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Bradleysonofhagen

Which Glaze Road To Go Down?

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First and foremost, I am looking for the happy medium of cost effective and time saving glazes. I have experience with mixing my own glazes for a classroom studio. I am shooting for cone 6 glazes. I am starting up on my own for the first time with a gas kiln. I want to avoid the cost of buying pints and the likes of wet glaze. I am asking you all what would say is the cost and time saving difference between premixed dry glaze by the 10lb and 25lb versus gathering all the seperate chemicals and following good recipes? I think i already know the answer. Also, I want to get the point where I am making and tweaking my own recipes, but I am content with limitations for the sake of not being overwhelmed. My goal as a part time potter is to do a glaze fire every week to two weeks. I have this lingering guess that mixing my own is going to eat up a fair amount of precious time and that dry mixes are a good meet in the middle for the mean time in regards to money and time used effectively.

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What is going to take time is the glaze testing, why not split the difference and start with a few commercial glazes but at the same time start mixing up glaze tests to put in every glaze fire.

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I have tried making my own glazes.... Not any more. The results were fine, but the equipment and bother involved was not. I buy 10 lbs of pre made dry glazes. ( either commercial, or have a recipe made by a local potter who makes glazes. ) Laguna, Coyote or Spectrum all make dry glazes that I've found reliable and cost effective. 10 lbs fills a 2 gallon bucket. Just make sure you buy a #80 glaze sieve, you will need this for any glaze you buy.

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I made my first glaze. With a 5 gal bucket and a a hand held mixer.

 

If recipe is from good source then testing will be minimal.

 

Look a base formula to which you alter. I just recently read about ravenscrag on digital fire and is one such system.

 

But it isn't the only one but it is spoon fed to you. With lots of variations. There are many recipes that are super versatile. They are happy with lots of clays, and forgiving.

 

Also making your own glaze ads ownership to product. Along with a whole lot more pride and soul.

 

Once you find a glaze you love but don't want to stock a materials library...... Glazemixer can be your friend.

 

Ok I'm relatively new but try it out . I think my first 3.5 gal bucket cost me $16. With smarter purchasing cost would be under $8 For a almost full 5 gal bucket of glaze.

 

Google 33 tried and true glazes. It's from our host. CAD. It has tested glazes.(but prolly not,for your clay body). But there are some John britt glazes there along with other luminaries.

 

Just jump in make a batch. Don't over think it. It's fun wether its a smashing success or a huge failure.

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Since you are firing a gas kiln I’m guessing you will be doing reduction.  Are there a lot of commercial glazes for reduction? 

 

I agree with BigLou in that there are a lot of good glaze recipes out there, mostly for stoneware in the ^6 range. Glazes that fit ^6 porcelain are harder to come by though.As the old saying goes glaze recipes don’t travel well, ceramic materials vary from different locations and suppliers.

 

If you worked on a clear base that fits your body then opacifiers, colorants and modifiers can be introduced. (granted that zircopax and some of the colorants will decrease crazing to some extent)

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If you mix your own glazes, you'll need the upfront investment in raw materials and room to store them.  Buying in bulk, e.g., a full bag of silica vs. 5 lbs or 10 lbs, is where you save money.  When you buy less than a full bag, the supplier has to tack on the labor cost of measuring out your quantity, etc.  I can make an 8000 gram bucket of clear glaze for about $15 to $17; you can't match that price buying commercial.  But, that is only because I bought the chemicals and materials in bulk.  The other cost to making your own is your time spent measuring out the materials, and the investment of a scale, respirator, etc.  For commercial powder glazes, you don't have the investment in raw materials, but the maker of the glaze passes that cost on to you -- one of the reasons commercial is costly.  (Although you might want to double check the weight of the commercial glazes to make sure it is correct).  And, you'll still need a respirator. 

 

After that, the cost -- in time and materials -- for either mix your own or powdered commercial is basically the same:  for both, you'll need to add water, sieve, and store. 

 

Mix your own will be cheaper, provided you are willing/able to invest in raw materials, can store them, and measure them out.  If you only buy the amounts needed for a particular glaze, the cost will increase.  Commercial, you are paying them to invest in the raw materials, store them, measure them out, send them to you (directly or through a supplier), and profit.  Of course, if you can't afford to invest in raw materials, or do not have storage space, then commercial is your option -- but it might not be the most economical option. 

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(I have this lingering guess that mixing my own is going to eat up a fair amount of precious time and that dry mixes are a good meet in the middle for the mean time in regards to money and time used effectively.) you said- 

 

I would add that this may be true of ceramics in general it all eats time and when begining is not an effective use of time.

The truth is making your own glaze is a learning experience that you never will learn when buying premade glazes. Its part of the whole -whole process that is and if you only want to know little parts -say lean to throw but not to fire or leran to glaze but not throw of whatever you see my point I hope.

Making glaze is part of the whole and just to be clear its way cheaper in the long run. More important is the learning what does what in glazes.

If you are just a very part time hobbist then buy the pints and be happy but you said a fire every two weeks-makes me think you want to be more-I suggest making your own and learning what this about.

Mark

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Making your own glazes involves a tall learning curve, but so does making pots! Don't be intimidated, just tackle it one step at a time. Don't rush. You'll be glad you did.

 

I agree with Min, start with dry mixes but also start firing test tiles of your own recipes, then slowly transition over.

 

And I agree with Mark, glaze firings "every week to two weeks" is not part-time. That's a lot of pots! Buying commercial glazes for all those pots will be crazy expensive.

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It has been said that there are two types of potters. One type of potter loves the clay and the glazing is secondary and the other, the clay is a canvas for spectacular glazing.

If you love to carve or embellish the clay, love texture then choose a subtle clear glaze to show off the clay. This is simple enough and inexpensive to make clear gloss or satin glazes that pool or are enhanced in the carving.

 

If on the other hand, you want a canvas, then you need to learn the how and why's of color, texture, and layering of glazes, then plan for some serious learning.

 

It may take some time before you know which way is what you are looking for. Look through pottery books, find someone to emulate and start learning how they learned.

Robin Hopper is a great example of someone you should study as he has done both.

His information on glaze development is outstanding as is his work on form & function.

 


BTW you can get some fireplace ash and some local red clay and make a cone 6 Celadon that the back woods potters of the 17 & 1800's of this country would be proud of., add some more red iron oxide and you have a Temoku or cobalt instead of iron and you have a blue.

 

There's many a potter that have one glaze base and developed a wide pallet of color and textures, you don't need every chemical out there.

 

So the answer is really how deep do you want to go.

Hope this helps

 

 

Wyndham

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Bradleysonofhagen, I was where you are, two years ago.  I decided to jump into mixing my own.   As was said, it is a grand part of the process.   And yes, you could start with a couple of basic glazes, with minimal ingredients.   I bought my chemicals/colorants a bit at a time so as not to break the bank.   Definitely do some reading, ask questions, these guys here on this forum are amazing resources.

 

For instance, there is one glaze that I have not been able to replicate, so for now, until I find a recipe, I do buy it.  It is $103 for  10 pounds dry.   I mixed up a batch of something that might be similar last week that cost me a few  bucks.   

 

I am sort of like Big Lou....I tend to jump right in.  For me, that is a big part of the joy of pots and clay!!!  So, here I am, spreading the joy!!!   It's kind of like buying a loaf of bread at the store, or making your own!

 

Roberta

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If you want some ^6 reduction recipes, email me. I can send you a bunch in a word doc.

 

 

That is very kind of you Marcia, safes him a lot of time.   Min

There are some good base glazes in the lists. they can be manipulated , tweaked easily to develop a personal pallet.

Teaching glaze development really aids to quick learning with lots of information. I have shared many of these recipes here and on Clayart as well as elsewhere.

getting a good start is helpful and can save a lot of money. the glazes are good, food safe unless otherwise noted.

Marcia

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You could get a copy of, "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes," by Roy and Hesselberth. They have very reliable ^6 glaze recipes in there with pics that in my experience are almost exactly what you will get out of the kiln. From those recipes you can pick a glaze and purchase exactly and only the raw materials you need in the quantities you want. I don't know the numbers but I suspect you would be spending only a fraction of what it cost for commercial glazes. On top of that you would also have very well explained information that is essential for getting good results out of a ^6 kiln.

 

Joel.

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Ive been dealing with this idea for the past two weeks. Atlanta Clay is my closest supplier (hour thirty minute drive). I know the more you buy the cheaper and over all cheaper vs the commercial glazes. I feel better after reading up on this thread. I stumbled across a potters site that listed these two glazes...

 

Clear 2617 (glossy, transparent, good with colorants)

 

F-4 Feldspar              46

G. Borate                   30

EPK                           13

Silica                         11

Total                       100

 

Caramel (transparent and glossy)

 

Kona F-4 feldspar         50

Wollastonite                  20

EPK                               10

Silica                             10

Gerstrate Borate            10

Total                           100

+4 – 5 % Red iron oxide

 

Mainly because I already purchased ten pounds of EPK, for other reasons, but I already have a stock of one material might as well find another way to use it. And because I liked what I read about the use of Wollastonite. My confusion is the conversion of the needed amounts if the intended en result is not a value of ten, if that is even how it goes lol. I hear 8000 gram batches and the idea of breaking that down makes my head explode. Maybe its not that bad.

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Honestly, I think it much less expensive to mix your own. Yes, there is the initial investment in raw materials. Look for a "base" glaze that can easily be altered with just a few ingredients. The time involved is only a little longer than mixing dry commercial glazes. However, there are some lovely commercial glazes out there that I think are worth the cost. And by all means, take Marcia up on her offer for her fomulas!

 

Cheers,

Pam

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MMB, thank you for the recipe.  i am STILL trying to find a glaze that is clear and glossy but friendly to green underglaze.  this one does not have zinc, maybe it will be the one.  just tested 16 colored slips under my usual glazes.  all ok except green,  again, and again........

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MMB, if you haven't visited Daven's in Atlanta, you owe it to yourself.  They've been in the ceramic supply business for approximately 25 years.  Awesome selection of supplies and great folks, not to disparage Atlanta Clay....they're a fine source too.

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Clear 2617 (glossy, transparent, good with colorants)

 

F-4 Feldspar              46

G. Borate                   30

EPK                           13

Silica                         11

Total                       100

 

Caramel (transparent and glossy)

 

Kona F-4 feldspar         50

Wollastonite                  20

EPK                               10

Silica                             10

Gerstrate Borate            10

Total                           100

+4 – 5 % Red iron oxide

 

My confusion is the conversion of the needed amounts if the intended en result is not a value of ten, if that is even how it goes lol. I hear 8000 gram batches and the idea of breaking that down makes my head explode. Maybe its not that bad.

These are percentages (by weight of dry ingredients). So if your total batch should be 8000 g (which is your 100%), then 50% of it is 4000 g, 10%- 800 g, etc.

 

In case you want to ask what 11% will be, here how it goes:  8000g divided by 100 (to find out what 1% is), and then multiplied by 11.  The result is 880g.  If it's easier for you, use the same formula to figure out any percentage you want, even 50 (which is simply a half of the total :) ).

 

P.S. Note that such things as colorants, etc.  that are mentioned below the Total (like iron oxide in your Caramel Glaze formula) do not add to 100%, but rather add extra %% to it. You may calculate it the same way though. Although it's not correct scientifically, this is how it was intended to be calculated for our purposes. Just don't be surprised that, because of it, the total dry mix will weigh 4-5% more than 8000g (since iron oxide in the recipe adds 4-5% on top of 100%).

 

It brings us to your homework assignement for today. :)

1. How heavy is "4% more than 8000 g"?

2. How much is 5.25% of 7328 oz?

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MMB, thank you for the recipe.  i am STILL trying to find a glaze that is clear and glossy but friendly to green underglaze.  this one does not have zinc, maybe it will be the one.  just tested 16 colored slips under my usual glazes.  all ok except green,  again, and again........

 

Here is the clear I used for the underglazed brush painting works . . . no problems with green underglaze. 

 

So Clear (Michael Sherrill) ^6 Oxidation
 
Frit 3124, 32.2%
NC-4/Minspar, 25.8%
Silica, 19.4%
Whiting, 12.9%
EPK, 9.6%
Total, 99.9%

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Ive been dealing with this idea for the past two weeks. Atlanta Clay is my closest supplier (hour thirty minute drive). I know the more you buy the cheaper and over all cheaper vs the commercial glazes. I feel better after reading up on this thread. I stumbled across a potters site that listed these two glazes...

 

Clear 2617 (glossy, transparent, good with colorants)

 

F-4 Feldspar              46

G. Borate                   30

EPK                           13

Silica                         11

Total                       100

 

Caramel (transparent and glossy)

 

Kona F-4 feldspar         50

Wollastonite                  20

EPK                               10

Silica                             10

Gerstrate Borate            10

Total                           100

+4 – 5 % Red iron oxide

 

Mainly because I already purchased ten pounds of EPK, for other reasons, but I already have a stock of one material might as well find another way to use it. And because I liked what I read about the use of Wollastonite. My confusion is the conversion of the needed amounts if the intended en result is not a value of ten, if that is even how it goes lol. I hear 8000 gram batches and the idea of breaking that down makes my head explode. Maybe its not that bad.

MMB;

I explained this in another post. It is not difficult once you get your head around it.

1.Glaze recipes should total 100. That means 100 grams.

2.Your second glaze has 4 to 5% Red iron oxide. In a 100 gram batch,thay would be 4-5 grams.

3.100 grams of glaze is one paper cup of glaze. This is enough for a few test tiles.

4.To get anicecream pail [plastic] amount of glaze, you multiply each material in the glaze by 10.Your total material will be 1,000 grams.

5. To add the iron to the second glaze, you also multiply 4 or 5 by 10. You get 40 or 50 grams, which you add to the total of the second glaze.

6. If you wanted 8,000 grams, of glaze, or the equivalentof 5 gallons of glaze, you would multiply all of your materials in your 1,000 gram batch by 8.[1,000x 8 equals 8,000.Don't forget the iron, which also gets multiplied by 8. 40 grams x 8 equals 320 grams of iron which is added to the base glaze.

Questions?

TJR.

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MMB, thank you for the recipe.  i am STILL trying to find a glaze that is clear and glossy but friendly to green underglaze.  this one does not have zinc, maybe it will be the one.  just tested 16 colored slips under my usual glazes.  all ok except green,  again, and again........

 

Here is the clear I used for the underglazed brush painting works . . . no problems with green underglaze. 

 

So Clear (Michael Sherrill) ^6 Oxidation
 
Frit 3124, 32.2%
NC-4/Minspar, 25.8%
Silica, 19.4%
Whiting, 12.9%
EPK, 9.6%
Total, 99.9%

 

 

Here's another ^6 clear, I have used it both with green stain and over green underglaze (Spectrum and Speedball). COE is 6.49 

 

G1216M

Silica  23.8

Kaolin 24.8

Wollastonite 15.2

Minspar 8.6

3134 23.2

Talc 4.3

total 99.9

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