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Everything posted by BetsyLu

  1. I'm glad I started this thread, getting so many interesting ideas I had no idea were possible! Thank you all for your great suggestions and instructions
  2. Fascinating! So it's similar to using carbon paper to transfer a graphite design on paper? I've never done tissue transfers... do you just press the paper on the clay and pull it back up, or do you leave the paper on the clay through the firing? Leather hard or wet clay? Thank you!
  3. Oooh, I actually really like this one, I'm all about subtle texture and have done quite a bit with sandblasted glass. But is etched/sandblasted ceramic food safe? Could you do it on stoneware or would you need a glaze on the surface? I know that sandblasted glass isn't typically considered food safe, even if it is completely stable clear glass, because the food/liquids stick to the surface more and bacterial growth and leaching occurs.
  4. There are a lot of really fantastic suggestions in this thread! I like the idea of using my own handwriting rather than typed text, so the underglaze pencil suggestion really stood out. I'm assuming you need to glaze over top to make it food safe, though? I'd like to leave the surface plain stoneware if possible, but if there just aren't any options for food-safe text on stoneware I'll glaze over. I don't suppose there is such a thing as a glaze pencil that fires food-safe? That's probably asking too much haha.
  5. I was thinking of doing something similar, but it didn't occur to me to do it with underglaze! The wax resist sounds like a great idea. Do you just use a pointy tool to carve into the clay?
  6. If you do use e6000, it would be good to rough up the glass surface you are bonding it to a little. Sandblasting works well but if you don't have access to a sandblaster, use emory paper (UNDER WATER. You don't want to breathe that crap.) Good luck!
  7. Hi everyone! I'm brainstorming about different ways to add text to ceramic pieces. I'm making a set of gray plates and I want the text to be small (in the neighbourhood of 14-point), subtle, and food-safe. I also don't think I will glaze over top, I just want to leave the stoneware (^6) as is. I'd love to hear your suggestions! Here's what I can think of so far: 1. scratch the text into leather hard or dry greenware. Leave as is or fill in with underglaze or glaze. (I think I'd particularly like the look of a coat of glaze and then everything wiped off the top so the glaze just stayed in the words) 2. Ceramic decals, which I know next to nothing about. Are they food-safe or do you have to put glaze over top? 3. Meticulously placing alphabet pasta in place and pressing gently into the clay. It will burn out in the bisque fire. (I have tried this and it works great, but that's a LOT of sorting through alphabet pasta!) 4. buy some letter stamps and use those. (Again, perhaps too labor-intensive for a set of plates.) 5. Paint words on with an underglaze or heavily pigmented glaze. (Are underglazes food safe, or do you have to put glaze over top?) Anything I missed?
  8. Thanks for the info! I have been doing some more research and have read about mixing up a slip with a little cobalt carbonate in it, and then painting that on (I would assume) leather-hard clay before bisquing. I generally brush my glazes, since I don't have the equipment for spraying or the large buckets of glaze for dipping (small operation, here!) Sometimes I sponge on the glaze, but that takes a long time to get a good coat and since I'm doing a set of plates I will probably be brushing. If I apply the cobalt (either mixed with frit and water or mixed into a slip) to greenware and then fire, will it still cause bleeding?
  9. Someone at the ceramic supply store I've been going to recently mentioned to me that it's possible to do a sort of underpainting with cobalt carbonate mixed with water. (I think...she may have said a different binder, but I'm pretty sure it was water.) I've tried researching it a little and can't seem to find anything on the internet about it or how to do it. Can you paint unfired clay with the cobalt-water mixture before you bisque it? Do you paint it on bisqueware and fire separately before glazing over top? Do you paint it on bisqueware and apply the glaze directly over the top? Would love to know if anyone has tried this and how you did it! Thanks
  10. John, thanks for the detailed description! Based on what you said I think I will go ahead and go finer than just the window screen. Ruth, let us know what your results are! Seems like a good way to get the organic matter and other impurities out but I'm not the expert here. I guess I'll just wait for a still day and head out equipped with a good respirator and a few screens. Can you buy cheaper screen materials at the hardware store? Each screen is like $20-$30 at the ceramics store, and I probably won't be using them that often after this project!
  11. The whole point of this particular project is testing the different results from various local ashes, so making a fake ash glaze would kind of be pointless for me Besides, I have the time to process the ash.
  12. All I could find is that you sieve it up to 80. Do you do that while it is dry? After it's mixed and is wet? Is it necessary to sieve it so finely?
  13. Just an update: spent a long time talking to the pros at the ceramic supply store, and they convinced me to start with a recipe and start at ^6 (because apparently ^10 or 11 is very hard/sometimes impossible in electric kilns, which I'll probably be using). They found me a recipe that I quite like. It is simple, but probably a little more stable and predictable than just ash and clay. Frasca Wood Ash Glaze (Cone 6): Whiting...............................11.36% Wood ash (unwashed).......54.56 Potash feldspar..................11.36 Ball Clay.............................11.36 Silica (flint)..........................11.36 Optional: Green: copper carbonate........4% Blue: cobalt carbonate..........2% I also got an Idaho kaolin to try out instead of the ball clay, just to see if it works and what the difference is. My plan is to make 6 tiles (well, small shallow bowls since I'll be using these glazes on the inside of plates and shallow bowls) for each different ash or ash mix I am testing. 1A: the ash mixed as the above glaze with ball clay as the clay body 1B: the ash mixed as the above glaze with the kaolin as the clay body Then I will divide what is left from each into 2 smaller containers, and add a small amount of cobalt and copper to each (it won't be completely accurate but that's okay, I just want to get a vague idea of what kind of color I might get) This will result in 4 smaller test bowls: 1A1: ball clay mix with copper 1A2: ball clay mix with cobalt 1B1: kaolin clay mix with copper 1B2: kaolin clay mix with cobalt After the first firing of all these test tiles, I'll evaluate which ones worked well and which ones didn't, and then if I like how the added colors look on any of them I will do more tests to determine what percentage to use in the glaze for the actual pieces. I've chosen a nice and slightly grainy light cream ^6 clay body as my base for all the tests and pieces. Does that seem like a good plan? Also, at the store they recommended I just sift the ash through a window screen or kitchen strainer, and said they thought I'd lose too much ash if I try to sift it any finer and that the larger chunks will add more character. Does that seem right?
  14. I'm almost positive it's an electric kiln, but like I said before I haven't had a chance to discuss this project with the friend as she is on holiday. I'm trying to do as much preliminary research as possible before I talk to her about it while I wait. I know that oxidation and reduction play a part in ceramic firings but I don't know much about it, or if that's even possible with an electric kiln. I also don't know what kind of base clay body I'll be using yet- it will be bought, though. I'm not going to try to make my own clay body just yet, one thing at a time. I don't know anything about the clays used for mixing glazes. Like I said, I am NEW to this. I'm learning as fast as I can, but that's why I'm here: to ask questions and get advice. If I only glaze the insides of bowls/plates, I don't need a catch tray, right? Just for samples? Is it something you make or buy? Thanks for copying and pasting the long description of Nepheline Syenite, but it didn't really tell me anything google couldn't haha. What I wanted to know was just a simple explanation of how it is used in this application. I gather that it is similar to feldsbars, lowers the temperature of clay bodies (and/or glazes?) but it's important not to use too much or else the high thermal expansion causes crazing. Like I said before, I think I'm going to try it out with just clay and ash to begin with. Keep it as simple as possible to really let the character of the ash shine through! I've started saving ash and once I get my respirator out of storage I'll start sieving it and processing it. Decided NOT to wash it. Meanwhile I'll go to the ceramic supply store and find a suitable high-fire clay body to do all my tests and pieces out of, and talk to them about the clay possibilities for glaze mixing.
  15. Biglou13, keep in mind I'm a total beginner here I don't completely understand everything you're saying, but I'm doing my best to learn! I've read several recipes for clay/ash/felsbar but I'd like to keep it as simple as possible so I want to try out just clay and ash to begin with. I don't know what neph sy is. For this particular project, I want to experiment with local trees and ashes. I'm raiding woodstoves and smokers to get different kinds-my family burns mostly lodgepole pine, but I know a few people that burn mostly tamarack. I'll be saving alder wood from our smoker, and calling around to local smokehouses to see if they have any ash I can use and where they get their wood from-like I said, it's a rather conceptual project about the trees in the area, so I only want to use ash from sources close to home I'm kind of going for a "medium" sort of glaze- I don't want one that's insanely runny, but I also do want some character. Speckles and drips are good! To be honest, I'm not sure about the firing basics. I don't have my own kiln-I'll (hopefully) be using someone else's but I still have to talk to her about this whole endeavor! She's offered up her kiln to me, but I'm not sure how she'll feel about high fires and ash glazes. If she says no, I'll have to go looking for someone else who will let me borrow their kiln for a while... there are a couple of potters in the area who might be open to it. We'll see! What are Om 4, gold art, hawthorn, and epk? Like I said, I've never made glaze before in my life so I am not familiar with many of the terms, though I'm learning fast Thanks for the offer for the ash! I think I'll be okay gathering the local stuff, though. I've read in a few places (couldn't give you specific sources though) that fresh ash glaze is not very stable and that it can go bad/change within days sometimes. But if it's working for you and your results are still consistent, I guess you don't have to worry about it!
  16. Well, it's a little community centre class and she's not super experienced herself (she knows next to nothing about glazes as she never glazes her work...very helpful!) but it was very cheap and a way to work with clay again, so I'm not too mad about it. I guess she asked her husband to pick up the clay and he didn't realize there was a difference between 6 and 06, and she just assumed he'd gotten the right clay. At least she figured it out BEFORE I put ^6 glazes on it!
  17. John, Thanks for clearing a few things up! Still a bit confused on the "thick glaze" thing... do I need to apply less glaze than usual or more glaze than usual, or does it not matter? Thanks for bringing up the point about clay BODIES vs. just straight CLAY. If I wanted to use 2 or 3 different kinds of clay (one iron-rich and one light-colored), which would you recommend? Perhaps I'll start by doing the line test with one kind of ash, and then see what the best results are there and use that formula for the rest of the samples so they're all the same. Yep, glassblower here. I've actually been doing more kiln work than blown work in the last couple of years because I've been having a lot of health issues, and it's tough to blow glass for 10 hours a day when you have very low blood pressure and are anemic. It tends to lead to fainting. So, I embraced kiln work and I absolutely love it! Hoping to figure out all this health stuff soon and be able to blow glass again eventually, though.
  18. I have made plenty of cups haha, hopefully at least a couple turn out okay! I'll also do the India Ink thing, thanks for the tip! Augh, what a headache. Wish my teacher had just given me high-fire clay in the first place like I thought she had!
  19. Really good info there, thanks for sharing! Do you know if there is a way to lower the COE of ceramic so you don't have to add anything to the glass? (I'd presume you'd have to use glass powder or fine glass frit to mix anything with it, and for those people who want to use sheet glass it might be interesting to adjust the clay instead?)
  20. If it helps, you may want to research pate de verre. It is fine glass frit mixed with a binder (usually gum arabic) and made into a sort of paste, which is then pushed into a mold (usually plaster and silica). It may be a more forgiving way to incorporate glass, but it is a technique to master in itself. (I haven't done it myself, so I can't give any personal experience here.) I would recommend picking a specific kind of glass and sticking to it. Using glass meant for stained glass will lead to frustration, as each piece has a different COE and is thus incompatible with other kinds of stained glass. Plus you'll have to develop a kiln schedule for each individual piece of glass. I would recommend using one of the more expensive but more reliable brands meant for kilnwork- Spectrum has a COE of 96, and Bullseye has a COE of 90. There can still be slight incompatibilities but not nearly as bad as you get with "found" glass. One other thing to keep in mind, though, is that glass from recycled bottles has a higher melting point than these glasses do and thus might be better suited for ceramic work. It's tough to find a good kiln schedule for it, though. http://cdesigns-isr.com/docs/FusingSchedules_COE90-96.pdf Here are some basic starter schedules for each kind of glass. You'll notice that the temperatures and time are very specific. That keeps the glass from getting thermal shock and cracking. There are 2 very important parts to how glass responds to heat: how hot it is, and how long it is held. Remember that you'll need at least a tack fuse to get the glass to stick to anything- at a slumping temperature it is not molten enough to bind to other glass or materials. Glass slumps before it fuses, so keep that in mind! Don't expect perfectly cut squares to stay put and keep their shape on a curved surface, for example. Hope that all made sense and is helpful!
  21. Good to know! Thanks for the tips. Should I do that with cups too? Glaze the inside first and then wait a day before doing the outside?
  22. Thanks Marcia! Glad to hear that worked for you, gives me a little confidence
  23. I didn't realize I would be able to get proper coverage inside the spout by just pouring the glaze through. I'll certainly try that, but I can't help but worry that I'll miss a spot in there! I heard that bisqued low-fire clay is very porous, and that when water seeps in it can be a good place for bacterial growth. Apparently high-fire clays are generally still food-safe when fired at the proper temperature because they become so much harder and more water-tight, but low-fire clays are still very porous. Thanks for the feedback! I've done some glaze tests and they all seemed to turn out well, no cracking or crazing. I'm using an underglaze with some clear over the top, so it's pretty simple. I'll be glazing both inside and out, but I won't be able to glaze inside the lip where the lid sits and I'm not sure about proper coverage inside the spout.
  24. Mart, if I had known it was 06 I would have bought my own clay! Like I said, my instructor told me it was ^6 NOT ^06, I had no idea it was so low-fire until after I finished my 60-hour project
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