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Glazing Tools


Min

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I spray most of my glazes but there are times when I pour and dip. Was thinking that here on the forum that apart from mixers and sieves we haven’t had a lot of discussions about what tools you find helpful while glazing. 

Just a few simple inexpensive things I use fairly often. The green jug is a watering can from Ikea ($2-), I use it for pouring liner glazes into oil bottles, small vases etc and also for pouring glaze on the outside of pots.

The measuring cup is made of soft flexible silicone, can squeeze it to make  different size pouring spouts. (AliExpress $4-) 

Large graduated syringe (AliExpress $1.30) I use for glaze testing when doing line blends, triaxial blends etc.

The mini tongs I’ve shown before, staple remover with the prongs filed down. (Dollar store, bought this years ago, I think I paid $2- and it came with a mini stapler) This is one of my favourite tools, I use it with mini pots mostly but also for the occasional plate shaped piece where I use one on each side of the rim.

Anybody have something they find helpful while glazing they could share?

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Nice banding wheel Johnny. Mine is also made from repurposed materials. (faceplate from a metal lathe, shaft that fits the bottom bearing / housing from an electric mower, scrap plywood and some blue paint) I too like using or adapting things when possible rather than running out to the store to buy new.

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I brush on my glazes at the moment, so all I use are a few brushes and a couple water glasses for cleaning brushes.  Dipping is a difficult option for me, as the inside of an ocarina should not be glazed and there are small holes across the surface that would need to be blocked to keep the glaze out.

Do you find benefits in spraying on the glaze?  I would imagine that application is more even and smooth.  This is a method I have considered, especially if it might reduce the possibility of pin-holes.  I know other ocarina makers use this method due to the spray splatter inside the ocarinas.  If I were to use this method, I would need some way to cover the inside of the tone holes while spraying, as I feel the glaze splatter inside lowers the quality of the ocarina.

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2 hours ago, Soren said:

     I would need some way to cover the inside of the tone holes while spraying,  ....


Soren,

re plugging holes in the items:

these techniques have worked for me on a variety of forms - never made an ocarina - so you  will have to struggle to adapt for your product. :

wax - small cake candles to plug the holes or just filled with liquid ceramic wax.
school room white glue 
toothpicks and/or coffee stirrers
tightly twisted news print
my thumb (covering the hole)
spaghetti (and other pasta when the shape fits)
balloons inflated inside the form

most of these techniques use something that plugs the hole and is expected to burn out during the firing.  I try to verify that the holes are open and clean before putting the items in the kiln and that glaze is not attached to the "cork in the bottle" if you get my drift.  

LT
 

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45 minutes ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

wax - small cake candles to plug the holes or just filled with liquid ceramic wax.
school room white glue 
toothpicks and/or coffee stirrers
tightly twisted news print
my thumb (covering the hole)
spaghetti (and other pasta when the shape fits)
balloons inflated inside the form

Thanks for the tips, LT.  I have not really thought much about doing this yet, but this list certainly gives me the brainstorm inspiration and excellent starting point if I try spraying glazes!

The tools I use for glazing will certainly change if dipping or spraying glaze becomes a better option for me than brushing.

For those who brush on glaze, do you use normal bristle brushes or some other type of brush?  If you use bristle brushes, how do you avoid the loose or stray hair coming off the brush?  Is a brush just too old to use if it is losing bristles?

I would like to see the tools others use for brushing glaze.

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Soren, I use a variety of normal bristle brushes, some fan style, a small flat, and some  large round. I also use little brushes for underglaze that I used to use for painting details in acrylic painting.

I don't remember ever losing a bristle.

You could look too at Youtube videos on applying brushable glazes.  People have their favorites.

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I have all kinds of glazing brushes from cheap multi-sized low quality sets to really decent well made brushes with quality hairs.  Also short large brushes made for cosmetics (to put on powder makeup) that are great for mopping on glaze, and 000 brushes for the finest of line work. Also an auto detailer brush-good for sweeping lines/flared lines.  Some hake brushes for large areas and also used to pull glaze back off, depending on the effect I want. Then there's stuff like honey dippers, pipe cleaners, feathers, foam brushes, and cotton balls!

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18 hours ago, Soren said:

For those who brush on glaze, do you use normal bristle brushes or some other type of brush?  If you use bristle brushes, how do you avoid the loose or stray hair coming off the brush?  Is a brush just too old to use if it is losing bristles?

In my classroom, we have both natural hair, and synthetic brushes. 

The natural hair hold the glaze well and give a good application.  However, they do shed hairs/ bristles. 

The synthetic brushes do pretty good at holding glazing, and applying it, though not quite as well as the natural hair.  But the synthetic brushes don't shed either.e

In regards to what to do about the shed bristles, I just generally leave them, and advise my students to do the same.  For glazing, the hair will burn out, and the glaze will smooth away the mark.  With underglaze, removing the hair and smoothing/ reapplying the underglaze, might be a good idea, if it left a deep mark.

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I bought a kiln a few years ago. Basically junk, and only 2 cu.ft. However, with the kiln came furniture, 2 boxes of brushes of all assortments, mini extruders, flower making forms, and assorted other items. I trashed the kiln for the bricks that I use for kiln furniture, and use the brushes as needed. There are some combination synthetic/natural bristle brushes that work well.  Like Ben, I have never worried about bristles or sponge pieces as they just burn out.

 

best,

Pres

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26 minutes ago, Benzine said:

In regards to what to do about the shed bristles, I just generally leave them, and advise my students to do the same.  For glazing, the hair will burn out, and the glaze will smooth away the mark.  With underglaze, removing the hair and smoothing/ reapplying the underglaze, might be a good idea, if it left a deep mark.

7 minutes ago, Pres said:

Like Ben, I have never worried about bristles or sponge pieces as they just burn out.

That is what I suspected, so I have usually not been too concerned about shed bristles.  However, I am considering Terra Sigillata, and I have heard that bristles there will leave a mark, as it does not flow during firing like glaze does.  I will need a different brush for terra sig, as my current brushes are made of natural hair and lose bristles.

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On 8/22/2018 at 8:42 AM, Soren said:

That is what I suspected, so I have usually not been too concerned about shed bristles.  However, I am considering Terra Sigillata, and I have heard that bristles there will leave a mark, as it does not flow during firing like glaze does.  I will need a different brush for terra sig, as my current brushes are made of natural hair and lose bristles.

Indeed, Terra Sig does not flow, much like underglaze.  However, Terra Sig is usually burnished, once it is applied, which does smooth things out.    So if you picked out the brush hairs, the burnishing should cover them up.

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I like homemade brushes 

skunk tail and deer tail in homegrown bamboo handles-hang them upside down and they can last 30 years

Also a graduated cylinder for measuring specific gravity -its a key item for me as well as the funnel pitchers-they come in two sizes-I use both.

A large 1/2 inch drill with a jiffy mixer head -I use it every glaze day which averages every two weeks or so.

 

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min, i like to spray glazes to get an even coating without fingermarks.  and i LOVE thriftshops!  the best thing i found for glazing bowls was a paper towel holder that i converted to hold bowls  upside down so i can spray them.  i hope i can post the photo i finally found today.  i have one showing me spraying a bowl using the tool but cannot find it.

the picture worked, now to explain what you see.  the heavy base is centered as needed on a banding wheel that turns very steadily.  the top of the paper towel holder has been removed and a thick dowel attached to a wooden disc about 3 inches across has been stuffed into the hollow metal tube.      the top of the disc has been covered with a round sponge from the drugstore cosmetic department, it is about 2 inches thick and 4 inches across.  it is held in place with a nylon stocking, the kind called "knee high".    the sponge goes into the toe of the stocking, the disc with dowel follows and the excess stocking is stretched tightly and tied around the metal tube with rubber bands.   

the tool works with a number of different sized bowls.  i hardly ever make one smaller than will fit over the soft sponge.  large ones just require a close watch and a gentle spin.  since i single fire, the whole thing takes only a minute or so and as soon as i put the sprayer back into its holster, i can pick up the bowl and put it down on a drying shelf.  it is really touch-dry immediately so i am careful to lift it using both hands with thumb on rim and finger on base.

having a third hand is a real help and this tool is that third hand.  a spin with the left hand as the right hand holds the sprayer is all that is needed to get an even coating.   and some practice,      lots   and     lots    of      practice.

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I mostly brush mine on. I have found those cheap 1 inch chipboard brushes great for general coverage then a varity of brushes for design from fan, sumi, hake, etc...i have a particular favorite one its a bob ross brush,  it narrow but long bristles...i think it was for making fur or something but it is fun to use to decorate with. I one had a sumi brush that almost all the bristles had fallen out. I could make the most wonderful undulating line with it but sadly finally all the bristles fell out and so died a wonderful tool.

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