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Member Since 04 Oct 2011
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#116353 Glaze Ingredients Req'd To Bring Out Effect Of Iron In A Clay Body?

Posted by neilestrick on 15 November 2016 - 08:53 AM

That's just a fancy way of saying the glaze will look different on a darker clay than on a whiter clay. All glazes do that for the most part, some more dramatic than others. Looks like your basic oatmeal spodumene glaze. I don't know that there's anything specific you can add to a glaze to make it happen, though. It's just the nature of the glaze.

  • oly likes this

#116282 So Close ... But Not ...

Posted by neilestrick on 14 November 2016 - 11:46 AM

I always tell my customers I can get to within 1/4 inch. Too many variables at play to guarantee anything closer. You're brave for even trying! 

#116265 Scented Ceramic

Posted by neilestrick on 14 November 2016 - 08:57 AM

neil i would imagine if you are making scented ware it is not functional. i have used store bought ^04 glazes on ^10 bodies. they are not functional but i cant spot buyer defined imperfections with my bare eyes. (that's what i did in my first ceramic class). 


Just putting out there as a 'best practices' note.

#116143 Kiln electricity

Posted by neilestrick on 11 November 2016 - 05:57 PM

I would post this as a new topic.


Lots of power. Have enough for your kiln, and enough for a second small kiln for tests, and enough for a larger kiln in the future. Go ahead and make all the regular outlets 20 amps. 100 amp sub panel at the least, but if you've got a 400 amp main panel then pull 200 out to the studio.

#116131 An Easy Way To Get Wax Resist Off Of Bisque.

Posted by neilestrick on 11 November 2016 - 03:30 PM

In my experience, the only way to remove it completely and cleanly is to burn it off in the kiln.

#116125 Glaze Behaviour Why?

Posted by neilestrick on 11 November 2016 - 02:51 PM

It's just gravity. On vertical walls the glazes flow downward. On horizontal surfaces they pool. These two different actions result in different appearances. They mix and move differently, so they look different. The top half of a pot will often look different than the bottom half, as the glaze runs down from the top and gets thinner there, but gets thicker at the bottom where the runny glaze collects.

#116115 An Easy Way To Get Wax Resist Off Of Bisque.

Posted by neilestrick on 11 November 2016 - 12:38 PM

I find it totally depends on the clay and the glaze you're using. For transparent glazes that show every little thing, like a celadon, the only thing I have found to be acceptable is burning out the wax in another firing. For opaque or layered or runny glazes, this may work. You also have to be careful that you're not smearing the wax as you scrape it. It can be difficult to see if there's still some wax residue.

#116069 Cress Kiln Options

Posted by neilestrick on 10 November 2016 - 08:53 PM

Get the kiln you'll need 4 years from now, not the one you need now. You don't want to have to buy another one in a few years plus have to rewire the circuit.

#116051 Perpetual Issues With A Paragon Viking 28

Posted by neilestrick on 10 November 2016 - 02:50 PM

Take a look at the serial plate on the kiln. It will say how many amps the kiln draws. The breaker/fuses should be 25% greater.

#116040 Perpetual Issues With A Paragon Viking 28

Posted by neilestrick on 10 November 2016 - 12:05 PM

Looks like your control box is trying to escape.

#115920 Crawling On Laguna B Mix

Posted by neilestrick on 08 November 2016 - 09:50 PM

I would also say that there are a lot more problematic glazes on the market than there used to be. 20 years ago, when cone 6 was not as popular as it is now, the majority of the commercial glazes on the market were pretty consistent and easy to use. There have always been a few exceptions, but in general it wasn't a big problem. But now there are more brands on the market, and a lot more competition to sell glazes. Combined with peoples demand for more interesting and exotic surfaces, there are now a lot more 'iffy' glazes on the market that require very specific firing parameters for successful results, and they are runny and less stable when layered with other glazes. When they work they're beautiful, but when they don't there's a lot more pinholing, cratering, and crawling. 20 years ago they wouldn't have put those glazes into production because of the potential problems and wanting to avoid all the phone class from disgruntled potters, but the market demands it nowadays. There are some companies that are far more guilty of this than others IMHO, but in general it's much more of a problem than in the past.

#115819 That Cold Top Shelf

Posted by neilestrick on 07 November 2016 - 01:50 PM

A gas kiln does not need to be a cube in order to fire perfectly. Not even close. Whoever came up with that idea is dead wrong. In a downdraft kiln, if the top is running cool, raise the bag wall a little bit. Even half a brick will make a difference.


The top shelf should make a big difference in the little round kiln.

#115513 Specific Gravity When Layering Glazes

Posted by neilestrick on 01 November 2016 - 02:29 PM

In my studio we do a 6 count for the first dip, 4 count for the second dip. Second dips must be at least an inch from the bottom to give the glazes room to run. For my work I use different rules so I can get the double dip all the way down to the bottom. I typically do a 4 count for the first dip, then just in and out for the second, staying 1/4 to 3/4 inch from the bottom, depending on the glaze combo and the size of the piece. As Mark said, make some test tiles that show how the glazes behave when layered. And remember that glaze A on glaze B will not look the same as glaze B on glaze A. I've got a board in my studio that shows the double dipping combos of all 14 class glazes, so 196 tiles. We're getting ready to redo it soon, as I've put 7 new glazes into use this week. It's a lot of work but well worth it.

#115387 Stoneware Warping In The Kiln

Posted by neilestrick on 30 October 2016 - 07:51 PM

Putting a bottom slab on it will solve the problem. Or just set it on a sacrificial slab that can shrink with the piece. Any time you have an open bottom like that it will distort if it's sitting right on the shelf.


It's only over fired if it's a cone 6 clay.

#115323 When Centering My Wheel

Posted by neilestrick on 29 October 2016 - 10:42 AM

It's a spray stuff they make for car engine belts that keeps them from slipping. Do not use on salad.