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Tiles As Wadding In An Electric Kiln?


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Hello all, after a few months of lurking and dreaming about getting started, I've gotten to the point where I can finally make some things. Got the kiln wired in and it's all looking very clean and crisp - my question is, has anyone ever used commercially produced tiles as wadding?

 

I want to keep those kiln shelves in tip top order and I am hoping to fire a bunch of flat Christmas decorations, much like the one in my avatar. They are made from stoneware, because that's what I have to hand (hoping to progress to functional ware) and will fire to cone 9 i believe. I have some commercially produced glazes to suit, and I was wondering if I could set these on top of some inexpensive tiles that I already have - the tiles appear to be unglazed quarry tiles. I'm planning on careful application to just the front of my ornaments, but just in case some of the glazes run, could I use tiles do you think? Many thanks for any replies.

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Without knowing what temp the tiles will go to, no. If they're wall tile, they're probably low fire and will melt. Anything else would have to be tested. Anything that can go to cone 9 will fuse to your work to some degree, and you'd have to use a kiln wash or something else on them to keep them from sticking. Just test your glazes to see how much they run, and apply them accordingly. Or you could make your own tiles out of the same clay to go under your glazed work, but again, you'll need some kiln wash on them to keep them from sticking.

 

Any particular reason you're going to cone 9? For ornaments, vitrification isn't necessary. Firing to cone 6  instead of 9 will greatly increase your element and overall kiln life.

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Without knowing what temp the tiles will go to, no. If they're wall tile, they're probably low fire and will melt. Anything else would have to be tested. Anything that can go to cone 9 will fuse to your work to some degree, and you'd have to use a kiln wash or something else on them to keep them from sticking. Just test your glazes to see how much they run, and apply them accordingly. Or you could make your own tiles out of the same clay to go under your glazed work, but again, you'll need some kiln wash on them to keep them from sticking.

 

Any particular reason you're going to cone 9? For ornaments, vitrification isn't necessary. Firing to cone 6  instead of 9 will greatly increase your element and overall kiln life.

 

Many thanks Neil, much appreciated. I'm hoping to make functional ware really but was suckered into making some Christmas Decs for a local cause. I had a small stockpile of stoneware clay and associated glazes, which are really better for mugs/plates etc, but didn't have the budget to run out and buy new materials. This is not something I'm planning to do on a regular basis. I'm planning to fire to cone 9 because that's what's recommended for the clay I have, and since I bought glazes to match that, I thought I'd have to follow through. Apologies for my ignorance, I have a ton to learn.

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I wouldn't because it is more mass to heat unnecessarily. What is wrong with using kiln wash? That is what it is for.

 

Marcia

I think that's what I will do, many thanks Marcia. I had been reading a lot of materials by folks who were using various waddings and kiln cookies and such, and got carried away down that path - first of many Homer Simpson moments I'm sure... doh...

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I'd say test the work without the extra insurance and make the mistake, grind it off and learn control from this mistake so you don't do it again :)

For "waste shelves", wadding, biscuits, whatever you want to call them - use a broken kiln shelf or a piece of clay body.  Too much risk with unknown tiles...unless youve tested and confirmed the use in this application.

 

FYI, CI Products now carries a great diamond grinding wheel for angle grinders...works fantastic!  Our students tend to make messes that are fun to clean :P

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