potter(s)), am I just using the wrong cleaning surface? I would certainly like to cut down on the waxing any way I could.

Joel.

#11 JBaymore

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:46 AM

Joel,

This of course does not work for everything.... some forms are just "difficult".

Wet a big coarse sponge. Set that big coarse sponge about 3" thick in a shallow pan of water about 1" deep so that the sponge is sticking up out of the water. Hold the piece you want to wash the glaze off the bottom (using no wax) in you hand by the top. Set it on the wet sponge and press down lightly. Twist the round form back and forth a number of times with it solidly against the wet sponge. That should clean off the foot and taper back the glaze a bit along the upward walls.

Occasionally you have to clean the sponge.

In industry this idea is mounted on a spinning wheel. You just hold the piece against the wet sponge on the spinning wheel. Simple and VERY fast.

best,

...............john
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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#12 Pres

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:28 AM

Joel,

This of course does not work for everything.... some forms are just "difficult".

Wet a big coarse sponge. Set that big coarse sponge about 3" thick in a shallow pan of water about 1" deep so that the sponge is sticking up out of the water. Hold the piece you want to wash the glaze off the bottom (using no wax) in you hand by the top. Set it on the wet sponge and press down lightly. Twist the round form back and forth a number of times with it solidly against the wet sponge. That should clean off the foot and taper back the glaze a bit along the upward walls.

Occasionally you have to clean the sponge.

In industry this idea is mounted on a spinning wheel. You just hold the piece against the wet sponge on the spinning wheel. Simple and VERY fast.

best,

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


Nice tip, I have done the same with foam seat cushion material, after all it is just a sponge.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#13 OffCenter

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:59 AM

Another way of "resisting" glaze is to set the pot with its bottom in an appropriate level of water for a bit before glazing. The water soaks into the clay enough to make wiping off glaze very easy. Experimenting with time and depth will be required until you acquire the right combination for your clay and glazes, but then it becomes a natural. I used to wax, then went to twisting on the sponge or foam trick Marcia mentioned, then came across this idea online and now stick with it. It gives a nice even line for the glaze too.


Interesting. I have stopped using any kind of wax on the bottom of most of my pots and just sponge it off. It takes longer to clean but not as long as waxing and cleaning. Your water idea is quick and easy and should make it easier to clean without the added time to wax. Also, if you mess up, you just let it dry instead of dealing with cleaning wax off a pot. Gee! this thread was worth reading, after all!

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#14 sawing

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:46 PM

I am definitely going to try that wet sponge/twisting method.

The studio at school where I learned used hot wax in an electric skillet. After doing some research, I read that using soy wax instead of paraffin was less hazardous. My waxing is done in a very well ventilated area, so I don't worry about it too much, but it's something you could look into if you really like waxing. One thing to note, the soy wax has a different consistency than paraffin, but to me it works just as well.

#15 yedrow

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:22 PM

John,

I'm definitely going to try that. I'm guessing you just turn on the wax skillet for lidded objects and foot rings, etc. I have a load of ware to be glazed, well, right now. I'm going downstairs and give this a shot!

Joel.

#16 Mark C.

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:06 AM

We use three ways here as to bottom treatment-one is a low RPM power sponge which rotates into a 5 gallon bucket of water pretty slowly. I bought it originally for slip pot seem removal back when I had a slip business on the side-94-2005.It works well on small flat bottom forms and is very quick and you do not wax but it wastes a lot of glaze over time as you are just throwing it away.The sponge is 8 inches wide and 1 foot in diameter. The other is hot dip paraffin in a fry pan which we keep outside in covered area on a piece of metal. The third is applying wax to footed forms with a damp sponge dipped into latex mobil C wax?I think that is the 5 gallon bucket writing.
We are very fast at waxing and can do a 35 cubic load in less than an hour for two of us.We started on Monday at 930 and were done at 10.30 which included unloading.My studio assistant has worked with me since 92. We tried not waxing once and spent many hours sponging it all off.We will not do that again.
All of the kilns here (5 of them and a raku kiln) are outside in covered simi open spaces and fumes are not an issue.
I think the wax fumes are what the issue you are speaking about unless they feel like Save the Wax is a cause?Like the Whales.
Mark
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#17 yedrow

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:50 AM

I just tried wiping some mugs off with mixed results. Unfortunately I'm only on about the fifth firing of this glaze and I'm not yet proficient in adjusting my glazes. So, my pots stay wet for quite some time relative to the glazes at work. The sponge in a shallow pan trick did work pretty good, but considering the range of bottoms I deal with I'm not sure it can be well integrated into my system. Like Mark, I wax a lot of stuff in a session. That being said, I see potential in it and I just need to have other aspects in line I think. With the wicking sponge stationary in the water the glaze did come right off.

Mark, a friend of mine (Sarah) and I once unloaded, waxed, glazed, and loaded a 90 cu. ft. kiln in an 8 hour session. It was epic. It is amazing to me how fast a team can work compared to a group of individuals.


Joel.




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