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Everything posted by AtomicAxe

  1. Oh, don't get me wrong ... I love zircopax ... it's my go to opacifier and i have no problem with going up to 10%, I will try to make it work with 5% max though ... i've just experimented with it to the point that I know that it gets plastic looking if not tweaked right. But with the cost of tin almost making you have to offer your first born for it in cost ... I will always love zircopax. Oh and dolomite ... geez, what I wouldn't do without dolomite.
  2. Hmm, should be fine I guess, will be a little more stable and the wollastonite is just whiting with silica in almost equal parts so really it's about 7.5 whiting and 27.5 flint. if it turns out to not be fluid enough, you can easily tweak it by adjusting the flint and kaolin down slightly to increase the frit. especially since there is so much silica in the glaze that will raise the melting temp. And by plastic, I mean plastic, not glossy. Glossiness can be made soft buttery matte with dolomite ... zircopax makes glazes look like cheap formed plastic in high quantities. So, i normally keep it in 5% max quantities since all you are looking for is to make it opaque, not absolutely white for a base. If you were going for just oxide use, I would suggest tin since you can get it to break and it does some fun stuff with oxides (raspberry red is chrome and tin in a glaze) ... but with the cost and ability to change colorants like certain stains (reds in particular) a tiny amount of zircopax will let you do things like be able to layer more subtle colors like blues, greens and reds over harsh colors like blacks, dark blues and browns without watching them just fade away. For example, if you look at the attached image following glaze is ... Emily's Purple - Opaque Blue/Purple Potash Feld 36.60 Gerstley Borate 19.40 Ball Clay 11.80 Talc 15.10 Silica 10.80 Dolomite 6.50 Zircopax 10.00 Cobalt ox 3.00 Total 113.20 This glaze has both zircopax and dolomite. The small dose of dolomite makes the glaze that soft buttery matte. With the higher melt and the higher amount of zircopax do you see how the glaze doesn't break on edges even if it does move and it looks more like melted plastic on top of the clay? that is the zircopax at play. but ... with that glaze there, take the cobalt ox out and you can easily have so soft buttery white base to add mason stains to, though I would probably flip the percentages of feldspar and gerstley ... But I like my glazes with a little more movement.
  3. I've seen clear glazes that go crazy with older materials ... basic ones I've used for mason stains are ... 50% gerstley 20% potash spar 10% whiting 10% flint 10% epk 40% FF 3124 25% Soda spar 15% flint 10% ball clay 10% whiting. and ... 70% gerstley 20% flint 10% epk it doesn't matter much which clear you use as long as you avoid glazes with tin in them. if you need it more opaque ... throw some zircopax in it .... but it generally makes your glaze look like plastic.
  4. sometimes finding the right consistancy of the clay helps too, with smaller details ... softer clay sticks to those fine details, more surface area to do so. plastic will work so will some ball clay in powder form, corn starch helps as well. Sometimes really it comes down to having an excellently designed stamp that is a blend of fine details and solid design that doesn't lend itself to clay failures but that just comes with using many many stamps to know what is perfect for you.
  5. only time I have used saw dust into a clay body was when I was making water filters ... but that was to create a clay that had pockets in the body. We had a guest at my university from potters with peace that would teach places with unclean water to make them from local clays. Awesome stuff too. Ended up making some for some people who had hunting cabins out in the boonies of florida when I still lived in that part of the world. Really though, any sort of material like saw dust most likely won't show up in the final product as it burns out and can probably make the product weaker since you have holes in the middle of the clay body. ... now embedded into the surface will create a rough texture depending on how fine the dust is ... otherwise you won't see many effects since burnout won't really trap ash so it won't affect glazing in that aspect and only surface burnout will affect the glaze by pooling so the finer the burnout ... the less you will likely see it.
  6. When I do slip trailing, I just ball mill my slip, it does the job of defloculants without getting gummy in the bin. otherwise, it's just blend really well and sift after milling to make sure it's all just fine particles ... should be fine. ... should take you longer to make tests of all the colorants you want to use to find the best ones for your ware.
  7. When I would teach adults I almost never did private classes. Most of the time it would be myself watching them work, and the times I did do some private classes was something really specific like working side by side for a few hours on something like how to sculpt a bust from a live model or something equally as 1-on-1 needed. Generally I always preferred group settings, and would frequently encourage it with a group of 4 or more taking class time together getting a discount. It would give the adults learning in my studio support from friends who would also let them feed off each others creativity and energy even if they don't have the same proficiency in the medium. I had wheel throwing only classes, never really mixed since it was hard to split teaching time between wheel and handbuilding but would still encourage those wanting to throw on the wheel to learn the basics of hand building often letting them come the next day as well to hand building to get some dedicated time doing it. I remember one time I did the couples clay class, which was a friday night and would have some wine and snacks for the couples to nosh on while they work. Largely it was hands off and would only be there for a few occasional questions while they hand built. pretty easy night too, they hand built, then would slip paint their wares and I would fire the work for them clear glaze it and it would be ready in a week. Nothing beats the saturday morning kids class though ... adults sometimes do not appreciate stupid jokes but kids love dumb jokes and a snack time.
  8. There was an old potter I ran across in the back woods of Georgia one time (now deceased) ... his glaze was just old beer bottles (green, clear and brown) that he ground with a diesel motor and 2 concrete wheels then hand mixed with a feldspar and ball clay by hand measurements ... made the most interesting glaze I have ever seen. Occasionally I play with that technique, but I tend to use it as a decorative process and not a primary glaze. Funny though, when I asked him about the glaze on his ware ... he responded with 'Oh you city boys are just too smart for your own good' and showed me what he did. crazy too ... looked like he was grinding flower but sounded like he was crushing cats with a truck.
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