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Prissy Lou

Crackle Pots

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is there anything I can use to give my pots a crackle surface besides sodium silicate? i'm just a hobby potter and i usually have to buy all my pottery stuff with christmas and birthday money. i live in a small town and the closest pottery supply store is over an hour and a half away. so i'm looking for something cheap that i don't have to order online or leave town to get. i think i've seen a recipe using corn syrup but i may be wrong. any suggestions would be very welcome.

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is there anything I can use to give my pots a crackle surface besides sodium silicate? i'm just a hobby potter and i usually have to buy all my pottery stuff with christmas and birthday money. i live in a small town and the closest pottery supply store is over an hour and a half away. so i'm looking for something cheap that i don't have to order online or leave town to get. i think i've seen a recipe using corn syrup but i may be wrong. any suggestions would be very welcome.

 

 

I remember some time ago reading an article on an Oriental method of deliberately producing crackle .... as far as I remember, glaze is underfired and encouraged to craze and when cool a contrasting coloured oxide is rubbed into the crazing. The piece is then refired to the correct temperature to seal the crackle. I haven't tried this, but meant to at the time of reading - and I'm grateful to you for reminding me to put it on my "to try" list!

 

Christine

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okay, i found a recipe for a clay-glue that's used for repairs. this is what the page said:

 

"

There's a clay fix-it recipe I use in my studio. You mix 1 part vinegar, 1 part Karo syrup, 1 part dry clay dust to a clay-like consistency. It is a strong glue-like slip or clay if mixed thicker. It works great for repairs, rejoining, etc."

and i found it at

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Ceramics-3232/2008/9/Repair-Earthenware-1.htm

 

would this work as a crackle slip? would i be able to reuse the clay if i messed the pot up? how well would it store? should i use water to thin it out or vinegar? if it wont work, what else could i use? i don't have access to raw materials nor any way to measure them if i did, so i would like to find something using household materials. but what i would really love is for this recipe to work. any advise or recipes or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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I think the question was misunderstood. I think the question is how to get a crackle pot surface, not glaze surface. He means sodium silicate brushed on exterior, heating the pot with a torch then stretching from the inside to stretch the outside surface which then cracks nicely and uniformly. I believe ceramic arts daily has a video. so the question is, is there a substitute for the SS to produce the same stretching effect?

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If you are looking for a crackle/crazed finish on the glaze, you can achieve this by using low fire glazes on high fire clay. You have to low fire the pieces (cone 04), which means your cone 6 clay pot will not be vitrified -- but you will get the crackle/crazed finish you are looking for the first time you run it through the dishwasher!! I have done this on decorative pieces because I liked the low fire glazes and their bright colors, and the crazing effect. This is obviously not good on pieces you want to use for food or liquid -- the crackle is on the surface, and moisture can work it's way in to the unvitrified vessel, and of course, that's not a good thing!

 

The other thing I do with low and high fire clay is put broken pieces of glass, or beads or a child's marble in the center of the piece and fire away. The glass crackles a little as it cools. Again, the crackle is on the surface, so even if it's high fired and vitrified, not great for liquids and food. But adds gorgeous decorative, shimmering meditative effect. I experimented with this on the little pinch pots I've attached: They were glaze fired once to cone 6 -- then again to cone 05 with a marble in the bottom of each bowl.

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As suggested by Riorose similar effect can be achieved by using a propane torch (faster) or heat gun (slower) to dry the outside of a pot on the wheel (one might be able to figure out something similar in handbuilding too) and pushing out to expand the surface. Throw thicker to allow for expanding the clay, and heat the clay until the inside feels warms to the touch, it may steam, and then push out while the pot turns on the wheel. Repeat as desired to get deep rifts. You can push through the pots wall when doing this so be careful until you get a feel for it.

 

Another method is to throw a thick cylinder, rib off any slurry and add dry clay to the surface, patting it on, then expand the form out. The dry material will absorb some moisture from the clay and the surface will crack.

 

 

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I hand-build and sculpt, and I have accidentally (!) achieved a beautiful crackle finish by dabbing bits of wet clay onto the surface of a sculpture after it had gotten leatherhard. I then bisque-fired it, and liked it so much that I decided to leave it natural, with only a bit of underglaze in a small area for contrast. I would love to post a picture of the effect so that you could judge if it was something you'd like to achieve, but I can't for the life of me make the file attach! (I haven't been able to attach files to my profile since my first attempt, and that photo seems to have disappeared somehow!) And while I'm complaining about my inability to personalize my profile, where did that "Advanced Member" designation come from?! I guess it must mean that I've asked lots of questions!!

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