Jump to content


Member Since 28 Jun 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:31 PM

#71941 Help! Need An Oven Glaze That Is Food-Safe

Posted by bciskepottery on 15 December 2014 - 08:32 PM

There was no need to remove the glaze from the cups; just wash them to remove any oils, dirt. Use Sharpies with oil-based ink or Porcelain Pens designed for writing on glazed wares, then bake in the oven following your directions. Exterior use only. Google "Sharpie pen drawing on plates" and you'll get a trove of DYI links that explains the process.

#71933 Pit Fire Poo

Posted by bciskepottery on 15 December 2014 - 08:16 PM

I can't speak to the burning quality of bunny scat, but there is a difference between horse and cow manure. Cow pies should be very dry..frisbee quality. Horse turds are more cubic and have a higher nitrogen content. The horse turds are good for adding to saggar or trash can burns for good blacks. When I fired class loads of work , our pit was about 8-10 ft. long, 3 feet wide and about 30 inches deep with a ledge about 10" up from the bottom to support grills or metal refrigerator shelfs.The fire and built up coals were on the bottom.
Bunny poo mixed with pine may work in a pit or also you could try it on a trash can or a brick above ground "pit". The pine shavings will help the burn.


And Marcia knows her scat.

#71888 Manganese Dioxide

Posted by bciskepottery on 14 December 2014 - 09:18 PM

Link to MSDS for 266 and related claybodies by Standard using manganese dioxide. http://www.standardc...SDS-112-710.pdf

Manganese dioxide percent is 0 to 1%; appears most dark coloring comes from iron oxide, which ranges from 0 to 10%.

#71825 A Big Decision...

Posted by bciskepottery on 13 December 2014 - 08:45 PM

Sell your high end art pottery under your name; sell your low end pottery under a different name, like "Crappy Washington State Pottery". People buying high end want the maker's name on the work, not a company name like "Sitting Duck Pottery" (trying to make this up, hopefully no one is using that name). But, they are perfectly happy buying low end items from such an entity. And the curator need not know. You, however, will have to erect a tall wall between the two types of work and not let the work cross over. Once you put one item in one side, it can't move over. And, you'll not be the first to work under such an arrangement.

#71760 Food For Thought - E - Course!

Posted by bciskepottery on 12 December 2014 - 01:53 PM

There is a difference between posting a series of step-by-step photos with explanation and an interactive series of presentations, followed by students doing the lessons and then having individual follow-up sessions with the instructor and student -- which is the way I understand Antoinette's porcelain workshops work. I recall Simon Leach tried to do individual tutoring via Skype at one point, don't know what interest he got or if he still does it (one problem he encountered was the camera reversing images in the small screens, right-hand throwers appeared left-handed on the screen).

#71658 Adding Subtle Interest To Surface In Electric Kiln To Enhance Visual Qualities

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 December 2014 - 09:19 AM

Consider applying a fake ash glaze over the blue or a crawling type glaze over the blue that will add surface interest.

If the blue breaks on texture, then try adding some lines to the forms. A simple line is often all you need to break up a larger color plane. Also, a streak of a darker blue (maybe the same glaze but with more cobalt to give a darker color) would make a nice contrast.
  • oly likes this

#71657 How To Slab A Round Cylinder

Posted by bciskepottery on 11 December 2014 - 09:13 AM

I form my slabs around cardboard tubes/pvc pipe/etc. to make cylinders. The tubes/pipes/etc. are covered with a nylon knee high stocking to prevent the clay from sticking to the form; others use newspaper to wrap the form, but the stockings can be reused vs. newsprint that gets wet and sticks to the inside of the cylinder. The joining edges of my slabs are beveled to 60 degree cuts -- not 45 degrees. I prefer the wider surface for joining, plus it makes for a stronger join since more surface area is involved.

To keep forms round during drying, I do two things. First, before wrapping the slab on the form, I place it inside facing up on a piece of foam and roll the cylinder or a rolling pin on the slab to give if a new, round memory (as opposed to being a flat slab). Then I wrap it on the form. After wrapping on the form, I take either wide strips cut from the plastic bags newspapers are delivered in, or newsprint, and wrap them around the clay slab on the form to reinforce the new memory. They stay on even after I remove the cardboard/pvc/etc form until the form is at least cheddar chees leatherhard -- by that time, the strips will fall down due to shrinkage.

#71281 Grinding

Posted by bciskepottery on 05 December 2014 - 07:27 AM

The pictures are post-cleanup. The main culprits for running glazes were the oribes/celadons; one vase needed a fair amount of work on the bottom, the others were relatively minor. A few of the celadon pieces ran into the wadding and fusing it to the bottom which required grinding. Plus, if you are careful, you can grind the bottom without it being seen from looking at the item without picking it up. The feldspar inclusions that popped out on the bottoms needed to be smoothed. Used both a bench grind and dremel, followed by wet sanding with 100/200 grit diamond sand pads. Just have to take time and not rush. And, you look at the item and figure out how to use its firing "imperfections" to advantage. And the vile plastic/rubber/felt pads are secure on their hook in the aisle at Home Depot.

A couple vases were lost in firing -- they were on the bagwall and split on a seam. One tea bowl crack in the bottom where it was thinner than the rest of the cup.

Oh, all the pieces are functional. Vases and ikebana vases . . . finished putting in the kenzan last evening. And, there are wonderful ash flecks in the glazed pieces -- they did pick up the gifts of the wood.

#71280 Manganese Dioxide

Posted by bciskepottery on 05 December 2014 - 07:17 AM

Yes, manganese dioxide is toxic -- both in dry form (breathing risk) and in suspended form (it can be absorbed by through the skin, causing neurological problems). And, your kiln should be vented to outside to remove gases emitted during firing. Lip of a mug is not a good idea as the contact is a point for leeching. Outside of a bowl or mug -- to highlight decoration or make a mark, likely okay; to cover the full surface -- not a good idea. A heavy application is going to go metallic and may/may not completely melt. Will it leech through to inside -- depends. Are your firing your stoneware to vitrification? If not, could be problematic. Are you using a durable, trusted liner glaze? You might see some fuming from your wares to others in the kiln -- are you firing your own kiln or are you risking others pottery in a community kiln?

#71253 Grinding

Posted by bciskepottery on 04 December 2014 - 04:30 PM

Photos uploaded. http://community.cer...-november-2014/

#71126 How To Paint A Commercial Tile And Refire For Durability

Posted by bciskepottery on 02 December 2014 - 07:57 PM

The approach you take will depend on where you fire the tiles. I am assuming you do not have a kiln and will need to find a pottery studio that will fire the tiles for you. If that is the case, you will be tied to their firing schedules/temperatures unless your wife produces a whole kiln full of tiles to be fired at one time. Most studios bisque fire (the first firing to make the clay somewhat hard and ready for glazing) at about 1888F or cone 05 (some go higher to cone 04) and glaze fire to about 2232F or cone 6.

If you are using tiles purchased from a clay supplier, they come bisque fired and your wife can either put a majolica base glaze on them and then decorate with colors (Amaco used to make a separate line of majolica colors; Duncan may still do so). Or, your wife can decorate the bisque tile with underglazes and then apply a coat of clear glaze on top. Then you get to tote them to the clay studio for firing. The hotter the firing temperature, the more you will finds some colors tend to fade. At the lower temperatures, the colors appear more vibrant. Some people prefer to rebisque after putting on the underglazes and then apply the clear glaze and fire again; others just put the clear glaze over the underglaze and fire once.

Another option, mentioned above, is china paints. China paints are formulated to be brushed on top of already glazed tiles -- like the ones you can buy at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. -- much like water colors. These are fired much lower than bisque ware -- somewhere around cone 016 to 012. If you take this approach, you'll need to either have your own kiln or find a studio that will fire at that temperature and provide them with a full kiln load of tiles.

But, where and what temperature you fire to will dictate, to a large degree, which path you and your wife follow.

#70050 Cone 6 Glaze Problems - Turner White

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 November 2014 - 09:07 PM

You can get an ebook version of Mastering Cone 6 Glazes or they have issued a b/w version that you can buy from the authors.  http://www.masteringglazes.com/ The cost of the original out of print versions is ridiculously high. The book was self-published by the authors, so runs were rather limited.

Check out the work of Steven Hill -- he made the shift from cone 10 to cone 6 and has written articles and has a dvd on how he applies his glazes and glaze recipes.

#70044 Cone 6 Glaze Problems - Turner White

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 November 2014 - 06:36 PM

Sounds as if the glaze underfired.  Were there any other glazes used in that firing and, if so, did they turn out okay?  Or was the entire load Turner White?  You may need to fire up to cone 6 or fire to cone 5 and increase the hold more than 15 minutes to get melting of the glaze.  Almost by definition, a matte or semi-matte glaze results when you get an immature melt. 


You can fire the exiting pieces as they are; no need to add anything.  They likely just need to be refired a bit higher in temperature . . . but only try one or two pieces to see how they withstand refiring before doing all the pieces and ending up with a kiln full of shattered fragments. 

#69990 New Potter: Advice Appreciated!

Posted by bciskepottery on 16 November 2014 - 07:49 AM

"Here are my goals for the next year:
1. Earn $10,000 net by end of August 2015
2. Further develop my voice: Specifically focusing on forms and glazing
3. Get out of the local craft fair scene and focus on bigger shows
4. Do all of this while continuing my full-time job (business writer) and without ruining my marriage. ;-)

My wife and I sat down last weekend and talked about the business. We decided together that if I could clear $10,000 in profit by the end of next August working very part time, we would consider taking the plunge and going full-time (assuming I could double/triple my profit once I had 40+ hours a week do devote to it)"

Setting your goals is the first step; of these, I would opine #2 and #4 (especially the part about ruining the marriage) are the most important. Your pottery and glazes are very nice. But, if you look around, they look like a lot of other potters work. Finding your "voice" on making those forms and colors truly yours is the most importing thing. And, in experimenting, you need to be able to ignore making money (you will end up with a fair amount of work where the idea does not pan out) and just focus on developing your line of work. After that, sales will come.

You may need to give yourself more than 10 months to accomplish these goals. So, don't let that be a constraint that hinders your development as a potter. Give yourself time. Seven years down the road, I'm still trying to figure this stuff out. Clay is not for those seeking instant gratification; you work on clay's time schedule, not your own.

Your local community may be your best customer. Good advice from an old time potter in Minnesota, Mel Jacobsen, is draw a 50 mile radius of where you live and that is your customer base. Build a customer network, build a mailing list, and most importantly, build good pottery with good prices and they will come. Building a customer base is a goal you might want to add.

Add to your list the following: contact the local community college or small business administration office and take a course (or find a mentor with SBA) who can help you develop a business plan and help you think out the business side of making and selling pottery. Also, reach out and find some full-time potters and get their advice and perspectives. Once you do that, you'll be in a better position to understand what it will take to succeed as a full-time potter.

Disclaimer: I am still a part-timer. I also came to clay late in life. So, I am not looking to make a living off my work.

#69981 Pride ... Is It Really A Sin?

Posted by bciskepottery on 15 November 2014 - 11:10 PM

One thing I've come to accept in working with clay/kilns, sometimes you hit it right and sometimes it goes straight to the trash. This is truly one of the most humbling mediums in which a person can work; one day you're the master of the universe, the next you get all the frustration/vexation you can handle. It's okay to take pride in your work and to feel good about your work; excessive pride or misplaced pride is something else. To keep yourself in balance, remember you are only as good as your next firing.