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Member Since 31 Mar 2010
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#127225 Where Are The Good Stamps?!

Posted by Min on Yesterday, 05:23 PM

Wilton fondant cake decoration letters/numbers work well too. They're nice and deep and press in cleanly. Comes with a holder so the letters line up straight. (only uppercase letters)


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#126981 Specific Gravity-Glaze Thickness Tools

Posted by Min on 20 May 2017 - 10:04 PM

I find a scale that measures in tenths of grams very useful for glaze testing. Less than a gram of chrome for chrome/tin red tests, often less than a gram for copper, cobalt, stains, and other colourants when the base for the test glaze is 100 grams. Agree with Mark when you are doing up a large batch of glaze you don't need to go with less than a gram.

#126941 Will Lowering Specific Gravity Always Make A Glaze Less Likely To Run?

Posted by Min on 19 May 2017 - 06:48 PM

With 40% kaolin in that first recipe there's no way you should need to add bentonite to it. Really wouldn't add more epsom salts solution to it, just going to make it thicken up even more. I'ld pull out about a cup of glaze, then add some darvan to it, just a drop or two at a time, give it a good stir then dip a test tile. Add more darvan a little bit at a time until the glaze is at a good consistency. I'm guessing it's going to take longer to dry so drips are probably going to be a problem. Have to fettle them down when the glaze is really dry. Use the small test glaze as a guide to fix the rest of it.


Second glaze, I can see 2% bentonite in this one, not the 4. Again, I would try a small amount of glaze with a titch of darvan and see how the glaze hangs on a test tile. Go by the specific gravity, not how it looks. Think of thickening a sauce when you are cooking, you add a cornstarch slurry to thicken a sauce, water content doesn't change but the sauce is thicker. The bentonite and epsom salts did that, you don't want a watery sauce / glaze, you "thin" it down with darvan.

#126894 Qotw: Participants Question Pool For Future Qotw's

Posted by Min on 18 May 2017 - 12:47 PM

Have had this in the back of my mind for a few days, came up with something that makes me shake my head and smile. My parents. 


Have had comments from them ranging from “people actually buy these?” to a remark on a speckled glaze, “oh, it looks like it has fleas”. Doesn’t stop there, at a market my dad came into my tent (while customers there) and said “has it been this slow all day?” Not to be outdone my mum once said, “if we pay your tuition how about going into accounting”. 


My husband and children have always been super supportive.


So, question would be, what’s your family like?

 (if you don't have one, want to borrow my parents?)  ;)

#126825 Help! Newbie Struggling With How Much Water?

Posted by Min on 16 May 2017 - 09:31 PM

There are some really bad youtube video's out there, don't know if you've seen this one but it's a good one for covering most of the issues with centering (including coning). As DM Ernst pointed out, look at the size of the clay he is working with. It's hard to quantify how wet the clay should be if you've never worked with "soft" clay. If you try wedging on a formica tabletop and the clay sticks a bit I would say it's soft enough, if it doesn't stick then I'ld work some water into it like has already been mentioned. For the coning part use the heels of your hands not your fingertips. Doesn't matter if you are a lefty, if your wheel is spinning counterclockwise work on the right side of pot to do your lifts. (at approx 3:00 o'clock).   


"I feel really dumb having to come here and ask this"

Why??? Nobody here would ever ridicule you for asking for help with something that is giving you problems. 

#126679 Gray Areas In Fired Glazes

Posted by Min on 14 May 2017 - 11:22 AM

I agree with Bruce that it likely is because of glaze thickness. Those tin/iron oatmeal glazes are always more orangey brown where thin and more white / oatmeal where thicker. Chrome tin reds aren't red if the glaze is too thin, they fire out a greyish clear. Would be fairly straightforward to either rule in or out. Take some test tiles and apply 1 thin quick dip or pour, then double dip the top half of tiles then triple dip one top corner. Fire them the same way as your usual glaze firing.

#126590 Alumina Hydrate, Alumina Reactive & Aluminium Hydroxide

Posted by Min on 12 May 2017 - 09:34 AM

This one from US Pigments. 


"I was making some lidded jars and while none of the lids stuck I had to pop one of them off with a gentle pry."

Ummm, nooooooo, don't pry it off, you can easily chip out part of the rim. Tap with a piece of wood on the side of the pot near the rim. If that doesn't work then run the lid under the hot tap and try again, if that doesn't do it then freeze the pot then try, if it still doesn't unstick then run the frozen pot under the hot tap and tap.

#126543 Bottoms Chipping During Firing

Posted by Min on 11 May 2017 - 03:48 PM

What's your kiln wash recipe? I would scrape/grind off the old stuff and re-apply, couple coats, let dry a few minutes between. Kiln wash gets less effective the longer it's been on the shelves when you have glazes that fume a bit. Are those dark circles glaze or clay? Is there glaze right down to the bottom of the walls?


BTW, this is the kiln wash recipe I use, works well. 

50 alumina hydrate

25 epk

25 calcined epk

#126518 Clear Glaze Chemistry

Posted by Min on 11 May 2017 - 09:56 AM

adding to what John wrote, An Overview of Glaze and Glazing Safety William M. Carty and Hyojin Lee

information without the hysteria.

#126418 Looking To Start Mixing My Own Glazes

Posted by Min on 09 May 2017 - 12:06 AM


but, maybe i am wrong about that, too.  after all, i am just some old lady.



You are much more than that. You are a wonderful person and valuable member of this community who is so very generous with her experience, knowledge and thoughts. Don’t think we all have to be in agreement about all things, that’s part of what makes these forums work, bouncing ideas etc off each other to help fill in the blanks.

#126224 Making Glazes

Posted by Min on 05 May 2017 - 02:58 PM

Doesn't sound like it's ball clay you added. Barnard has iron plus manganese in it, would account for the brownish colour you got (the cobalt probably intensified it), it's not a ball clay. I would pick up some ball clay, OM4 is a common one, C&C is a whiter firing one but either should be fine for this glaze recipe.


I doubled the glaze thickness on one end of that quick test tile, thickness doesn't seem to matter with this glaze to get the purple colour. Some people dip their pots in water before glazing, some don't, bisque firing to 04 is common, especially with non porcelain clays. I rather adjust glaze thickness than wetting the pots. Glazes differ in how much water to add, when you get one applying the way you like it I would measure the specific gravity (lots of posts on how to do that) then until you get a good feel for the glaze just check the specific gravity before you glaze to get it to the right thickness. 

#126182 Looking To Start Mixing My Own Glazes

Posted by Min on 04 May 2017 - 02:27 PM

I have never used floating blue before, but it looks like it needs a thicker coat. The nutmeg glaze came out pretty decent comparison to that commercial glaze. The whites and stuff look as per usual. 


Remember to test them again on a larger pot. I am making little .5# bud vases to test my glazes. They are about 2-3 inches tall and have a lot of different surfaces. 


I attached an example. Basically its just a throw away pot but creating them is fun, and they have a lot of surface variety going on to see all the changes of a glaze or two layered together. The rough base catches(hopefully) any runs. 


Keep up the good work, welcome to the rabbit hole. Hopefully you don't go to far down.  :o


Yes, yes, yes on making larger test pieces before committing real pots. Then craze test those before putting on real pots.

 "welcome to the rabbit hole. Hopefully you don't go to far down" said the man half way to China  :rolleyes:

#126126 Making Glazes

Posted by Min on 03 May 2017 - 12:30 PM

Just a suggestion but I would label the containers themselves, not the lids. Same with glaze containers, it's super easy to put the wrong lid on a pail etc. I'll be doing a glaze firing in a few days, I can add a test of that glaze if you don't get it sorted by then. 

Mixing glazes while using a Chinese finger trap???? it's hard enough as it is without using one of those  ;)

#126120 Making Glazes

Posted by Min on 03 May 2017 - 10:11 AM

You have some nice test glazes there. Test tiles often look different than glazes on real pots. Small batch has a greater chance of user error with the weighing out of materials, tiny differences with the scales can make a big difference in the glaze.


Just to confirm it's the Bright Purple from Britt's Mid Range Glazes Book right that is coming out brown? I had a look at the recipe and the only thing I could see that would do that is if you used manganese instead of magnesium. Is this possible? What colour was the stuff you added for that? Also, the glaze crawling inside the bottom of the mug, I would put that down to too thick a layer of glaze if the pot was not dusty when you glazed it. Re waterfall brown, try it again with test tiles having different thicknesses of glaze (with room for it to run).


Minspar is a sodaspar, it's very close to the F4 that had been commonly used prior to becoming unavailable. Don't think using minspar would be an issue.

#126032 How Many Cubic Feet Of Kiln Space Do You Use In One Month?

Posted by Min on 01 May 2017 - 05:03 PM

Don't think comparing firing capacities for those who predominately throw to slabwork is going to be that accurate. I can crank pots out much faster on the wheel than handbuilding, think that is the norm. Just got rid of 10 cubic foot a few months ago and replaced with another around 7, so now 2 @ 7 plus a test kiln of about 1 1/2.