Jump to content


Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:49 PM

Topics I've Started

Dying Clear Glaze

21 December 2014 - 12:28 PM

Is it possible to add food coloring, or something of the like, to clear glaze, to make its application more apparent?


For years, I used Amaco's transparent clear glaze.  It was Pepto Bismol pink.  It made applying easy, because you could tell, where you had already covered.  

Last year I ordered more of the same glaze, but it's no longer pink.  It dries kind of an off-white.  It works just as well as the other, but it is hard to tell, where you've applied it, especially if you are going over a white underglaze.  I discovered this recently, when I was doing just that.  I pulled a piece out of the kiln, and saw a bunch of dull spots, that I missed.  Because of that, I missed the mailing deadline, for a gift I was sending, because I had to reapply and refire.  Not a huge deal, but I don't want to have the issue again.


So can I add any color of dye to the clear, and be OK.  Won't it just burn out, like it does out of my colored wax resist and such?



Making Small Handles

07 December 2014 - 10:24 PM

I'm making a child's tea set (tea pot, four cups, four plates), for my daughter's Christmas present.  It's presented some fun challenges, like working with smaller amount of clay, than I am used to, and using altered techniques.  For instance, the teapot spout I made was so small, I had to use the handle of a paint brush, to pull from the inside.  My studio often feels like Santa's workshop, especially this time of year, but sadly, there are no elves to help with these tiny pieces.


The tea cups will be small, 2.5" X 2.5" or so.  My normal pulled handles will be too big.  Any good ideas, of how to make them?  I'm thinking of using a mini extruder to make a coil.  Any other suggestions?  The tea pot is a bit bigger, like the size of a standard mug, so I can probably just pull that one.

Tinkering With Commercial Glazes

25 October 2014 - 09:58 PM

I've used commercial glazes, in my classroom, since I've started teaching.  The majority of them are bottle glazes, with a couple I buy dry and mix with water.

Most of them work great, brush on very well, and keep a good consistency over time.  However, there are a few that cause me some problems.


One of the more popular glazes gets pretty thick, and cracks as it dries.  I used to just add water to thicker glazes, but as I learn more about glazes, I've discovered that it can make the problem worse.  


Another issue, is with the glazes I mix.  I follow mixing instructions, and the consistency seems great.  Then I go to use them, and they don't brush well at all.  They dry almost instantly, when applied, and like to settle in the container.  


I've added Espom salt to address the settling, which helped somewhat.  But I'm thinking of purchasing a couple other things, to see if I can improve things.


For the settling, bentonite seems to be advisable no?  I would think a commercial glaze, would have enough in it, but who knows.  I don't screen the glaze mixes, but thought about doing so.  What size mesh would be best?  I was also thinking of adding some type  of gum, to improve the brushability.  


In regards to the glazes thickening, I was going to try Darvan 7.


So my shopping list will be something like this:



Darvan 7

80-100 mesh screen

Vee Gum, CMC Gum or a Gum solution

Large bag Peanut butter M&Ms


How's my list look?

Amaco "texturizer".

18 October 2014 - 05:44 PM

I've had a bottle of this, at my first school, and found some, in my current classroom. What exactly is it, and how is it supposed to add texture? Does it make the surface rougher, does it cause crazing, etc?

According to the instructions, you are supposed to apply it over top the glaze, but when I used it in my first classroom, I saw no difference in the glaze, so I never used it again.

If it does increase crazing, I'm interested in using it for Raku, to cause more "crackle" for the smoke to fill.

Underglazes Flaking Off

16 October 2014 - 11:08 AM

I've been having issues lately with the underglazes chipping off, student's finished projects.
The underglazes are both Amaco (Velvet Series and LUG Series), and I've used both extensively for years, with almost no issues.
The underglazes seem to take application well, and come out fine after the bisque. It isn't until the glaze firing, that they flake off. In one case, the underglaze was left bare, on the flange of a slab box. In the other case, it had a glaze over top part of it. It seems to be separating from the clay body, almost like old paint from a surface.
I fire low fire so Cone 05. The clay is the same low fire white, that I've used for years. The only other similar issue I've had, was with a brown underglaze last year, that did something similar. But now, it's two different colors, from two different product lines.

I have my students rinse their project after firing, to remove any residue they might have accumulated. But I am thinking it could be oils from the hands. Thus far, it has happened only to one student, on two different projects.

Any ideas?