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Darcy Kane

Sponge Cleaning Before Glazing

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Darcy Kane    28

So I have spent the morning cleaning off bisqued ware with a sponge and water.  *hate* it, hate glazing too but that is beside the point.  My question is, does anyone use a compressor and air to clean off pots before glazing and if yes, have you had successful results?

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Mark C.    1,807

You can blow them off with compressed air -brush them with a soft brush or as you do wet sponge.

Mark

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oldlady    1,323

what are you trying to take off, just dust or loose bits of clay?  if so, just dipping each piece in a bucket of clean water will work fine.  you might be surprised by the tiny bits of this stuff you will find in the bottom of your bucket.

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TJR    359

I wax all my bottoms-of my pots that is.

I wet sponge them. Don't like spraying dust around my studio. It is possible to glaze stuff upside down without waxing. I do this on wider bottoms [of pots], such as pie dishes. Waxing is not my favourite task.

Ain't ceramis grand?

TJR.

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clay lover    133

Going to try the hot wax this week, bought a BIG elec skillet, $34, at Wally World.  I hope it is a quick learning curve, I need more efficiency, not less.  I will let you know how it goes for me.

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Bill T.    4

I use compressed air from my big compressor.  Has worked well for 10 years, although it might depend on the clay you are throwing with.  I set the compressor for about 90# of pressure and use a small hand-held blow gun.  My shop has a  garage door so I do all of this outside. 

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Pres    896

I wash all pieces with a damp sponge. This usually happens 4-5 pieces at a time as I glaze them pretty soon afterward.  Over the years, I have found that my best glaze thickness occurs doing it this way. I fire to ^06 and the clay porosity absorbs more evenly with a bit of water in the piece. That said, I have at times dipped the entire piece, and let it dry longer, or even sprayed a ligh mist of water onto the piece before glazing. I have been predominantly dip/pour glazing for 30 years with atomized glaze and underglaze over top. However, this last load I used a sprayer with a compressor to put some of my glazes on while pouring others.

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Stellaria    35

I run mine under running water. I like most glaze applications to be thin (I dunk everything) so I don't wait very long after rinsing to glaze. Maybe 2-3 hours, tops? So rinse, wait 'till the piece *looks* dry (but really isn't very) and then wax, then glaze. I'll even re-rinse before glazing if I've had a good deal of time lapse between the rinse-and-wax step (which happens because I work in a community studio where I only have access to the glazes twice a week, but access to everything else whenever. I can come in, get everything prepped, planned, and marked, and then just focus on dipping on the glaze day.)

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Mark C.    1,807

I have rarely ever washed or dusted pots-I try to process them in sort order but if they sit few weeks no big deal. I have no idea why you would wash all of them. Isnt it easier to cover them in 1st place from dust?

Mark

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Babs    386

I damp sponge them because of glaze application thickness and I bisque to C 06  Now I even add vinegar to water for a certain glaze which seems to allow a white scumming to occur after firing. Anyone with a cure for that would be my friend for life. Even witrh the Vinegar wipe it'll appear inthe texture crevices on occasion.

 

Just done an intensive Iyengar yoga week on what memory brings to "the table" and it usually brings prejudice and bias!

So  Dharsi, look at every time you dust/wipe yout ware ;)  with unbiased eyes and you may enjoy the process of having another intimate time with yoour fantastic pots before they face the harsh kiln process!

Happiness is having a short memory....... :D

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JBaymore    1,432

I'm with Mark. 

 

Heresy coming here........ I almost NEVER wash off bisque.  If I am, it is because something got splashed on there or something like that.

 

If you ae doing this to adjust the absorbtion of the glaze........ either bisque higher (your clay will likely be better -less glaze defects-  for it)  or change the specific gravity and viscosity of your glazes.

 

If you studio is so dusty that you have to do this to prevent glaze issues....... you have some OTHER issues to address.

 

best,

 

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

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Pres    896

True, I could adjust the glaze to a thinner viscosity, or fire to a higher temperature, but I have done both to try working in an easier manner. Neither seemed to work quite as well as what I am presently doing. As to dust in the studio, I usually do not cover ware, and sometimes a pot will sit for 3 months without being fired, heck sometimes 6 months. All of this depends on what fits in the kiln and how often I am firing. If I were running loads once or twice a week as I did in the 90's then I would probably do less washing using the glaze thinner.

 

When I did mess up a bisque load firing it to cone probably ^3-4 my glazes went on thin, and the pieces came out looking more like a wood/ash fired direction. Not really what I was looking for but interesting.

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Babs    386

Old dogs new tricks/

I also put a lot of texture on my pots, stain and rub back in dry state, with mask on, so there's a lot of fien clay/oxide to get rid off to allow the glaze to adhere to all of the surface.

Have been pondering going higher in bisque but weighing up the economics of this. 'last lot of clay problematic may drive me this way.

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Stellaria    35

I'm not in charge of the firing or most of the glazes I use, so my methods work well for my own purposes. Besides, running a pot under the tap takes ridiculously little effort. I usually make my glaze plan and pencil onto the bottom what I'm going to do while the pot dries enough to wax over the pencil. Waterproof instructions!

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PSC    54

Some stuff sits around, i tend to make and make and glaze when i get around to it. Then there is the stuff i can't decide what to glaze it in and it sits til i find the perfect glaze application.

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Mark C.    1,807

For me as a studio potter on a well in a drought -water is used when it really is needed

Beside washing a 35 cubic foot kiln load every week or two makes no sense. I have covered bats full of bisque to keep dust off  with paper many times as thats faster than other methods.

Being efficient is key to making a living with pots. I know of no other studio potters washing pots-its just not done

I think its easier to get your glazes right and to learn that than the guess work of wet bisque?

This is sounding like an urban mith starting

my 2 cents

Mark

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Darcy Kane    28

I wash my pieces off before glazing because I hate having a lovely piece with a pinhole or small unglazed dot because there was a piece of dirt/dust/clay/whathaveyou on the surface when I glazed the pot.  I don't know if this is an issue with wood fired work or even in a soda firing, but it sure is in an electric kiln even when I bisque to ^04.  I get that pin holing can be caused by improper bisque firing but these little holidays occur from dust/dirt specks.  

This doesn't mean that my stuff is covered with dust, that isn't what I am referring to.  It is interesting that wiping with a slightly damp sponge is also recommended by Hesselberth and Roy as well in MC6G, to remove dust and specks which can leave bits of missing glaze and occasionally crawling.  I admit that sometimes I get lazy and skip this step.  Sometimes I get away with it, but it seems that on the pieces I like the best, I will find a speck of missing glaze.  

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Stellaria    35

The person in charge of the glazes at our community studio insists on rinsing, to keep grit and dust out of the glaze buckets. After using a basin of water to rinse a big load of test tiles, I'm a believer - the amount of crud settled at the bottom of the basin once I was done was astonishing.

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oldlady    1,323

thanks, stellaria, for seconding the bucket of water idea.  it is certainly less wasteful than running water since a single bucket of water will handle several kiln loads if you put the top on between. and saves so much time over sponging!   I use the leftover water on the garden just outside the door.

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Babs    386

Also I have discovered little flaws in the pot whilst wiping, Very fine cracks become very evident when wiped by damp sponge, or small rough patches which would favour a grind. This close inspection I may miss if I didn't wipe.

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Darcy Kane    28

I get that studio potters may not feel they have time to wipe down each piece of work, but you can bet I carefully inspect each piece I buy of someone else's work so if I am going to go to the time and effort of making something I want it to look its best.  i may try rinsing in a bucket next time, but then I would be on here bitching about having to wait for them to dry some before glazing.  

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Karen B    26

I have rarely ever washed or dusted pots-I try to process them in sort order but if they sit few weeks no big deal. I have no idea why you would wash all of them. Isnt it easier to cover them in 1st place from dust?

Mark

 Hi Mark,

I wipe pots as I take them out of the bisque firing and squeeze sponge into a bucket of clean water. I get small particles in the water. It is not dust from the studio, I don't usually get this with porcelain, just stoneware.

Karen

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Pugaboo    438

I too dip mine in water. I tend to do this the last thing the day before I am going to glaze. I finish up the day dipping and setting all the pieces out separated by the types of glaze each will get. By morning everything is ready to wax and by the time I am done with that the first pieces waxed are then ready to glaze. When I dip in water I pull each piece out and check for any spots/lines darker than the rest, this tell me there is a crack there absorbing more water than the surrounding area.

 

On a slightly different note I have discovered that for me make-up sponges work most excellently for applying wax much easier with a nicer line than a brush. They are nice and dense with sharp edges and are even easy to cut into smaller pieces if needed.

 

I am getting my process tweaked nicely and things are getting much quicker.

 

Terry

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