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Hi all! I just got a couple ^5 pieces out of the kiln that I had glazed all over and used stilts. I know stilt marks are unavoidable and simply just a part of the process if glazing all over, but I was wondering if there was any way to make them look nicer? I used a dremel (probably not the right bit) to grind the marks down, but it made the high-gloss black look crappy and the product just looks sloppy now. I saw somewhere that someone used nail polish to touch up the marks, but I feel like that will also look sloppy. I was considering some sort of gloss spray but have never tried anything like that. Anyone have any tips/suggestions (besides telling me to not glaze all over)?

post-78104-0-73570400-1466963110_thumb.jpg

post-78104-0-73570400-1466963110_thumb.jpg

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try the simple stilts made of only clay without all those metal points. 

Is that something I could make myself with some clay? I will definitely look into those for my future pieces. Do you know of any tricks for touching these marks though, or are these pieces junk? 

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I'm not sure why one needs to glaze everything. Pottery feet left unglazed is just part of the process. If you want to continue hiding all makes of the process-use the ceramic stilts and the tips will snap off. Then use a wet lap polisher (these I warn you are a bit spendy) bit will smooth the marks best so they are less noticeable .

You already have learned that certain glazes will show the marks more than others. If the pots are for you just rub a little mineral oil (food grade ) on the grind marks to gloss the grinding marks. Forget about paint and nail polish. 

 

stilt marks as well as unglazed feet are all part of the process and showing is part of that to.

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In my experience you still have to dremel off the 3 points from the tripod ceramic stilts. One potter I know, teaches  students to put 3 small dots of wax on the base, for the 3 stilt points to rest on. This stops the stilts fusing on to the base and you are left with 3 neat unglazed dots. Trickiest thing is to align the stilt on the dots and then place it all on the shelf without moving the stilt. Works if you can do it!

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If you insist on using the stilts with the metal pins, you might consider removing the 2 inner pins on each leg. This will leave you with just 3 marks to repair instead of 9, and still maintain stability.

JohnnyK

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I use star stilts pretty frequently and I've found it's best to coat the bottom with fewer coats if you're going to use them. The glaze doesn't look as appealing but it IS the bottom of the piece, at least it's still glazed, and the points pop right out without leaving huge gaping holes in the glaze because the shallower glaze didn't attach as much to them.

 

There are stilts with fewer contact points that we use: http://www.bigceramicstore.com/roselli-triangle-firing-stilts-with-metal-wires-a10.html

 

Also consider using a contrasting slip or an engobe to put a little design on the bottom. Slip and engobe won't stick but it adds a design element to the base to keep it from being plain and boring. I love adding little surprise details on the base like that and often customers comment on it. 

 

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There's a company called CI Products/DiamondCore Tools - they are/were a vendor at NCECA for the past few years.

 

They carry diamondcore tools for doing this type of stuff - bits for rotary tools, sanding pads, polishing bits, etc.  Anyways, with some tapered down abrasives from them you can get your glaze spots pretty smooth.  An individual in my studio has been doing this on her work - she's been glazing these pieces all the way around and uses stilts, so of course has some cleanup work to do.  Getting pretty good results, but not perfectly glassy yet.  I'm sure this is a skill to learn just like everything else.  For most people it's likely easier to just leave a bare spot.

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Perkolator, I did some serious damage at that booth. I love the diamond hole cutter bit. I perforated a kiln shelf for my small demo kiln. Got some diamond core bits and a grinding pad for cleaning up wood fired pots. 

 

I would recommend the diapad or diamond core bits for removing stilt marks.

Marcia

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I get very fine watersand papesr at the car parts store (in my area, Pep Boys).  It comes in grits up to 6000 (not a typo, six thousand).  Use your machine and maybe those foam emery boards from Sally or other salon supply places.  Work from rough to finer and finer.  I've never used six thou, never needed to.

 

Cynthia

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Not a big fan of the porcelain stilts either. A lot of the time the fine points are already broken off, and if you reuse them, you have a thicker nub stuck in the glaze so they are pretty much one time use. I went back to dry foot, some with glaze inside the footring. I've also had pieces drift a little on stilts, leaving the mark off to the side rather than centered...looks terrible.

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