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  1. I hope to start working on some Currie grids soon, so have been thinking of ways of speeding up the process of mixing up the 35 glazes. I've designed a tool for making line blends (since Currie grids are just a series of line bends) but I'd like to get feedback on ways to improve it. What I'm aiming for is something that's significantly faster than measuring out volumes with a syringe or graduated cylinder, doesn't depend on the total volume of glaze (within limits), and is relatively cheap and easy to construct. Here is roughly what the thing will look like. The way it works is as follows. Suppose you want to make a line blend of glazes P and Q, with 5 mixtures. Tilt the tube to the right, and fill it part-way with glaze P. (Sorry for the bad rendering). If the tube is on a level surface, the ratios of glaze in each section will be 1:2:3:4. Now roll the tube to the left, so that the glaze gets separated into 4 compartments. Transfer the glazes into 5 containers (one of which doesn't get any glaze), then repeat the process with glaze Q, but reverse the order of the containers, so that you end up with mixtures of P and Q in proportions 0:4, 1:3, 2:2, 3:1, and 4:0. One thing I'm undecided on is how best to transfer the glazes. You put a pouring lip on the left edge of each section, but this will make construction more complicated, and pouring off the largest compartment may be difficult since you need to get glaze spread over a large area to flow to a single point. You could put the pouring lips at the corners of the compartments, so that you can tilt the tube to direct the glaze towards the lips, but I'm not sure how well this will work. Another option is to drill drainage holes in each compartment, cover them with sticky tape, and then uncover them one by one to drain each compartment. I have a feeling this could be messy though. Or you could transfer the contents of three of the compartments using a syringe, and then just pour off the last compartment. The design above is for making a line blend that results in 5 glazes, and it's clear how to modify it to increase the number. However, the trouble with doing so is that the greater the ratio of tube length to glaze-depth is, the harder it will be to maintain an even depth of glaze across the length of the tube, so unless you've got it perfectly level, you can expect the ratios of glaze in the different compartments to be off. So for the purposes of making a Currie grid, I'd probably make line blends from A to C and B to D the usual way, and then use the glaze separator on the 7 pairs of glazes corresponding to the ends of the rows. As far as construction goes, I'm thinking of using a PVC pipe, into which I'll glue semi-circular plastic dividers. This could be a bit finicky, since you're dealing with relatively small dimensions. If you make up 500ml of each corner glaze in the Currie grid, you'll have about 57ml for each square, so the amount of glaze in the smallest compartment of the separator is one quarter of that, or about 14ml. Choosing the width of this compartment to be 20mm and choosing the inner radius of the pipe to be 25mm seem to be a good compromise between not having the compartment too narrow (hard to clean) and not having the tube length : glaze-depth ratio too high. My only prior experience with constructing something out of plastic was making the rim for a small sieve by cutting a hole in a plastic lid with a scalpel I'd heated in a candle flame (there has to be a better way to do this...). So, I'd like recommendations on what plastic to use, how to cut it, what glue to use, how to avoid getting glue all over the place, etc. Or should I construct it out of something else? Any ideas on how the design can be improved?
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