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About Polydeuces

  • Birthday 03/03/1988

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  • Location
    Asheville, NC
  • Interests
    Pottery, Tarot & parapsychology, applied ecology & permaculture

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  1. Thanks so much for the tips, everyone. For now, I'll leave the bucket lid off while I run the dehumidifier, and will do some more testing as I near in on the next glaze fire. Much appreciation!
  2. Hah—concerning the bentonite, nearly every cone 6 recipe I come across has 2% in it (as an additive that isn't factored into the 100%). I would enjoy using it less. Stuff is a bit of a pain to work with, anyway.
  3. Thanks for the replies everyone! I'll try mixing up a couple test batches without bentonite. I'll leave the GB as is on one, and on another lower the GB—but do I need to need to replace it with anything? I might like to try in the future experimenting to bring it to a bit more of a matte texture. But I dunno, I tend to have bad luck with mattes as a whole so maybe not... As far as the current batch I have, it's a pretty small 1 gal bucket. I'll still be using it on certain smaller things, probably. But if I've already added the epsom salts to this batch, what is the longevity of that effect? I'm just assuming that hitting it with some Darvan may not be the best idea. Mark, I'll dip test pots tomorrow and get a better idea. It didn't seem too thick when I was last glazing—just wet. Thanks again!
  4. Thanks for the reply, Mark! Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought a higher number indicated more dry material in the glaze. Whenever I add water, it tends to weigh less. I fire at cone 6 and the majority of my glazes function well in application & results between 135-145. I typically wipe down my pots with a damp (but not dripping wet) sponge just to give them a once-over—doesn't prove to drastically affect the drying time on other glazes. I bisque to 05. I haven't scratched the surface of any of the pieces yet, but to memory, it didn't *seem* overly thick like when I've dipped into a glaze that I left unattended for a long time and dip into.
  5. Hey y'all~ Curious about this issue and what I can do to correct it. I mixed up a batch of Folk Art Guild White (Cone 6). It was settling on the bottom so I added a little epsom salt solution, sieved, measured and thinned to around 136 sp. gravity. It felt alright, but then I dipped it and it takes *forever* to dry. I only did a small handful of test pots with it and they actually came out looking really nice (IMO). But this consistency makes these pieces difficult to work on in a timely manner. Any recommendations? I was thinking that maybe adding some more dry material might help in case the glaze is pretty water-logged, but I didn't think a 136 spg was super wet. The mix is below, in case that gives anyone any ideas.
  6. Whoa! That's awesome—thanks for that! I'm going to need to study this a few times, but this will be a great jump-off for additional testing. Thanks!
  7. Here's an additional question concerning the topic of "under the glaze." It just occurred to me, and is kind of side-reel from engobe but in the same ballpark perhaps. If I were to apply a fairly thick mixture, let's say something like 25 ball clay 55 whiting 10 cobalt carbonate 10 rutile to a piece that was leather hard—let's say it was painted somewhere on the surface, and then it dried & went through bisque, and was glazed & fired again—would the flux in the Whiting still be present & active in the glaze fire, and would it react to the glaze applied on top? Or would this mixture vitrify at bisque temp? I guess my reason for asking is, it would seem a rather convenient way to influence the behavior of an otherwise simple glaze. That said, I've only reached the tip of the iceberg regarding my understanding of ceramic chemistry & the interaction of kiln-firing.
  8. Hey y'all, thanks for the responses! Despite arguments & debates, I find it all very educational and appreciate multiple viewpoints—so thanks for chiming in! It's plain to see that there's a passionate bunch here I'm going for a layer that totally masks the clay body underneath. I like the look of the clay body (working with Highwater's Brownstone—fired in reduction it's beautiful and toasty) but would like to add some variation. Perhaps irrelevant, but some of the "Why" behind it: I've experienced some frustration within the variables of colorful & interesting glazes, so I'm intending to move forward by experimenting with something a little more "controlled," and going with simpler, easier, more reliable glazes suitable for functional ware. I'm really just interested in exploring the uses of them. I had made a couple personal attempts by simply following recipes, and really had no idea what I was doing insofar as the baselines of "how thick" and "when I do I apply?"—hence my post. I'd like to try painting motifs & banding, sgraffito, or simply providing a more suitable canvas for certain glazes that I'd still like to use from time to time. I like deeper colors & muted earth tones, but I think I'd like to experiment with some whites or oxide-laden slips, too. I guess if I'm going with a dark body, I would probably want to layer a white/porcelain engobe on top, and then used a white/porcelain engobe with whatever stains on top of that? If I used a black body stain on an otherwise dark engobe, and threw a clear or translucent glaze on top—would it show? My understanding was that the addition of flux to the engobe brightened the coloration. Thanks for all the tips!
  9. Yes! Thank you for your answers. Stains need to be applied in high proportions... I guess that makes sense, being that it's mostly clay. It's all the zazz of fluxes & glass that makes stains do what they do in small amounts, amirite? For clarity, I'm mostly interested in playing with slip/engobe/underglaze decoration & sgraffito which in my 4 year self-taught pottery journey, I've never really messed with. I've always liked the look of slipware, and the techniques involved, but something about it has made me squeamish. I sort of see it as a jumping off point for more artistic expression, which feels slightly lacking as I've been favoring a more utilitarian look. Aside from that, the forum thread you offered is sort of the general confusion I stumble into on a routine basis, when I'm really just looking for techniques of preparation & application. Additional question: Would it be easier to achieve a black engobe from a stain, or from a mixture of cobalt & iron? (would that do it?)
  10. Hey y'all, Working with some cone 6 stoneware, interested in getting into the world of engobe. I've done quite a bit of research, but some things still seem relatively unclear. Here's a list of questions, I'd really appreciate some insight on the topic. 1. When is the best time to apply engobe? When the piece is leather hard? And, it needs to be thick? 2. What kind of surface is to be expected from common engobe recipes? I see a lot of slipware with glossy surfaces, but my assumption is that they were either A) fired in an atmospheric kiln or B ) coated in a clear glaze. 2a) Because of the materials commonly present in engobe recipes, is it difficult to glaze over? Is it essentially an underglaze? 3. Anything particular about obtaining particular colors? I was considering trying some mixes out using iron oxide and a few Mason stains. Thanks for your help~
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