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Member Since 28 Jun 2010
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#106249 New To Clay :where Can I Source Information For Hand Building Tiny Figurines

Posted by bciskepottery on 03 May 2016 - 07:53 PM

Your choice of clay and glazes will be dictated by the firing temperature you plan to use, low-fire (cones 06 to 04), mid-range (cone 6), or high fire (cone 10), or somewhere in-between.  For clays, you will likely want one that has no grog in it so that you still get a smooth surface after working the clay.  If we knew your location, we might be able to help with specific clay bodies . . . some are national in distribution, others are more regional.  And, your firing temperature. 

#106247 How To Convert Semi-Matte To Glossy Glaze

Posted by bciskepottery on 03 May 2016 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for your reply. I tried that (no slow co, but the result was not much glossier than the photo, and still variegated. I think I may not have properly explained the quality I am looking for. When I refer to a glossy version, I really mean something that is glossy and not "variegated", i.e., I want a glaze that is glossy and smooth/solid, without the "opalescent" quality. The teal glaze on the rim of the cup in the photo below has the transparent/glossy/non-variegated quality I desire. For contrast, the red glaze on the honey pot in the other photo here is glossy, but variegated. I am not sure I am using the terminology correctly, but I hope that this makes sense. If I am not being clear, please let me know.
Thank you!

The teal is likely a semi-matte with a clear glaze over it. My guess is the semi-matte has enough copper to leach and the clear is used to seal the copper. If you just want the glossy teal glaze, find a good clear glossy glaze and add some green or teal mason stain to it.

#106246 Qotw: .... What Would Be A Logical Follow Up Question?

Posted by bciskepottery on 03 May 2016 - 07:39 PM

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Stuff from the salt firing . . .

#106145 What That System With The Removable Center Section Do You Like

Posted by bciskepottery on 02 May 2016 - 06:57 PM

Would someone post a photo or a link, I've never seen what you are talking about.


#106069 How To Spot A Good Pot, Part 2

Posted by bciskepottery on 01 May 2016 - 03:49 PM

Second installment.  Enjoy.



#106032 Large Platter Broke In Half In Bisque Firing. Anything To Do With It?

Posted by bciskepottery on 30 April 2016 - 08:09 PM

OH!  Just make little balls of clay and put them underneath?!  What fun!  How far apart...I'm guessing about 1 inch apart...so 8-10 for a platter with about 4-5 inches diameter  flat area on the bottom?


( I love the interest in this, and the advanced scientific discussion some of you have brought into it!)


Not little balls of "clay"; little balls of a mixture of 50% alumina hydrate and 50% EPK.  For a platter, five -- one in each corner and one in the middle.  Roll the wad and attach to the bottom of the pot with a bit of Elmer's glue.  When attaching them, avoid touching other areas of the pot with the hands/fingers used to make/attach the wad as any transfer of the alumina could result in a white spot where you touched.  I usually keep a damp hand-towel nearby and wipe my hands between placing the wads on the pot and then putting the pot on a kiln shelf.  Left over wadding can be kept in an airtight zip-lock bag; some keep theirs in the refrigerator/freezer if the wadding includes organic materials (in salt kilns, some add sawdust, flour, and other organics to burnout of the wadding and make it easier to release from the pot; I generally use the 50/50 mix and have not had problems with sticking).

#105888 Packing Sculptures Finished With Low-Fired Barnard Slip

Posted by bciskepottery on 28 April 2016 - 08:29 PM

My guess is the barnard is not melting enough at low-fire temps, which is why the cone 5 fire statue did okay and the others -- all fired at 04 -- chipped or did not melt and adhere. 


Try mixing 50/50 barnard and borax or gerstley borate.  Of 50/50 barnard and frit 3134.  Try a couple test tiles to see how temperature works and whether the additions affect color.


You will get darker color at higher temperatures.


And, be watchful of the barnard dust . . . it can have a high percentage of manganese in it. 

#105830 Terracotta Clay Is So Messy ----

Posted by bciskepottery on 27 April 2016 - 09:36 PM

Why not just make a terra-cotta colored slip and apply it to your white vessels, then glaze?  Wedging in a stain to the clay body is a lot of work; slips are less so. 

#105815 Interior Supports?

Posted by bciskepottery on 27 April 2016 - 06:43 PM

Expect smoke when you fire the kiln . . . once you get past 481F, all the paper is burned out.  Maybe leave the kiln lid propped open. 


For my cardboard tubes used for forming vases and cylinders, I put them in a knee-high nylon sock, tie up the end.  Clay does not stick to the sock.

#105812 "functional" Low Fire Clay

Posted by bciskepottery on 27 April 2016 - 06:34 PM


For a short time, Tony Clennell was working with a low-fire red clay from Tuckers; he might be able to give you some advice. Tony is up around Ontario. He is a wood-firer; gave up on earthenware/electric kiln and returned to the wood kiln. Email him and he might offer some first hand experience. He is a good friend of the owner of Tuckers.

#105811 " Boom Glaze " Have U Ever Seen It Before And How To Make It

Posted by bciskepottery on 27 April 2016 - 06:29 PM

Crater or lava glaze that might have been sand-blasted post firing.

#105752 Mea Is In The Smithsonian Craft Show!

Posted by bciskepottery on 26 April 2016 - 06:48 PM

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And the cover of  Pottery Making Ilustrated!!!

#105750 Recommendations For Levelling A New Kiln Installation?

Posted by bciskepottery on 26 April 2016 - 06:31 PM

Large flat metal washers from the hardware store.  Or just pieces of flat scrap metal from a metal shop.  You probably won't need more than one or two.  Maybe 1/8 inch thick unless your floor is seriously un-level.  My L&L dealer used one or two metal tabs, nothing fancy. 

#105504 Cornstarch

Posted by bciskepottery on 21 April 2016 - 08:33 PM

Bentonite will help with hard-panning.  Dissolve it in some hot water before adding it to the already mixed glaze.  Dissolve epsom salts in hot water until the salts stop dissolving; then add a teaspoon or so to the glaze until it stops hard-panning. 


You can add gum Arabic or glycerin to make the glaze brushable. 

#105373 Grog in clay for throwing

Posted by bciskepottery on 18 April 2016 - 10:22 AM

Hi all,


I am fairly new to pottery but wanted to try throwing different clay bodies in various difficulties. One thing that really fascinated me are high grog content clays. The coarser the better. I came across this moon jar that I wanted to attempt but wasn't sure how I could come up with it. The artist said it is a mixture of porcelain and abereiddi stone + white jun glaze. Can someone advice on how I can get this clay body?




Any help is greatly appreciated.


Many thanks,



Porcelain is porcelain.  The key is his addition of a local stone -- abereiddi -- which he wedges into the porcelain and then fires.  The stone is likely a high iron content stone, so it shows through the white jun glaze.  Basically, he adds the local stone to his clay.  Whether he mixes his own porcelain or buys a commercial porcelain -- unknown.  But he adds the stone.  Likely fired to cone 10 or hire to get the stone to melt properly.