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liambesaw

Hate sieving glaze? DIY rotary sieve

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So like most of us, I feel like the worst part about mixing glaze is the sieving process.  Run all this goop through an impossibly small mesh by hand or buy the 140 dollar talisman rotary sieve.  Well to heck with that I thought, the rotary attachment is just a few brushes on an arm.  So instead of suffer I spent 11 dollars on something that saves so much time it's ridiculous.  

I have some cheapo sieves from the local pottery supply that fit in a bucket and now instead of trying to smear all of that glaze through a sieve by hand, I just grab my drill and toss one of these on.  Sieve an entire 5 gallon bucket in under a minute! 

I got mine on Amazon, but I think you can find them at hardware places too.  

Here's a link if you want.  I just put my drill on slow speed with a 4 inch brush and it's like magic!  

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G7XG6BV/

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I could kiss you, but that would be weird! This is a brilliant work around for the expensive talisman sieve. Many of my glazes are in 35-55 gallon batches, and I sieve them all by hand; takes a long time, and hurts my hand!

Have you found out if the brushes hold glaze particles deep in their bases, i.e. do they clean out well? Are they very stiff, damage to sieve?

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6 minutes ago, hitchmss said:

I could kiss you, but that would be weird! This is a brilliant work around for the expensive talisman sieve. Many of my glazes are in 35-55 gallon batches, and I sieve them all by hand; takes a long time, and hurts my hand!

Have you found out if the brushes hold glaze particles deep in their bases, i.e. do they clean out well? Are they very stiff, damage to sieve?

They don't hold onto glaze, the bristles are large.  They could damage the seive if you press too hard.  I use cheapo seives with very thin metal mesh that is plastic welded to what appears to be a large plastic bowl.  I havent broken through it yet!  They also make a "soft" brush, which I haven't used, I actually use green which is supposed to be medium.

I barely apply pressure, it's just not necessary

Edited by liambesaw

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If one is using modern commercial ingredients for glaze ingredients, all of the materials will be ground to a particle size that is smaller than the "standard" glaze slurry sieving recommendation.  If the 'rocks' are moved at the weighing step, it is a reasonable assumption that any 'lumping' is related to the mixing methodology, not to the individual materials.  

The following procedure, used by many industrial mixing processes and taught to sophomore engineering students, is what I use for mixing glazes and  avoids the glaze screening step by screening the lumps out with a sieve (I use a kitchen sieve) when measuring the dry ingredients. 

I add the dry ingredients slowly with vigorous mixing to the measured amount of water needed for that glaze, in the following order:
1.  solubles (such as soda ash);
2.  "clay" ingredients (including gerstley borate);
3.   silica, feldspars, and frits, the less dense ingredients first;
4.   colorants (preferably pre-wetted).

start with the liquid being vigorously mixed, slowly add the solubles, then the fluffy stuff, the heavy stuff. 

This procedure takes less time than the studio pottery textbook procedure: dump the solids in a bucket, add water, struggle to get the stuff mixed, screen, mix, screen,  and so on … 

If I use 'bentonite' or a special suspension reagent, the suspension reagent is added to the water at step 1 after the solubles. 

After thorough mixing of the entire batch, I will check the water/solids ratio by measuring the slurry density by using the weight of a liter of slurry. 

When dealing with a bucket of glaze that has partially separated into lumps, sludge, and liquid I separate the liquid and sludge by pouring into a clean bucket.  The lumps are then crushed with a mallet to peanut size, and then put into a blender with water and/or some of the separated liquid and blended until the lumps are done.  This slurry I will sieve with a kitchen strainer, the liquid goes into the sludge and liquid bucket, the rocks go back to the blender.  

When the rocks are adequately crushed, all the parts are placed back in the clean glaze bucket in the following order, always with vigorous mixing: liquid, sludge, and crushed rocks.  

Another aspect is that in the studio where I work the glaze buckets are vigorously stirred daily except on weekends.  The stirring slows the hard panning.

If a glaze recipe continuously produces lumps and hard pan, I either revise the recipe to one that does not lump or hardpan, or I abandon the glaze as "TooDFussy".  Looking back, the tendency to be "TDF" shows up during early testing of the glaze when the batch size is only a couple of hundred grams. A fussy glaze is only used as an small batch accent glaze if used at all.   

LT
(Ja, Ik ben een ingenieur!)
 

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not if you are continuously having to sieve a glaze. 

The last time I made 7kg of glaze the  start-to-ready to use time, including clean up, was about 80 minutes.   The 'normal' time for the other procedure in the studio is over is more than twice 80 minutes, and it still needs to sit overnight, remixed  and sieved before being used.  

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Oh, no, I've never had to reseive a glaze, I only do it when I'm mixing up a batch.  If it has cobalt carbonate I will sieve the next day because otherwise the spotting can get annoying. 

I only have 6 glazes in 5gal buckets, I guess I use them enough to not run into lumps or hard panning 

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Many a factories never sieve their glazes either. I know for a fact that Rookwood (downtown for me) doesnt; they have slip mixers (industrial motor, not a drill) which are mounted to the wall. Glaze materials get added to buckets (generally larger 50 gallons plus), water is added, and are rolled underneath the mixers. The mixers mix with such a RPM and duration that no sieving is required. The glazes are generally mixed for about an hour or longer. The design of the blades on the mixing shaft are part of the equation, but having a motor which wont burn up after a heavy load for long periods is what really allows them to do this.

Agreed, a glaze that I have to sieve regularly aint gonna make it. I sieve it once when I make it and thats it.

7 minutes ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

The last time I made 7kg of glaze the  start-to-ready to use time, including clean up, was about 80 minutes.

Using a google calculator it says that 7 kg is 2 gallons. I can make 30 gallons of glaze, from beginning to end, including clean up, in less than an hour. All my materials are easy to get to and use, and all my mixers, sieves, etc are ready to go to, so just grab and go, but still, almost an hour and half for 2 gallons? Thats painfully slow; at that rate it would take me days to mix all my glazes (200'ish gallons total)

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I have not made glaze in a while so as I get back into business here I will be using a combo of the mixing techniques Magnolia Mud suggested and that great new brush tool Liambesaw has found!!! Thank you both!

Just order the brush thing.  Thanks for the link!

Edited by lgusten
Added an update

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For us production potters  making a living there are a few musts that save our bodies and time .

Hobbists do not need  much of this stuff

For me its a must have for these items

MY VAN-no more bending or needless unloading-keep the stock in it at all times

The power wheel-no kicking that stone age wheel anymore(got my wheel in 71.

Slab roller (mine is power) no more rolling pins

Talisman sieve-saves about a week over 10 years the way I figure it-I own two-picked one up for cheap on ebay once-I own the original aluminum one and the newer plastic model-Been thru a zillion brush replacements and bearing sleeves.I have been to the factory in NZ good folks.

a side note -is a small thrift shop blender for small batches tests and  mostly unruly materials-it will make just about anything past thru a sieve fast.

Griffin grip-I have 3 of them and the super large one -its all been said before

A car kiln-its shaved my back for decades

Advancer shelves-also a back saver.

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I have also seen people mount their 3-5 gallon glaze bucket to a Giffen grip and just hold a large stiff house paint brush stationary while the wheel spins. 

I've also seen some spectacular accidents when the bucket was just perched on the wheelhead without some sort of security measures. So make sure that bucket won't shift if you're going to try this!

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1 hour ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

I have also seen people mount their 3-5 gallon glaze bucket to a Giffen grip and just hold a large stiff house paint brush stationary while the wheel spins. 

I've also seen some spectacular accidents when the bucket was just perched on the wheelhead without some sort of security measures. So make sure that bucket won't shift if you're going to try this!

Callie thats what I call the school of hard knocks learning lesson. Nothing like putting the last of six teapots glazed on an poorly balanced ware board and watch them all crash-You never do it again

My 1st degree was a art degree from university

My real world second degree was the from the MFA program of the university of hard knocks. That took over a decade to obtain.

Edited by Mark C.

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11 minutes ago, Mark C. said:

That took over a decade to obtain.

I dont think Ill ever receive my MFA in hard knocks. Too much to learn! Best lessons learned are the hardest ones endured.

A book I was reading on ash glazes by an English Potter wrote in his forward, something to this effect (cant remember exact quote right now), "potters are both ignorant and stubborn", Meaning we are generally too ignorant to accept anothers' advice when we should, and too stubborn to give up until we find the result we want. I dont think of this as a bad statement; I know there has been plenty of advice I should have listened to, and my nose is no longer existent to the amount of spiting Ive done to it. I guess this may be true of a lot of disciplines in life too.

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42 minutes ago, hitchmss said:

I dont think Ill ever receive my MFA in hard knocks. Too much to learn! Best lessons learned are the hardest ones endured.

A book I was reading on ash glazes by an English Potter wrote in his forward, something to this effect (cant remember exact quote right now), "potters are both ignorant and stubborn", Meaning we are generally too ignorant to accept anothers' advice when we should, and too stubborn to give up until we find the result we want. I dont think of this as a bad statement; I know there has been plenty of advice I should have listened to, and my nose is no longer existent to the amount of spiting Ive done to it. I guess this may be true of a lot of disciplines in life too.

This is not a bad thing.  Progress will never be made if people don't tread over others footsteps.  As much as we can learn from others mistakes, we are only learning their solution.  Keep being stubborn, not sure about ignorance, but keep making mistakes and keep making your own solutions.  Draw on the experience of others but if you feel like something might be better, go ahead and try that too!

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1 hour ago, liambesaw said:

Sounds comically tragic!  I just thought I'd share this because it saved me 120 bucks and works a charm.  Maybe when I'm a big time potter I'll switch to a talisman but probably not, this drill brush is so quick

I used regular sieves(I bought all the meshed-brass with salvo metal hoops(state of the art in the 70's) for over 20 years before talisman was invented and imported to the states. They work fine-just take time.When I started out time was all I had.

 

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17 hours ago, Magnolia Mud Research said:

not if you are continuously having to sieve a glaze. 

The last time I made 7kg of glaze the  start-to-ready to use time, including clean up, was about 80 minutes.   The 'normal' time for the other procedure in the studio is over is more than twice 80 minutes, and it still needs to sit overnight, remixed  and sieved before being used.  

I can weigh out, mix, and sieve six different 5 gallon buckets of glaze in 80 minutes. I'm not sure how dry sieving would be any faster, and it seems like it would create a lot more dust. Can you describe your whole process? I'm also wondering how you keep bentonite from clumping if you're adding it straight to the water without blending it with other materials first, and without wet sieving.

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14 hours ago, Mark C. said:

I used regular sieves(I bought all the meshed-brass with salvo metal hoops(state of the art in the 70's) for over 20 years before talisman was invented and imported to the states. They work fine-just take time.When I started out time was all I had.

 

I've always used an old credit card to squeegee the glaze, but I think I'll try a soft, hand-held brush. Don't think I want another power tool to depend on. 

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19 hours ago, liambesaw said:

So like most of us, I feel like the worst part about mixing glaze is the sieving process.  Run all this goop through an impossibly small mesh by hand or buy the 140 dollar talisman rotary sieve.  Well to heck with that I thought, the rotary attachment is just a few brushes on an arm.  So instead of suffer I spent 11 dollars on something that saves so much time it's ridiculous.  

I have some cheapo sieves from the local pottery supply that fit in a bucket and now instead of trying to smear all of that glaze through a sieve by hand, I just grab my drill and toss one of these on.  Sieve an entire 5 gallon bucket in under a minute! 

I got mine on Amazon, but I think you can find them at hardware places too.  

Here's a link if you want.  I just put my drill on slow speed with a 4 inch brush and it's like magic!  

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G7XG6BV/

th (4).jpeg

It's like those Guiness Beer ads, a few years back, "Brilliant!"

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1 hour ago, Rae Reich said:

I've always used an old credit card to squeegee the glaze, but I think I'll try a soft, hand-held brush. Don't think I want another power tool to depend on. 

I've tried it with a hand-held scrub brush. It took just as long as using my hand, and the brush got clogged up and took a long time to clean. I think you need the spinning action of a power drill, or the cranking motion of a Talisman, in order for the brush to work faster than your hand. 

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sold my talisman after using it only a few times.   just like Mea, brushes get clogged up and you lose a lot of time and glaze washing them out.    the crank is a real pain in the arm, it is a huge circle to repeat many times and that gets old very fast.

my hand sieving is done with the blue rubber kemper kidney rib.  cheap and replaced many times over the years.

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1 hour ago, oldlady said:

sold my talisman after using it only a few times.   just like Mea, brushes get clogged up and you lose a lot of time and glaze washing them out.    the crank is a real pain in the arm, it is a huge circle to repeat many times and that gets old very fast.

my hand sieving is done with the blue rubber kemper kidney rib.  cheap and replaced many times over the years.

Nice thing about this drill brush is that after you're done sieving, just spin the brush for a second and all the glaze flies off.  Then I just put the brush in a bucket of water and give it a zippity Doo and it's clean!

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2 hours ago, oldlady said:

sold my talisman after using it only a few times.   just like Mea, brushes get clogged up and you lose a lot of time and glaze washing them out.    the crank is a real pain in the arm, it is a huge circle to repeat many times and that gets old very fast.

my hand sieving is done with the blue rubber kemper kidney rib.  cheap and replaced many times over the years.

I hate the Talisman. Hate it!The screens don't always seal well in the machine, and cleanup is a nightmare, and it never gets totally clean. It's just got way too many parts for a simple process. I use the plastic sieves that fit on the bucket, and use a cheap 4" paint brush to work it through. Cleanup is fast and easy, and it doesn't take very long to sieve a whole bucket- just a couple minutes.

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I like Liam’s method as a relatively low tech, less specialty equipment soloution to the problem. Glaze day usually doesn’t sneak up on me as a surprise, so weighing my ingredients out and allowing them to slake overnight and sieving the next day is actually a more efficient use of my time. 20 minutes of hands on work including cleanup to prep a glaze makes more sense than standing over 7kg of materials with a drill mixer in hand for 80 minutes. I think I know one potter in person that owns a wall mounted blunger that they can walk away from while it works. All the other ones I’ve encountered are in institutions. 

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