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Majolica Base White Glaze: Need Help


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#1 dogbite

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:33 PM

this is my first post. I have enjoyed this forum and the vast amount of knowledge and experience it contains.
I have a MFA in ceramics. all my schooling and time in the clay studio and endless hours watching all types of kilns one would think I would have the answer . wrong. I am at a loss. I need some help.

I have begun working in the low fire majolica technique. I am testing out several base white glazes. one glaze, from Amaco, comes already mixed in a bottle. two others are dry mix. the dry mix glazes are desirable because they cost less and I can get a price break on more than one pound orders.
the Amaco bottle glaze dries to a hard smooth surface. it is perfect for the underglaze and stain brush work when the decorating begins.
the two dry mix glazes dry soft and when touched becomes powdery. the brush work disturbs the the base glaze. I find I have to wipe the brush to remove the white powder before I dip into the stain or underglaze color.
there must be something I can add to the dry mix glaze that will give me a harder surface when dry.
any ideas?
I'd really like to use the less spendy dry mix over the the Amaco product.

#2 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:12 PM

First, I got involved with majolica after 20+ years of university teaching and still had a lot to learn. Ceramics is that way.
Google Linda Arbuckle's handout on Majolica. or here is a link http://lindaarbuckle...handout2007.pdf

Also Rosie Wynkoop does awesome majolica. She was at the ArchieBray Foundation for years. I have several of her pieces.
She and Josh moved to Bozeman when Josh stepped down as Director from the Bray.
Rosalie taught me some things. One was wash your terra cotta or earthenware in a diluted vinegar bath before glazing.
Add some epsom salts to the glaze (we used a 5 gallon bucket) and let it sit over night. Smooth out any pinholes in the raw glaze when it dries. Spray a coat of diluted liquid laundry starch on the surface to toughen it. Hair spray also works.
Then work with your over glaze decorating colors.
She usually bisques hotter than ^04 which is what the glaze is fired to.
Bisqued at ^03 or ^02.

Marcia

#3 dogbite

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 03:40 PM

Marcia. thanks for the great reply. it has been years since I heard the name ArchieBray. I went to the Kansas City Art Institute for my BFA. worked with Ken Fergusen and George Timock. that was many years ago.
I will check out Aruckle's handout.
I was wondering if laundry starch could work; I had been musing that idea. now that you mention it I bet that could work.
I had read that a saturated epsom salt solution was mentioned in an article by a Posey Bacopoulos, a majolica artist. she did not explain or detail the useage, however.
I wondered about using SprayFix (hairspray or better...spray lacquer without the perfume). I had thought it would repel anything I would use on top of it. I will try that too.
thanks for the answers. my best to you.

#4 minspargal

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

I use Spray Starch usually under 2 bucks at Walmart.

#5 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:16 AM

I believe both Rosie and Josh went to Kansas City Art Institute. Ferguson was the second director at the Bray. I think Rudy and Voulkos developed as the first early resident artists..

#6 OffCenter

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:21 AM

First, I got involved with majolica after 20+ years of university teaching and still had a lot to learn. Ceramics is that way.
Google Linda Arbuckle's handout on Majolica. or here is a link http://lindaarbuckle...handout2007.pdf

Also Rosie Wynkoop does awesome majolica. She was at the ArchieBray Foundation for years. I have several of her pieces.
She and Josh moved to Bozeman when Josh stepped down as Director from the Bray.
Rosalie taught me some things. One was wash your terra cotta or earthenware in a diluted vinegar bath before glazing.
Add some epsom salts to the glaze (we used a 5 gallon bucket) and let it sit over night. Smooth out any pinholes in the raw glaze when it dries. Spray a coat of diluted liquid laundry starch on the surface to toughen it. Hair spray also works.
Then work with your over glaze decorating colors.
She usually bisques hotter than ^04 which is what the glaze is fired to.
Bisqued at ^03 or ^02.

Marcia


I'm not working in majolica but have been collecting info because I'm interested and will eventually try it. The Linda Arbuckle handout and the info above is just what I needed. Once again, you prove yourself a one-woman treasury house of ceramic knowledge and an Internet resource.

Jim
E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#7 dogbite

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:24 AM

I haven't been able to read the Arbuckle pdf. when I open it it is in html code.

#8 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:28 AM

try to google it on your own. Maybe that will help.
Marcia

#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:30 AM

I just googled it and this is what I got. I could open it right up.

http://lindaarbuckle...handout2007.pdf

Marcia

#10 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:34 AM

After re-reading Linda's handout, I was reminded to sand blemished on the surfaces of the terra cotta or earthenware.
To remove unwanted dust, wash in a water/vinegar bath. be sure to get the dust off the piece. Scratches and rough spots can cause crawling as well as dust.
A soft scrub brush works well.
Marcia

#11 dogbite

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:14 PM

I googled Linda and found her home page with all the info.
there must be something wrong with my computer. all the files I click on and download
open in code and not regular words. very strange.

Linda's work is wonderful. the shapes and color designs support one another really well.

#12 dogbite

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:18 AM

the spray starch works great. I found several products in the grocery aisle. many used compressed gas. I found one that had a pump atomizer.
that's the one I bought. I poured out half the liquid and added a bit of water. I didn't measure.
the pump atomizer worked good. a nice fine mist without the high pressure from the gas filled spray starch cans.
I sprayed the pot with the dried glaze lightly. the surface got darker with moisture. perfect; I could tell where I sprayed the starch.
I let the piece sit overnight to dry. the next day the surface was dry to touch and completely smooth with no soft powder.
the brush rides over the surface effortlessly.
thanks for the great tip.

#13 Mossyrock

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:13 AM

I have been fortunate to attend hands-on workshops presented by both Linda Arbuckle and Matthias Ostermann (deceased) on majolica. Both are excellent although very different styles. Check out Matthias' book "The New Maiolica - Contemporary Approaches to Color and Technique" for a detailed explanation of his methods (which is like working with pastels and blending colors with your fingers and results in a more painterly effect than the Arbuckle method), glaze recipes, and color mixing. I use both methods depending on the piece. Matthias' is wonderful for tiles and flat surfaces.....Arbuckle's is better for cups, bowls, etc.
Brenda Moore
Mossy Rock Creations
High Point, NC

#14 dogbite

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:00 AM

thanks Mossyrock.

#15 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for updating the new URL link.
It is a good thing to keep these current.

#16 DarrellVanDrooly

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:18 AM

I use majolica glaze and i found that terrible powdery surface really annoying . But adding about a third of a cup of CMC gum solution to a 10,000 g batch really helps to keep the glaze from crumbling off the pot. you can also load all of your pieces back in the kiln after you glaze them but before you decorate them and fire them to ^018. this hardens the surface slightly as well.

 

Good luck!

Darrel


Derek Von Drehle - Bearded Lady Studio

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