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Alteredclay

Frozen Glaze

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I have had this happen to me before, and have had to strain the glaze twice to get it back to working condition, however, it never seems to be quite right. Now I take my glazes into the basement in the Winter, as the shop is not heated. When working in the shop(brick walls) in the winter it takes all night heat, and extra day heat to bring it to temp(60F). So I don't really work too much in mid winter.

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When glazes freeze, they often settle out badly. Sometimes rock hard. It will take some work to get them back to  a workable state. Brushing glazes especially do not come back to life very well. Dipping glazes are more likely to come back, although it will take a lot of blending and screening.

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In Japan the workshops are typically not heated.  Glazes partially freeze all the time (usually not solid).  It certainly adds labor, but generally mixing and seiving gets it all OK again.   Some aspects will be dependent on what is IN the particular glaze as to how it behaves when frozen.

 

best,

 

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

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When I worked for a ceramic supply company a few years ago, I heard a story where at one time they had gotten a great shipping rate from a carrier who always had half a trailer empty when leaving their area. After the first couple of shipments they had complaints from the customers that the glazes were settled out hard as a rock, and the clay was all mushy on the outside of the blocks. They couldn't figure out why at first. Turns out that half trailer was a freezer truck, and the stuff was freezing during the first part of the trip, then thawing when it switched trucks. The carrier figured it wouldn't matter if the clay and glaze froze so neglected to mention it.

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Thanks for the comments. One of our students bought some commercial glazes 'on sale' for $3 (normally 9-16) and the instructor used them on some 'empty bowls' and the result was pretty disappointing. The instructor contributed the result on a bisque firing at 04 instead of her usual 06 and then fired at cone 6. Some of us think the result was due to the actual glaze (what do we know, we're just students--ha).

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The difference between cone 04 and 06 bisque shouldn't have any affect on the glazes. If anything, firing a little hotter would make them less likely to have problems.

 

All glazes require practice. It take at least 3 firings for me to feel comfortable with a new glaze. If the glazes are properly mixed, and are brushing on like you would expect them to (flowing nicely), then it's probably an application issue- too thick, too thin, combinations that don't play nice together, etc. Try them again on some test pieces.

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Good point, Neil. Thanks for all the replies

We unloaded the kiln from a glaze firing and no problems (didn't use any of the $3 glaze this time) so the 04 bisque firing doesn't seem to be an issue.

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