Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by glazenerd

  1. Ron Roy emailed me a few days ago: he will be doing two glaze E courses. (August & October) Additional information on this link including topics. https://www.teachinart.com/
  2. Have a Northstar sitting in the studio: where it has been sitting for the last 12 years. Never got around to using it. PM me if you wish- only come through once or twice a week these days.
  3. Having been alerted to possible risks: you seem to be comfortable with proceeding. Terra Cotta seems best suited: but suspect you will have to engineer it for this specific use. In the world of ceramics: 200F is not that extreme. The more relative points would be absorption and expansion. 12-14% absorption is readily obtainable if talc and magnesium are avoided in the formulation: both would lower absorption. Spodumene would be the body flux of choice because it would lower the expansion properties considerably. Equally important: peak firing should not exceed cone 04 (1945F) to ensure higher absorption: firing above this would defeat your purpose. Tom
  4. Hi Titi: Black clay does have impurities, and most likely uses sodium flux: which adds to the pinhole issues. A slow his cycle is necessary: running at 108F (44C) an hour climb from 1250 to 1800F (1000C). Looking at your glaze program: extend your hold time on step 3 to 20 minutes. Sodium fluxes off gas vigorously at the top end of the firing cycle. Tom
  5. I gave up on bentocrap years ago. After I learned a few things about clay chemistry- I developed my own suspender. T
  6. I use 80% alumina hydrate, 20% talc, and 3% V-gum T. I fire it to cone 10. throwing?- No. Hand formed 3/4" walls. Very low expansion- very high heat tolerance. The talc adds enough magnesium to fuse the materials. A semi-quasi knock off of a cordierite body. You can research "corderite body"- it is what you need for your purposes. Tom
  7. Clay that slumps indicates the lack of alumina. Wild unprocessed clays usually do not have any appreciable amounts of natural fluxes: some rare exceptions like clays harvested along a coast line (salt migration). Slumping can also be an indication of ultra fine sub micron particle size. If you only have a mild issue: 5-10% kaolin (any type will work) will fix the issue. Kaolin has 37% alumina content and will spike cone firing values quickly. Tom
  8. Never had an instructor: then again I never intended to go down the rabbit hole this far either. I noticed early on in another forum where I lurked mostly: there would be ten different answers to one question. I understood that application and style could vary from potter to potter: but never made sense on the chemistry end of the equation. So I made the decision early on to seek out information by those with PhD behind their names. Oddly enough, found variance there as well- who knew? If I had a mentor; that would be Ron Roy: who I had the pleasure to spend three days with at NCECA in KC (2016). We email back and forth to this day. I have been asked several times to do classes in St. Louis- to date I have always declined. My wife, siblings, and two friends even know that I am involved with clay. Has always been my private sanctuary: and never discuss it locally. Tom
  9. Oddly enough: I would like to spend a day unseen in a corner, watching a newbie throw their first form, open their first kiln firing, or sell their first cup. The joy and excitement is contagious. Would have loved to spend a day with W.G. Lawrence (Phd@ Alfred) and pick his brain. Same for Orton Jr, Koppatchu, Horton, and a few others who laid the foundation on which modern pottery is built.
  10. Min correction noted. Should have been more clear. I use tangerine, purples, etc. most run in the $25-30 a lb range, and require 8-10% additions to achieve color saturation.
  11. Porcelain bodies will have 22-25% alumina, and stoneware lower. Alumina content will effect color development in red bodied clays: but typically only effects lighter pigment stains. . The % of stain required in a clay body will always be higher than glaze: because the molar % is different. Encapsulated stains do not work well in clay bodies because because the amounts of calcium or zinc required to release them is also much higher than glaze. Go through the Mason stain chart and find those specifically marked as "body" stains. The red body stain will produce a bright red at 12%, and lower % will produce pastels. I often mix different % of colors to get teals, etc. Tom
  12. LeeS Sorry for the second post: had to switch over to my IPad to find a picture. I mixed a simple OM4 Terra Sig recipe and added 7 drops of Darvan 7 ( Credit Marcia Selsor for technique) Then placed it in the freezer for 15 minutes to show the effects of temperature on particle size. OM4 ihas a particle distribution below 1 micron. So the effects of settling would increase as particle sizes increased. In addition, inadequate deflocculation would add to this problem even in warmer weather.
  13. LeeS Like all things clay: kaolin has a range of particle sizes. An example would be- 0.50 to 10 microns in particle size. The theorem in slip casting is called "card stacking": where particles drop out of suspension and stack like cards. The closer you get to this principle: the denser the piece will be. Cracking off the bottom is an indication that larger particles settled out; with finer particles settling last creating a weak point. You made no mention about deflocculants? While the general theme about deflocculating centers around specific gravity; more to it than that- these additions also suspend particles uniformly .Sodium silicate with a small addition of soda ash is common: Darvan 7 is much easier to use: and provides long term suspension. Your recipes that call for Nep Sy did better because the soluble salts acted as a suspender. The other parameter is temperature: at 68F; the negative particle charge that creates suspension drops by 1/3: which directly effects particle suspension. As the temperature drops below 68F, so does the particle charge. I pull test pieces out at 300F and toss them in cold water: if they do not survive that- testing is a waste of time. I put a kiln shelf over those pieces below it; so that the rush of cool air is minimized. Tom
  14. Like the elbow trick- easier than the little press form I made.
  15. Agree with clay body suggestions. The same glaze will have variations on porcelain, white stoneware, buff, or red bodied clays. Potter preference and style plays more of a role in selection of clay and glaze: your "dream" glaze and forms work better on some clays than others. I have a test tile trick that I have yet to share: good as time as any. I peel the label off a regular empty soup can: punch a hole in the other end to prevent suction: and punch out an 100 test tiles in less than an hour. Limited use: but if you are simply exploring color development or testing glazes on a variety of clay bodies: it is quick test that takes little kiln space. Can always punch a hole at the top if you like to hang them for reference. Tom
  16. Salt: Looking at your cone pack- you hit perhaps cone 5+ or so. Clay body fluxes are still off-gassing at this cone temp. In your first picture; upper right hand is a blister with a raised rim and exposed clay in the center. Anytime you get a raised rim: that means off gassing spars in the clay have created enough pressure to raise the glaze where it pushes through. Raised rims also occur when firing over red body clays; when inorganics have not been properly burned off- not applicable in this case. Potassium body fluxes create blisters, with less population and sodium body fluxes create pinholes: but more numerous. I would recommend a -20 degree thermocouple offset. Look in your kiln manual for TC or thermocouple offset and follow the steps to program that. If your current controller is reading 2000F, after you make the offset it will still read 2000F, but will actually be 20 degrees hotter. Judging by your cone pack: that should get you pretty close to a true cone 6 bend. The red glaze has potassium body flux and the green has sodium body flux. It will help you judge what you are dealing with in the future. Tom
  17. A clay with 25% grog has a vastly different drying rate than a stoneware: or even porcelain. The porosity of a clay body is much higher: which means it will also wick moisture from anything put over it. An analogy would be a dry sponge wicking up water. ( extreme, but you get the picture) A body with 25% grog is primarily designed for sculptural or large format use.
  18. The best commercial suspender widely available is BentoneMA. This product is highly refined hectorite. you need to disperse any suspender in dry ingredients before water is added. Bentonite is a rather poor suspender; but it is cheap and gets the job done. Cosmetic bentonite are highly refined in order to get USPS- food safe grading stamps. I use USPS food grade zinc in recipes intended for functional use. Tom
  19. D.D. Buttons (Alfred U) did extensive studies on the effects of temperature on particle distribution. At 68F, the negative particle charge on clay particles drops by 1/3rd. As the temperature continues to drop: so does the particle charge. Sodium Silicate and Darvan work (in part) by imparting a strong negative charge which suspends the particles in water. The water carries that charge: and as temperature drops; it effects suspension. When particles drop out of suspension in an irregular pattern: it weakens the form. Stain can also drop out in an irregular fashion. I do think Min's comments on scumming is lso applicable: blotchy color pattern suggests that as well. Tom side note- nice bird bath Liam
  20. Sbsoso- welcome to the forum. You did not State clay body type: but I will go with porcelain. When doing production: not a bad idea to keep 25lbs from the previous lot to compare to the new lot if problems arise. No problems before, and now problems means the first stop is to check with supplier if others have reported issues. Like potters, clay manufacturers shop for low prices: which sometimes creates issues. You have a plasticity issue which you can only resolve by adding water. Adding water does not increase plasticity; just moves the body closer to its liquid limits. Adding water will also increase drying issues such as warping. Your plasticity issue is caused by one of two things: the % of plasticizer has been lowered, or the plasticizer (ball clay) has lower plasticity properties. The second is Nep Sy being used as a body flux. Nep Sy has 14% soluble salts that can migrate: which can cause rapid dehydration of water. Sodium is hydrophobic- fancy word for- not fond of water. Again adding water compounds the problem by allowing further migration of soluble salts. As others stated: de-airing pugmill has zero influence. All a de-airing pluggers does is remove the air between clay particles which speeds up the transfer of negative particle charges. De-airing has zero influence of the actual chemistry of the material. Tom
  21. About half the tradesmen around here retired, or moved south. Of the other half: 90% are 45+ years old. Everyone once in awhile I see 20-30's at the lumber yard. Local colleges and schools ceased trade classes over a decade ago. Most schools have dropped art classes. Local community college cut pottery classes way back. State college still has a strong pottery criteria; but heavily focuses on sculptural work. Prez: that would be an interesting question: do your local schools/colleges still teach pottery courses (historical, not Covid related) Changes in focus, technique etc. You get the drift ; phrase it as you wish. Curious to see changes.
  22. Mark: built my last house in 2018: sold off ski steers, trucks, backhoe, trailers, etc in .2018/2019. Since then, I only do high end finish work. Custom cabinets, wainscot, crown work, custom only wood/Ceramic. Already put the word out; cutting back to 7-8 months next year. Time for the young people to step in.
  23. Mark: One of the drawbacks of any trade: downsizing when the time comes. Took off before Thanksgiving, and not going back until Jan1-12. Never took that much time off in 45 years. I like it!
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.