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Puzzlebox Art Studio

Member Since 22 May 2013
Offline Last Active Jul 30 2013 10:10 PM

Topics I've Started

Re-Glazing A Broken Piece--Possible?

21 July 2013 - 07:13 AM

I broke the handle off a mug that needed re-glazing anyway. (there didn't seem to be any structural issues with the handle previously, I actually dropped something heavy onto the handle).


It was an underglaze painted mug with clear glaze that left a few bare spots so I wanted to re-coat with clear and fire again...so that would be the 4th firing including bisque (don't know if that makes a difference).


Can I just glue the handle back on, glaze and fire? Or does the glaze seep through the cracks and force the broken bits off again? This is mid-fire, and not a runny glaze.


If it's not a problem to do that, does type of glue matter? Super glue, or is just white latex glue OK? (that's what I already have available, so it's easiest!).



Increasing strength of small pieces

22 May 2013 - 05:02 AM

My studio produces some small, easily-droppable pieces like pendants for necklaces and keychains. I believe that since I started working here, the kiln manager made some improvements (perhaps just increasing temperature) but I'm really not eager to test too many pieces that we spent a lot of time painting by throwing them around. This concern popped into my head today because I DID drop one from the most recent firing but it didn't break, but then another employee dropped a different one from a firing a few months ago, which did break.

We're in small-town Thailand. The clay we are using is simply called "white clay" but is not porcelain. (looks brown when wet). The pendants are cut from slabs (rolled w/ pins). Don't remember the temp for bisque fire, but underglaze fire is at 1150 C and glaze fire is at 1240 C. Each pendant is 1/4" thick at maximum, but sometimes become thinner after sanding. The glaze doesn't run, so we glaze down the sides of the pendants, only cleaning off the very bottom. Looks like this when finished.

Does anyone have general thoughts on what makes some small ceramics sturdier than others? Is there anything we should be doing? Since our customers also live in Thailand, the loss of an $8 pendant due to breakage is a bigger deal here. We don't want people thinking this is a foolish purchase! Plus, as the painting technique on the pendants grows steadily more detailed, we'd like to bump that up to $15, but don't want that to be risky for customers.

Questions about using wax resist

22 May 2013 - 04:32 AM

Sorry to ask another wax question, I see another from just a few days ago but decided it didn't match quite enough to tag on.

1) I manage a small art studio in small-town Thailand where we also make batik. The wax we use for batik has varying proportions of paraffin mixed in. Could we use this for wax resist on bisqueware, rather than making a separate wax resist? I saw one "recipe" online for a homemade wax resist that was basically just paraffin and turpentine melted together. Is there any reason for this, rather than just straight beeswax or beeswax + paraffin? Is turpentine necessary? The wax seems thin enough when melted. Oh, and for batik we use it when smoking-hot melted, but I got the impression that this is bad for bisqueware. Why?

2) If only some pieces in the kiln are using wax resist and others are not, is there any unintended side effect? Like, I dunno, smoke damage or other "deposits" on the non-waxed pieces? I think we count as medium to medium-high fire here. Not reduction. We normally do detailed underglaze painting on the bisqueware and fire at 1150 C, then add clear glaze, fire 3rd time at 1240 C. Maybe there is no such thing as damage from the wax burning off other pieces, I just have no idea and want to protect the super-detailed painting on the other pieces.

3) When I have used wax resist myself in the past at other studios, I just painted it on and left it as that. This was with reduction fire, though. Today I saw a few references online to scraping wax off before firing (bisque, not green). When I tried to modify my Google search to purposefully find more results about scraping off the wax, I couldn't. So...um, is that just crazy and unnecessary? It seems nearly impossible to scrape off a wax layer without taking off the glaze layer underneath. But it made me wonder about reasons for removing most of the wax.