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Aodenkou

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About Aodenkou

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    Indiana
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    I took my first ceramics class in Evansville IN at the University in the 70's then later at the University of Indianapolis in the 80's. I purchased a wheel from AMACO in the 80's and carried it around from house to house for years. Then around 2002 we were at the Penrod Art Festival in Indianapolis and I kept talking about the ceramics and my wife told me to set up a studio or quit talking about how I wanted to get back into making pottery.

    So, I took over some space in our horse barn and set up a studio and began practicing. My son wanted me to make wine goblets for his rehearsal dinner and I agreed, that was quite an undertaking for someone who had been back at the wheel for only a few months. But, I got them done, and they were no too bad.

    I am still practicing and have started to take an interest in mixing of glazes. Some strange desire to say I made the piece, I glazed it with a glaze I mixed from bags of chemicals, and fired it myself.

    I get the opportunity to travel quite a bit and try to keep my eye open for studios to visit. I was able to visit the Leach Pottery in Cornwall a few months back. They were giving a free seminar by Yoh Tanimoto a potter from Iga and I was able to sit for the seminar! Lucky me!

    I have all kinds of ideas I would like to try in projects, so I will be able to keep busy for quite sometime.
  1. I carry around "mastering cone 6 glazers " with me quite a bit......but then I have it on an iPod mini . I would recommend this book as well. It's been very helpful for me. http://www.masteringglazes.comI have J. brittan book as well and like it as well.
  2. I have a very solid base glaze and from that I have several glazes that make use of the base glaze and there are different "ADD" to give me 7 glazes. (a few more soon I hope) I have been thinking of taking some large zip lock bags and weighing out the various chemicals and labeling them with the name and weight. Then storing them in large plastic bins. Then if I start running short of a glaze I simply pull a few different bags and weigh the "ADD" ingredients. I should be able to mix some more glaze quickly. My question is - does anyone do something like this now? If so how does it work for you?
  3. Stephen, at 10 years or so of mixing glaze I do consider myself to be inexperienced. I don't have a MFA or anything close..... well I do have an MS in Criminology but then there is no overlap there :-). I do know I am getting better, and that's the whole point for me.... I am just trying to figure out ways of getting better and increasing the learning curve for me.
  4. Stephen wrote: "Usually when you are new to a discipline a glaring fault is often more complicated than it first appears." I am not really that new to mixing my own glazes, I have been mixing glazes for around 10 years or so. I do not consider myself a glaze expert, but I do know what works for me. Since using specific gravity I have had less problems and better results. So perhaps others may find it useful as well...... That's why I think it would be helpful to have a specific gravity of a glaze that someone thinks is worthy of publication.
  5. Yes indeed I did intend to submit a photo, it seems it was too large and I had to re-size the photo. The mugs I re-fired did come out much nicer than the original firing and I was quite pleased.
  6. Stephen wrote: "I think you may be missing the point a little as the SP is really the end game to getting a new glaze ready for production." Perhaps my post was a bit "imprecise" and I apologize for that. I understand that for one potter the specific gravity is an end game variable for one person. What my question revolves around is when someone presents a glaze recipe for others to use. That potter is presenting a glaze that is at their end point. I am sure I am not alone that when If I see a picture of a cone 6 glaze fired in oxidation accompanied by a recipe I want to give it a try. Then I go to the studio and mix up a 100 gr batch I am at a starting point for me with this glaze. Yes, type of clay, temp of bisque firing, water, chemicals from various sources, glaze firing schedule, kiln, and a host of other variables do enter into the equation. The thrust of my question was, would providing specific gravity "help" eliminate one such variable? "IF" I have your end point as my starting point would that not make sense? Will I ever be able to control for variables in other studios? No, of course not. But, this is one variable that could be eliminated by publication of specific gravity along with any recipe would be of help, at least to me. The more information the better, bisque temp, firing schedule, etc. "Once your test of the recipe has established (in your studio, with your clay, using your method of brushing, dipping or spraying) what the SG should be then you can note the specific gravity for the next time you make that specific glaze or need to recondition it. It is going to vary so widely that anything noted with the recipe is simply what the author established for themselves and may well be way off what you need." Exactly! But if I am looking at a picture in a book or online then I would like to have a glaze that looks like what the author has offered. So their end point becomes my starting point. As I test, of course I can test and adjust to the particular needs of my own studio and my own unique variables. "I guess you could use a generic SG starting point and do your test from reading to reading but most potters I think use a visual method to get it almost where they want to be on a new glaze and then test to zero in. All of that said though I think you will be surprised just how consistent you can be just from visual methods." This is precisely where my question comes into play. As I have stated above, your end point is my start point. I don't have the experience to look at a mixed glaze and determine if I need more or less water. Specific gravity, which is a quick measurement, allows me to hone in on one variable that can be controlled in a glaze test. This is a more precise way of getting a glaze ready to us - what you and I see as thin cream or how a glaze covers a knuckle can be different. Many of us buy books, and scour the internet to improve our skill level and to find glazes that appeal to us and will work for us. I look at the information in some of the pottery books I purchased back in the 70's and compare them to the new book of John Britt on mid fire glazes and the amount of information is leaps and bounds ahead. For me this is an example of how current practitioners are increasing the body of knowledge in a subject. For me - and perhaps others - having a starting point for specific gravity is an important tool to reduce one variable. I know I can never eliminate all variables but why not control for what we can?
  7. Hi, I took a chance on re-firing a mug that turned out with results I was not pleased with. The mug on the left is what a set of mugs looked like for me with a couple of new glazes I am trying. I ha a splash of a "Catsup Red" I ha brushed on that looked really nice. So, as I was pulling mugs out of the firing I grabbed the glaze and a brush and panted a layer around the mug. I was surprised how the glaze stuck to the warm mug and dried almost on contact. So I had another firing and the mug on the left is the result. Both mugs looked very similar, and now I am very pleased with the result. So, I just have added the re-glazed mugs and they are now being re-fired and I hope they come out as nice as the one that I have already fired. There are two take always for me: 1) I can re-fire a piece if I don't like it. 2) glaze will stick on a pot that is about 180 degrees F.
  8. I agree a hydrometer is easy - but I have read that it can be inaccurate. I really have no way of knowing if this is the case or not. Putting a 100 ml in a graduated beaker and weighing is rather simple to me. Agreed, about fussy glazes. My question was about the reasons glazes present problems for us to duplicate. My thought is that if we can cut down one variable it might make it easier to duplicate glazes of other. If a potter is less than accurate about measurement and if there is disparity in specific gravity can this throw off a glaze we make from a recipe? IF we can work with the same specific gravity would this not help? Once we get a glaze that works for us and we use it enough to learn the properties then I can see getting a bit less fussy in working with the glaze. So - could those that post recipes in the forum for others to try give us specific gravity? Or, if you try a glaze, report the specific gravity used if it works or not. More information seems to me to be better than less information.
  9. I have re-fired before and had good results. I consider myself a bit of an advanced novice, I know a whole lot more now than I did, but I know I still don't know enough :-) Anyway....... once my glaze firing reaches ^6 I hold it for 30 min in the belief that any spots that are cooler will heat up. So far it seems to work for me. Then I let the kiln cool naturally.
  10. I have been thinking that one thing I don't read much about is specific gravity in glazes. There are so many comments that this glaze of that does not travel well. People don't get the same results as pictured. Cone temperature is a variable that everyone thinks of, set a cone pad in various parts of the kiln to make sure the proper temperature is achieved. Yet one variable that seems to get little mention is the specific gravity of a glaze. Talk about testing the glaze by dipping a finger in the glaze to see if it's the right consistency is very imprecise. Talk about putting a thin coat or heavy coat is equally imprecise. Yes, people who are experience can make these judgments on glazes they know and use. But, for individuals like me relatively inexperienced in glazing and glaze controlling for as many variables as possible can offer me some hope of replication and success in glazing. So - 1) why is it specific gravity receives so little discussion? 2) could people start to give specific gravity when talking and writing about glazes? Specific gravity is very easy to do with a digital scale and a graduated cylinder that is marked to 100 ml. If 100 ml of wet glaze weighs 142 grams then the specific gravity is 1.42 1 mil of water weighs 1 gram..... I don't want to get so precise that its not practical, but, when doing a glaze test or starting to use a new glaze perhaps trying to control one more variable may not be a bad thing. Thoughts?
  11. I just ran a batch of glaze tests today with a specific gravity of 142.3. I wrote this into my Excel spreadsheet and if I have a glaze I would like to try in a larger mix I know the s.g., the 100 gram chemicals, and the 90 ml of water I added to the glaze. So I can mix 1,000 dry ingredients and 900 ml of water and be reasonably sure to be close to the original s.g. Of 142.3 and be reasonably sure of having similar results. If you buy commercial dry glazes you might ask the company what their recommendation for s.g. Would be for dipping, spraying, or brushing. i mostly dip and in my very limited experience 1.30 to 1.50 seems to give me good results. I can get a glaze in that area, and it's better for me than sticking my finger in and making a judgement. Plus, doing s.g. with a digital scale and a 100 ml beaker is really easy.
  12. There are two things I would highly suggest. 1) a digital scale that is accurate at .00 Look in your home town for a business that sells commercial scales. You may be able to find a used one on the cheap. They may sell to schools and have some used ones. Buy a good one I tried several digital kitchen scales and gave up. Considering what I paid for two of them and the price difference for the good used one I have I did not really save much, and fought with glazes. 2) a stick blender (immersion blender) and save the plastic cup to mix in, it's great for doing glaze tests.
  13. John Britt's new book on mid range glazes has a way to do this (p.90) abriviated directions.....bisque ware, as second coat is just about dry place leaf, dry, re-bisque, when cool rub mixture 50/50 of EPK and titanium dioxide, rinse, glaze Fire. A ton of info in this book, I plan on testing a number of the glazes presented, this looks like one of thos books that everyone will eventually have......well worth the money.
  14. I sort of wish I would have let a family member know I wanted the book, it would have made a great present. But then I would have had to wait a bit longer to read and try a few new glaze tests
  15. I had a severe thunderstorm and developed this problem. I am lucky to live near Indianapolis and was able to take my wheel over to AMACO for them to have a look. There was a part that got fried (can't remember what) they solved the problem quickly and with great service and follow up. I bought this wheel around 1978, other than replacing a belt, this has been my only problem. I do have to admit I carried this wheel around for years before I had the resolve to set up a small studio. Just wish I had done it sooner!
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