So I might be a bit different here. But when testing someone else's recipe: I start with half the water compared to the recipe. So say a 200g batch would start with 100ml of water. I also don't measure SG until I have used the glaze a lot and I know the consistency I want to use it at. I find it's a waste of time to measure it before you know how you want it and if your even going to use it in the future. A lot of test come out awful.
After I have mixed up the glaze batch into 100ml of water, I slowly add more small amounts of water to the mix until I feel it is a really thick but mixed consistency. I stick my finger in the test batch to see if it is nice and blended. If it isn't I continue mixing until it is. Usually I run my stick blender for a good minute in a 200g batch, sometimes more.
Once the glaze is mixed up to a smooth thick consistency I put the lid on and let the the glaze sit over night, I find that the glaze will thicken over night as the clay absorbs the water. It is too thick to use at this point. The next day I get some water and the stick blender and I start adding water and blending it as I add the water slowly. Eventually I will get the glaze to the consistency I think is right for the test dip. I usually still leave it slightly thicker. A lot of the times I will test multiple thicknesses with a single dip on multiple tiles, because that is usually how you dip pieces. So I will dip the tile in a pretty thick glaze mix for 3 seconds. Then I will thin the glaze slightly more with a little more water, and dip a different tile. Continue until the glaze is what most would consider a normal dipping consistency, I go with what Neil says, a chocolate milk consistency. So sometimes I will have 2-4 tiles of the same glaze all dipped for 3 seconds with different thicknesses. You could measure the SG's of each consistency at this step, but if you hate the glaze you just spent a lot of time measuring SG's that you might not even use.
I then fire those tiles. If I like the results of one of the tiles enough I will glaze the inside and outside of a small cup that fits in the 200g batch container. Depending on which application you liked the most, thickest or thinnest you can hold the piece in longer to sort of get the same results. Fire this 2nd piece.
If you like the results of the 2nd piece then make a batch large enough to dip a full mug or small bottle. Somewhere around 1500g depending on the glaze, let sit overnight and add water next day.
Mix to the consistency that you liked, but leave it on the slightly thicker side. Measure SG. Glaze and fire a pot. After this you can compare this result to the tiles and 1st cup you fired, thin to the consistency you think you need. Measure SG, glaze pot, fire pot. If happy, note SG on the bucket and your good to go for the rest of your life with this glaze. You know the SG it should be for a production batch and you can manipulate it in the bucket to get the SG you need if the glaze changes over time in the bucket.
I don't do any of this anymore since I spray all my glazes now, but this is how I used to do it. I found just adding water until it a set SG was hit caused a lot of problems for me. Also SG varies immensely for each glaze depending on the clay in the recipe. So just picking some random SG to shoot for didn't really work well for me. That is why fired so many test before I started measuring SG. Because I didn't want to just think the SG was right the first time, and mix a large batch and it be too watery or something.
I don't know if this is a complicated way to do things or not, but when you just mix a glaze to an ideal consistency the first time you could be missing a lot of great information about a thick application of that glaze on a tile. Maybe it has bubbles suspended in the glaze that you might want on a piece. Maybe in a thick application it forms spots or drips in a really pretty manner. Maybe it becomes glossier. Maybe it becomes opaque. Who knows!, but it is interesting to see the differences when making a new glaze of all the different thicknesses. If your already going through the trouble to test a glaze, at least test it in as many ways as you can quickly test.
Some people might say to just dip the thin glaze multiple times, but I find that sometimes that can be different than a big juicy dip for 3 seconds.
Anyways. Just my two cents. The reading of this method is probably longer than the actual method itself.
Also, if you have different firing profiles. It is worth glazing double the set of tiles and then firing the second in your slow cooling profile later, glazes can be drastically different between slow cool and fast cool.
I was doing a lot of sumi ink painting for a while. I never got any good at it, didn't practice enough or have a teacher. Kind of got out of it, but I should get back into it. It is highly enjoyable. I tried incorporating the sumi stuff into my ceramics, but I was never good enough to like the paintings on my pots. There are some people who translate that skill to pottery well.
I used to paint & draw when I was a kid. Now I mostly just use chalk to draw art on my back patio with my son. Ceramics to me is the ultimate art. Its beauty in an object you can hold, interact with and use every day. It is best art I have ever been a part of. I have tried all sorts of stuff.
My wife quilts and I love that too. It is amazing how she can turn little cuts of fabric into beautiful masterpieces.
1. Uneven walls is the number one cause for this most of the time. Or a combination of this and firing to fast.
4. Cone 5 and Cone 6 are pretty far apart. I contacted Orton about this and they actually have started making a Cone 5.5 in order to help solve this problem of 5 being down and 6 being stiff. Maybe get some 5.5 Cones. I use them now.
Also don't be to upset about a bad load it happens. Figure out what you want to change in your firing process and make more pots and fire again. Remember only change one thing at a time.
I will not call this one bone head; but will classify it as really really stupid. My laptop crashed, and along with it seven years of research and notes. I thought I had backed it all up just a few months back, but when I plugged in the thumb drive-nothing was there. At this point, even a very long string of four letter words do not sum up my feelings.
You can easily get the data off the laptop. Take out the harddrive from the laptop. If you have another computer you can just buy an adapter that plugs into the minihard drive and makes it a usb connector to another computer. Easy and simple. (looks like this: https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B0037JACXG) Just make sure you get the right kind.
And even if you think the data isn't there. It probably is. A good recovery program will find most of it unless the drive is just trashed. Which rarely happens.
I use 50% RIO 50% Gerstely Borate. It will not rub off after a glaze firing, however it will stick to a shelve if you put it on thick. I usually just label the tile at the bottom of the tile.
This is what RIO/GB mix looks like:
After I pull out the tile which is numbered and wrote down in a notebook. I then take pictures of all the tiles and code them in insight live. I used to not do this, but I started losing my notebooks and not knowing which glaze, how many layers, or what glaze combinations a tile was became really really annoying.
Now I put the tile picture in the recipe file inside insight.
I have also used underglaze pencils, but I find its much easier to just brush on RIO.
Underglaze pencil on porcelain:
The pencils are pretty hard to write with imo. I wasn't too happy with it.
While I understand all the thoughts going through all this, I just want to say as a person who has started many businesses, you can spend so much time starting up you never get started. Just be aware of that. The first few businesses I tried to start, I spent so much time on getting everything ready I never got going.
Just had to put that out there, so you don't fall into the same traps I have in the past.
Other than that. Looking good on the statements and the business cards.
-- you ask for feedback, I hope this doesn't sound negative or anything, just a life experience i went through several times.
I felt like the results thread was a nice place to see all the work finished, but I also liked seeing the works in progress posted on the actual topic. I feel like the results thread was a lot of extra work for you Joel and we should have just posted our works in progress and final pictures as went in the same place.
Well. Here are the results of a cup I fired. This cup was bisqued beforehand to cone 6. The test tiles were single fired. No Bloating. No cracks. No surface defects of any kind noticeable. I am out of the clay.
As promised the results of the firing:
Props to SIO-2 for an amazing product. Even the non glazed tile is beautiful. First thing I plan to make is a tall bottle non glazed for my home. I am officially joining the single fire club. Woop woop, so all around success. Which is nice for me coming back from burnout. Very happy.
One thing I am finally happy about is I can actually enjoy leaving more of my pots clay showing. Before with the brown storeware it was just kinda meh, but this clay is so beautiful bare that I am happy to show more of the pot, which might increase a lot of my production as I can dip bisqued pots 3/4 of the way and leave big fingermarks in the glaze and be pretty happy with it.
Now I just have to find my voice in my work. Finally found a body I think I can be happy with.