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Magnolia Mud Research

Member Since 28 May 2016
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:58 PM

#125699 Heat Gun Options

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 23 April 2017 - 12:31 PM

The heat gun costs more, is heavier, and can ignite paper and cloth and will melt plastic bats and spash pans; the hair dryer does not have those qualities.  :D 
I have both and prefer the hair dryer because it is lighter and I don't have to worry about where I place it when I am not holding it. 

#125697 Recommend Me: A Glaze Material Book For Foundation Principles.

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 23 April 2017 - 12:07 PM

My recommended list of sources for basic glaze knowhow was posted last year here:
Robin Hopper's books "The Ceramic Spectrum" and "Making Marks" (available from CAD bookstore) are good starting points also but his approach is less chemically oriented and more experimental -- empirical.  Robin understood the chemistry but was interested in the outcome, not the process.
Potters seem to have concocted a pseudo-chemical glaze vocabulary that makes sense only to potters, so when reading a real chemistry textbook you need to be aware of the differences in the meaning of ordinary familiar words such as "flux," "melting," "bonding," ... ; modern silicate melt science does not use the Seger "unity formula".
Remember this ain't rocket science, it's just playing with mud and hot rocks.


#125381 Pottery Knowledge Quiz Of The Week (Pkqw): Week 3

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 14 April 2017 - 11:32 AM

Peterson's textbook 4ed. is, by far, the best of the 20 or so studio ceramics texts I have read. 



#125135 Epoxy Thickener?

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 09 April 2017 - 01:37 PM

If what you need is a "filler" to take up space in a porous object, consider adding crushed porcelain powder. 

The epoxy will remain clear but the filler will be the color of the porcelain.



#125117 Getting Underglaze Onto Greenware With Brush Strokes

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 09 April 2017 - 10:38 AM

Wet the surface before starting to paint to slow the removal of water from the underglaze being applied. 

#125116 2Nd Newbie Question - Resist Ideas For Holes In Pendants

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 09 April 2017 - 10:35 AM

I have 'plugged' holes to keep glaze out with wood toothpicks, twisted pieces of paper, spaghetti, wax, and Elmer's glue. 


Always remove the plugs, or at least wipe the plugs clean of glaze, because the plugs will burn out but the glaze on the plug will not.

#124898 What To Use For Marking Bottom Of Glaze Tests

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 05 April 2017 - 07:53 PM

I use a mixture of red iron oxide and maganese dioxide about half and half by volume and suspend it in water,

sometimes with a pinch of ball clay to keep in suspended. 

Or make a paste and treat it like a pan of watercolor.  Wet brush with water, load brush from pan, apply to tile.

Apply it with a fine watercolor brush. 

fires into the clay body at any temperature from bisque firing to cone 10.

Does not fuse to kiln shelf. 



#124892 Making Glazes

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 05 April 2017 - 06:31 PM

It is safe to assume that glaze recipes are based on parts by weight unless they are explicitly stated as parts by volume.




#124770 Reduce Drip Marks

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 03 April 2017 - 11:09 PM

The time to figure out how to handle the pot when glazing is when you are designing the pot.

#124694 Engobe And Glaze

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 02 April 2017 - 02:55 PM

Or you could make the engobe slurry thicker by using less water. 


The ware in the photos looks interesting as fired. 




#124462 Qotw: Pottery Attributes In The Studio

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 29 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

Pres posed:

So  what ceramic attribute drives your work in the studio, is it Form, Surface, Size or some other attribute I have not mentioned? ... don't just name it, explain why.
Short answer: Ambiguity & Story


I make pieces that allow  viewers (users) to create a story from what the they 'think' they see.  Surface, form, size, texture, color, etc. are just data to be interpreted by the viewer.
Present the minimum amount of data so that the viewer can create her (his) own story(ies); my story does not matter. 
Think like an artist, execute like an engineer. 
Know the limitations but be willing to test those limits.  As the very old ad line said, "Try it, you'll like it ..."  plus "it's only dirt" are the guidelines for the studio.
Sometimes a notion (or concept) of a story leads to interesting pots; as are questions regarding non-standard techniques -- such as laminating native sandy clay bodies onto porcelain drinking vessels or using cone 04 clay bodies as glaze on cone 10 ware.
'Experiments' produce pots - until boredom intervenes and inspires a switch to another line of inquiry. 
Basically, I start with a 'hunk' of clay and go from there.  A small lump will be squeezed into a shape nicknamed 'critter'; a larger lump may be thrown into a bowl or bottle shape and then ....


Size is constrained by kiln size, drying time, storage space.  

My most often used initial forms are drinking cylinders, bottles, bowls, and "warped" slabs.  
As regards function, I was trained that any object is a hammer, except the screwdriver; it is a chisel! 

i.e., function is assigned by the user, not the maker.

#123058 Glazing Lidded Pots

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 01 March 2017 - 10:54 AM

I use alumina in wax, similar recipe to Marcia's except I eyeball the amounts, on all lids.  Generally on grogged clay bodies the surfaces are rough enough not to seal, but with low grog clay bodies and/or burnished  galleries there can be some adhesion between the lid and the gallery.  The alumina-wax is a reasonable countermeasure.


Kiln wash is not recommended as an alternative because it often contains both kaolin and silica, both of which are more likely to sinter together and adhere to the clay body.  Alumina, by itself, does not.

#122989 Some Questions About Lidded Jars

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 27 February 2017 - 03:14 PM

re the question on fired volume relative to wet volume for mugs:

If you know your percent shrinkage for your clay body, you can estimate the volume shrinkage for a mug by using three times the linear shrinkage.  ie, if your mug made from a lump of clay holds 100 cc when wet and the shrinkage is 10 pct for that clay body, then you mug will hold about 70 cc after it is fired. 

[There are some second and third order terms that could be considered, including the phase of the moon and how many grapes you had for breakfast last friday, but they are all quite small.]


#122981 Glazing

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 27 February 2017 - 01:39 PM



After the first few forays into glazing in my first semester of ceramics I was introduced into test tiles and what they could do for me.  We had about 10 glazes in the studio so I made a large tile and marked off 100 squares on the tile - think chess board - and created a grid with each glaze having a row and a column.  Glazes were applied first to the rows and then to the columns.  Each square in the grid had a first coat of one glaze and a second coat of another glaze.  With one firing, I got  100 samples of how the 10 glazes interacted with each other and individuality.  That was the most useful glaze exercise that semester.  Since then I have used the same idea for the glazes I use regularly and for glazes I want to explore.  I have used a variety of 'test' pieces - shot cups to large bowls to just a glob of clay.  If I keep the test pieces small, they fit into the kiln easily in the 'shadows' of larger pieces. 

Susan Peterson's textbook "The Art and Craft of Clay" explains the technique plus images of the grid.  It is the best reference for understanding 'glazing' that I have encountered.


#122949 Number Of Firings

Posted by Magnolia Mud Research on 26 February 2017 - 08:08 PM

Yes.  if the solids in a spoon full of wet glaze dries to one oz  and you need three spoons worth of glaze you would use a 0.005 x 3 oz of silicon carbide.  (or about 0.43 grams )


Min's procedure is also reasonable approach.   I seldom use commercial glazes, so I have no insights on the solids to liquid ratio for them.