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Experiment With Glaze

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I've never worked with Ceramics but my preferred material is cement. Specifically decorative concrete. Lately I've been trying to find a sealer or way of sealing projects against heat and chemicals. All the options we have in the cement industry are extemely expensive and have many steps to them. The ideal sealer would be much like the glaze that is applied to ceramics. While cement cannot be fired at the tempuatures you guys use, are there low temperature glazes out that could be applied with butane or mapp gas torch?

 

Instead of buying and testing all of this myself, I figured I would ask the experts(you guys) if anyone could explain if this would work. Or just maybe have someone try to burn some glaze on there side walk:)

 

Thank you in advance.

Troy

 

 

 

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Yeah, I was just hoping there was something out there that would. The temperatures match for Mapp gas but it's only a theory. The closest thing I could find on google was a guy wanting to try to glaze his kitchen tile grout. I know there are many dianamics to why glaze fuses with the clay but it does not have to be as bonded. Just so it fills the pores. I might just stop by a craft place tonight and see if they sell any low tempurature glaze. I know the suspense isn't killing anyone but sometimes thinking out of the box pays.

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I'm guessing it's going to be a tough go, even if it works.

How large is this object you want to glaze?

Keep in mind that the glaze, even if it bonds to the object, will still chip off if struck, and I'm not so sure about freeze/thaw durability either.

Getting a consistent, even thickness is going to be very hard, I think there are going to be bubbles, thin areas, hot spots.

When a ceramic object object is fired, the object itself is at the kiln temp, or very close, and the object is surounded with heat as well. The glaze has a lot of time to melt, flow, and smooth out. With a torch and an object of any size, the glaze is going to cool almost as soon as you remove the heat.

Of course, I could be totally wrong, and you could be the pioneer of a brand new technique, wouldn't that be great!?

Why can't you just use an epoxy garage floor sealer? Seems much easier.

Good luck!

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I never thought about the evening out. I was trying to keep the laughing down to a minimum but the projects I do are countertops. Garage floor epoxy is toxic and expensive.

 

 

I'm guessing it's going to be a tough go, even if it works.

How large is this object you want to glaze?

Keep in mind that the glaze, even if it bonds to the object, will still chip off if struck, and I'm not so sure about freeze/thaw durability either.

Getting a consistent, even thickness is going to be very hard, I think there are going to be bubbles, thin areas, hot spots.

When a ceramic object object is fired, the object itself is at the kiln temp, or very close, and the object is surounded with heat as well. The glaze has a lot of time to melt, flow, and smooth out. With a torch and an object of any size, the glaze is going to cool almost as soon as you remove the heat.

Of course, I could be totally wrong, and you could be the pioneer of a brand new technique, wouldn't that be great!?

Why can't you just use an epoxy garage floor sealer? Seems much easier.

Good luck!

 

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is the epoxy toxic after it sets ? or just in application?just curiouse. if its only in application you should take appropriate procausions and go for it.

would a wax produck work? there are a lot of waxs that are very durable like scupture wax. seems like cement is not going to like sporatic heating. good luck!

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Yes, many epoxy's are toxic after curing. There are many types of wax, epoxy, acrylics, etc.. but all of them have their faults. Wax needs to be reapplied and does not give the look or feel most of us are trying to acheive. Epoxy often hardens to fast and is tough to repair along with keeping dust and other particles out. Using a blow torch on cement is common practice because glass fibers often stick out from the cement after some of the steps in prep.

 

Has anyone tried using a torch on glaze over ceramic just to see what happens?

 

 

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Guest JBaymore

Has anyone tried using a torch on glaze over ceramic just to see what happens?

 

Yeah... it works with certain metallic lusters and overglaze enamels. But those "glazes" are soft and not a durable counter-top type surface. Plus the thermal expansions of those are matched for ceramic substrates.... not concrete. And there re some SERIOUS thermal shock issues whrn doing this. It is VERY tricky.

 

I think you are barking up the wrong tree.

 

best,

 

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

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Thanks John

Yeah, I've been known to bark up the wrong tree a time or two. The process I use does not have the traditional large pores of cement. They are very small in comparison to traditional concrete. Using the term "glaze" might be the wrong terminology. Enamel might be a better term. I typically think of enamel cookware with thick coatings when I use that term. Slight penetration into the concrete would be best.

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Guest JBaymore

Thanks John

Yeah, I've been known to bark up the wrong tree a time or two. The process I use does not have the traditional large pores of cement. They are very small in comparison to traditional concrete. Using the term "glaze" might be the wrong terminology. Enamel might be a better term. I typically think of enamel cookware with thick coatings when I use that term. Slight penetration into the concrete would be best.

 

 

If I am remembering correctly, there is an interesting article in the latest issue of "Ceramics Technical" magazine on firing concrete. I'll check and get back to you. It'll likely be tomorrow. I have to head up to the college now and finish construction on a soda kiln.

 

best,

 

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

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I can't wait to read it. The process of concrete curing is completely different than that of ceramics. New "high performance" cements interestingly have many of the same ingredients as ceramics but with a few more additives.

 

Thanks,

Troy

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I hate to be a "Negative Nelly," but I just don't see the utility of this, even if you could get it to work.

 

1. You are going to need a large kiln to fire countertops. Do you have one? If not, get ready to lay out big dollars for one that can hold countertop(s).

2. Glaze, enamel, is not a durable surface for a countertop. Yes, there are tile countertops, but they are not very impact tolerable, if the edge of a heavy pot or cutting board strikes the tile, it chips, then you have pieces of glass in the food prep area, and a hole in the countertop, which is a sanitation problem.

 

The concrete industry, and the countertop segment is always touting the durability of countertops. Why is there a need to "seal" these with glaze? Why isn't this already done, if it is a viable solution?

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Believe it or not concrete countertops (as many people know them) have taken some dramatic changes in the last couple years. Concrete is very durable but sealers for countertops have not stayed with the new trends and advances. My guess is that 70 percent of countertop builders are not completely satisfied with their choice of sealer.

 

Kiln drying is not an option but in my origional post I was inquiring if anyone has tried mapp gas or another type of torch method . The tempuratures match for mapp gas with the kiln tempuratures of glaze. Untreated Concrete is inherently prone to scratching, acid, watermarks, and yes chipping(more so then enamel).

post-3081-12922787283152_thumb.jpg

post-3081-12922787367843_thumb.jpg

post-3081-12922787283152_thumb.jpg

post-3081-12922787367843_thumb.jpg

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Well, there you go, you learn something every day. I thought concrete countertops were more durable than you describe, and that sealing technology would be more advanced than it is.

Those leaves are beautiful, quite a few people in our area make concrete birdbaths and such, from castor bean and colocasia ("elephant ear") leaves.

Perhaps JBaymore will find that article that will help you, and then you're off and running!

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Believe it or not concrete countertops (as many people know them) have taken some dramatic changes in the last couple years. Concrete is very durable but sealers for countertops have not stayed with the new trends and advances. My guess is that 70 percent of countertop builders are not completely satisfied with their choice of sealer.

 

Kiln drying is not an option but in my origional post I was inquiring if anyone has tried mapp gas or another type of torch method . The tempuratures match for mapp gas with the kiln tempuratures of glaze. Untreated Concrete is inherently prone to scratching, acid, watermarks, and yes chipping(more so then enamel).

 

 

Beautiful countertop. We're going to replace our existing countertops and I would like to have concrete, but am concerned about the sealant. I do a little work with concrete sculpture but am hesitant to try this myself and have been unable to find anyone in the area who is experienced. I don't think the method I use to seal the sculptures I do will work for a food prep surface.

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If you like projects that have a fun learning curve but take you a long time, go for it. It takes ALOT of time and experimenting to get things right. This company is this months trend in sealers http://surface519.com/

 

Each month there seems to be new better suppliers out there. This above company has an EAP sealant that has recieved good reviews but the process is long.

 

Any interest in trying a blow torch on one of your concrete scultpers? I really would love to hear some results about this or even better yet some pictures! Unfortunatly I am swamped at my real job and have not had a chance to buy a variety of glazes or enamels to try.

Thanks,

Troy

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Guest JBaymore

OK... issue # 31 (2010) of Ceramics Technical has an article by Anja Margrethe Bache titled "Glazed Concrete" starting on page 7. Ceramics Technical has a werbsite.... you can order a back issue.

 

http://www.ceramicart.com.au/index.shtml

 

Turns out you are barking up the right tree... but with the wrong breed of dog. This work is high fired to 1230 C........ you'll need high firing capable kilns. But it shows that it is possible. The articel talks specifically about durability of surfacing of glaze versus concrete and sealers.

 

Best I could do for you.

 

best,

 

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

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Thanks John and everyone for the feedback. I'll check this out. Cement cures long-term by what is called a pozzolanic reaction. Ceramics cures from firing(not sure what the reaction is) but is very similar. While using a torch or torch exposing process is not practical for green ceramics, it would be beneficial for something that does not require firing like cement. I'll put it on my experiment schedule when things calm down here at work. Hope some of you get a chance to try it. If perfected, I could sell the heck out of it.

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Hi Troy!

 

I was asked today if I could glaze some concrete pieces and fire them in my ceramics kiln... in search of an answer to this question I found your topic! Would you be so kind as to tell me how your experiments have gone so far?

 

Thanks,

Laima

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On 5/18/2015 at 2:02 PM, vufijs said:

Hi Troy!

 

I was asked today if I could glaze some concrete pieces and fire them in my ceramics kiln... in search of an answer to this question I found your topic! Would you be so kind as to tell me how your experiments have gone so far?

 

Thanks,

Laima

Hi Laima and Troy,

Came here with the same question Laima. Curious now if four years later any of these questions have been answered or perhaps more importantly if anyone will even see this.... perhaps not! If so however, please let me know! Very interested in this and poking around everywhere I can, so far Anaja Bache still seems to be the main resource but still having difficulty pulling more practical answers out of her work.

Best,

Eric

 

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We make concrete "altar fires" for use on our scout campsite.  They eventually crumble after many fires.  I would imagine the temperature doesn't get much above 700 or 800C, so it would never withstand firing.

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