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Member Since 08 Sep 2012
Online Last Active Today, 07:03 AM

Topics I've Started

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?

Homemade Extruder

06 June 2014 - 10:06 PM

I've wanted to get an extruder for my classroom, for quite a while.  Unfortunately, I can never really fit it in the budget, especially as my district is really focusing on cutting back.  So even though, I may be able to put in the purchase order, and even have it approved, I really don't want to draw attention to myself, as a department that spends money on "Big" purchases.  

I have two hand extruders, but they work OK at best.  


A while back, Pres linked me to this video:




I think it's an absolute great idea, and am seriously considering building one.  The issue I will have, is mounting.  Obviously, I can't dig a hole in my classroom, to place a wooden post.  Wall mounting is essentially out of the question as I don't much wall space, and that I have, would not be preferable.  

I'm either thinking table mount, or to anchor a post in a bucket of concrete, then attach it to the post, like he did in the video.  If I go for the table mount option, what would be a good bracket set up?



Glaze Practice Tile(S)

06 June 2014 - 08:30 PM

Lately, I've been kicking around a new idea, for teaching the students, how to use glaze.  Since I started teaching, I have also done some quick demos, regarding underglaze and glaze techniques.  However, it seems to be too condensed for the students, and it's hard for them to take in a lot of it.  


So, instead of me showing them all the techniques, or requiring them to do all of them on projects, I thought of having each student make a slab, dividing it up into sections, and try a couple different techniques there.  One section could be undergalze with sgraffito, on with the use of wax or latex resist, sponging, layering, etc.  I do something similar, with my Painting class, when we practice with watercolor.

The slabs wouldn't have to be very big, maybe five by six or so.  


Has anyone tried something like this with students, or otherwise?



Odd Additions

01 June 2014 - 09:28 AM

Since joining these forums, a couple years back, I've learned quite a lot.  One of those things, is that ceramicists will try mixing about anything into their clay and/ or glazes.

Those, who saggar or pit fire, throw in weed killer and banana peels, those who Raku, reduce in a variety of materials or apply horse hair and those, who do Obvara, use a witch's brew that is somewhere between a really liquid bread dough recipe and a very thick beer recipe.


So what are some other "weird" additions, that people add to their clay body, glazes or at any other point in the process?


My high school Art teacher, says that, when he was in college, they would urinate on their pots.  I don't recall if he meant that they did it prior to firing, or after pulling them for a Raku type firing.  As I knew nothing of Ceramics at the time, I was just shocked that a person would urinate on a pot.  I guess I just chalked it up to "Man artists are weird...."