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Hi! I’ve recently been doing a lot of experiments with clay deposits I’ve found as well as other found materials used in clay or glazed. I’ve been doing a lot of testing with wedging a lot of coarse granite into my clay. It makes it rough to throw with but my hands are tough enough it doesn’t bother me. I’ve usually been applying a found quartz and wood ash glaze that I’ve formulated to these pieces at cone 6 (lots of GB). The glaze gives a nice amber finish and seems to be helping the granite flux as it runs a bit giving nice variation, colour, and texture. My current test are going to include wedging the granite into a clay I found that can be fired up to cone 6 and I’m excited for these results. Does anyone have any tips regarding granite being added to clay, good glaze combos with found rough granite filled textures, other good experiments with found materials, etc?? Thanks! Matt
A few queries to help with new glaze. I'm in process of making up a wood ash glaze - my first. I have collected a quantity of Birch wood ash, I've soaked it and sieved it through a fairly fine stainless (kitchen sieve) mesh, the result is a slop which contains ash particles up to the size of fine sand/caster sugar. I hope to add some of this to an existing attractive blue/grey alumina matt glaze to give more interest â€“ perhaps some 'toasty' edges or speckling within the fired glaze and a degree more translucency. I will do some tests quite soon, but can anyone maybe tell me if I'm in the right area to get something interesting? My alumina matt glaze is: Soda Feldspar 70 China clay 13 Dolomite 5 Whiting 5 Quartz 3 â€¢ The ash seems to settle out extremely quickly, I guess this will improve once other ingredients are added? â€¢ Should I sieve the wood ash to exclude all but the finest particles? â€¢ I think the ash glaze is more of a flux? so if I add some to the recipe above it should make it more glassy/runny â€“ is that correct? â€¢ I'm thinking to try test adding between 10% and perhaps 30% of the ash glaze (this is just a guess â€“ perhaps I should use much less or more)? â€¢ My normal colouring for the alumina glaze is either small amounts of cobalt/nickel to achieve a subtle blue grey or titanium/rutile to achieve creamy white â€“ is it possible to predict what the addition of the Birch ash will do to these colours? Are they likely to change substantially? Very many thanks for any help in predicting what may happen/what I might expect!
Hello, newbie here. I want to do some experimenting with making my own wood ash glazes from local woods. I've done a fair amount of research on the subject, but I do have some questions. 1. I've decided to keep my variables simple in the first round of tests. I was thinking I'd do a simple recipe for ash glaze, which is 50 parts dry ash and 50 parts clay body. Does this sound like a reasonable place to start, or am I missing anything important? 2. I have also decided to wash all of the ash I use. I like that it will be more stable/last longer in a mixed glaze and will be less caustic. I also don't want a SUPER runny glaze, and I read that there are more fluxes in unwashed ash. I am wondering, though, what is the best way to dispose of the lye-water that I will make through the washing process? I don't want to pour it into our septic system or kill any plants or hurt the environment. 3. I'll be making plates mostly, maybe some shallow bowls. I was thinking simple, flat test tiles would be the best way to test colors and would be easiest to display later. I am a little worried about super runny glazes, though. Any suggestions for a good test tile to test glazes used on plates? 4. I am not sure what the best glaze application process would be. I don't have access to a sprayer, and it will be difficult to dip plates (especially if I don't have a LOT of glaze mixed up at a time.) Any ideas how to use either a sponge or a brush to get a fairly even coat? (I'm okay with some variation in pattern, but I want to make sure the whole surface is glossy and glazed) How thick should my glaze be when I paint it on? (Should it cover my hand completely and be like runny yogurt or should it be thinner?) 5. I've read that it's important to gather pure ash, and that ash from the fireplace doesn't always work because of the newspapers/magazines used in starting the fire. How important is it that the ash I use for glaze is absolutely 100% wood ash? Will having a little paper ash in there hurt things or make it less food safe? 6. I am thinking of adding a couple of colorants and testing those results as well. I'm going to start with copper carbonate and cobalt carbonate. I'm also thinking of trying rutile but am concerned that it contains titanium... would glazes made with rutile be food-safe? 7. I've read that ash glazes are typically high-fire glazes. I was thinking that to keep all the variables the same, I would fire all the test tiles and plates at the same temperature, probably cone 9/10. I've also read you have to go as high as 11. Thoughts? Sorry for so many questions! Like I said, I'm pretty new to ceramics and this will be my first experiment with mixing my own glazes and I'm excited but also nervous. Feel free to just answer a couple of questions, and thank all of you in advance Betsy