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Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Aug 06 2013 02:28 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Glaze Chemical Kit

07 February 2012 - 11:04 PM

G-200 Feldspar
Ferro Frit 3134
Ferro Frit 3195
Silica (325 mesh)
Gillespie Borate (or Gertsley borate)
Kona F-4 Feldspar
OM4 (Kentucky ball clay)
Whiting (CaO)

If you're willing to do some basic reformulation, you can shorten this list further. I'd get rid of the Wollastonite since you've got Whiting and Silica (Flint). You can find plenty of good glazes without Spodumene. I'd go with Frit 3110 instead of 3195, maybe add some 3124, too. But honestly you can probably get by with just 3134 to start. Definitely use Gillespie instead of Gerstley- it's way more consistent. Ditch the Ball Clay, EPK will cover it. But get some Bentonite (just a couple pounds- you'll only need 2-3% per batch). I tend to use Nepheline Syenite way more than Kona. For colorants, get Cobalt Carbonate, Iron Oxide, Copper Carbonate, Chrome Oxide and Rutile, or just use Mason stains.

Just find 3 or 4 good recipes and color them the way you want. Then you can really narrow down your materials inventory.

I agree, you can get by with just 3134 as your frit, leave out wollastonite (sub w/whiting & silica), and I also got neph sy, you can make a sub for kona with it as well - you'll have to reformulate for both of these, but it's not that difficult. In most cases you can exchange 3134 for Gerstley Borate, but I have and use both, your budget can decide for you if you can do both. I did get some ball clay, it's pretty cheap. Spodumene can be a "wait" item too, because even a basic pantry can run you a pretty big invoice. Look at quantity pricing, when I bought my glaze pantry ingredients last year it was cheaper in a lot of instances to get 50 lbs rather than 10 (if you are at a supplier, not shipping). Like 10 lbs of OM4 was like $15 or $16, and 50 lbs was $17.50. You might want some alumina hydrate for kiln wash, but with electric I got by with silica and a mix of EPK and calcined EPK until I could pick up a few pounds. I calcined my own in a bisque firing, just fired a previously bisqued bowl full of EPK. You'll need colorants, they are expensive, but a necessity. If you want to cut one, you can maybe do without the chrome to start with, but I'd spring for the cobalt carb, iron oxide, copper carb, and rutile for sure. You'll need an opacifier of some sort too like zircopax. It kind of stinks for half your bill to fit in a brown paper bag (colorants), and the other half get loaded at the dock, such is life. So here's my bare bones list:

Silica 325*
Neph Sy*
Frit 3134
Cobalt Carb
Iron oxide
Copper Carb

The ones with the star I went for 50 lbs, it was way cheaper. Add in whatever else you can afford, but you can build a lot with these. Once you've worked with some recipes (keep testing, try different colorants with bases), you can expand a lot and add different items as you make it to town. I live about an hour away from my supplier, but they are only open weekdays, which is when I work, so the days I'm off to drive over while they're open are few, just keep a running "grocery/wish list". Good luck, just go for it, you'll always have a list of what you'll need to try that other crazy recipe you saw on that site....

In Topic: can frozen glaze be used once thawed?

25 January 2012 - 01:33 PM

Old refrigerator or chest freezers are great, it's simple to run in a lightbulb and it produces plenty of warmth to keep the contents above freezing, I just use a 60 watt incandescent. I have a chest freezer to keep clay in, and only turn on the light if it's supposed to get below 20. Most of the time I don't worry with the glazes, it doesn't stay below freezing here for long stretches, I just mix well and sieve twice if it's been really cold, but Maine is a different story. The chest freezer with lightbulb is great for storing greenware and work in progress too (got to keep that above freezing), even in warmer months to prevent drying problems as a wet box (no need for the lightbulb then). Looking back if I could do it over I'd pick an upright though, it's a pain to get to the bottom. Posted Image

In Topic: The dreaded S crack

11 January 2012 - 08:06 PM

I remember having a run of S cracks when I was learning. It wasn't in the very beginning, but after I was getting a little better. My teacher had me work on 2 things, not sure which one worked, but I still remember to be mindful of both. The first was compression, other folks have talked about that already. The other was my wedging. Be aware of the direction in which the spiral of your wedged clay is turning in relation to the direction of rotation of your wheel. If you wire/slam wedge then it shouldn't be a problem, but if you wedge in a manner that creates a spiral in your clay, try not to have it spin/tighten in the same direction as your wheel, they should spin in opposite directions to cancel each other out, or just not tighten up the spiral any more. This is so it doesn't want to "unwind" quite as much while firing - pay most attention with your teapot spouts, it does make a difference. Hope that makes sense. I think of it as the outside "lip" of the spiral is static, and the direction of my wheel needs to unwind it. Maybe that was to keep me from not overthinking the compression or to just make me work on my wedging a little, but one of them worked and now the odd crack I have is from breaking rules and putting something in the kiln wet or something else blatantly bad. :)

In Topic: Test Tile Designs - Pros and Cons

11 January 2012 - 07:33 PM

My dads family is from Northeast TN (where we live now too), but I think they came here from Western NC in the 30s, it's crazy how vast, and small the world is.

In Topic: Test Tile Designs - Pros and Cons

11 January 2012 - 04:05 PM


Here's a picture of mine to show you how I made them. It's just simple slab stuff with the back piece a little taller than the front. I made some that hold one tile, some that hold two and some that hold three or four. That way they can fit in different places in the kiln.


Oh yes! Fabulous Sylvia, thanks so much!! I bet I can make a credit card die for my extruder and whip those out in a jiffy. The different lengths is a great idea for loading too, thanks again!!!


p.s. - I almost named my youngest Sylvia, but she ended up Caroline, and my maiden name was Shirley. Posted Image