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MFP

What is Lith-O-Sil please?

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Hmmmm......I must have thought it was lithium carbonate when I ordered it. I ordered spodumene by name. I don't think a quarter pound is going to do much!  LOL

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Could be!  Go by the price, lithium carbonate is like 20 bucks a pound, and spodumene is more like 3 dollars a pound.  That is if that's something you ordered recently.

May also be petalite, which is another lithium silica

Edited by liambesaw

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OK...just looked at the list I gave them of what I wanted to order...and Lithium Carb was a quarter pound at about 20 bucks a pound. Got five pounds of Spudomene. So it must be lithium carb.....why do they call it that.....it's confusing!! 

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1 minute ago, MFP said:

OK...just looked at the list I gave them of what I wanted to order...and Lithium Carb was a quarter pound at about 20 bucks a pound. Got five pounds of Spudomene. So it must be lithium carb.....why do they call it that.....it's confusing!! 

Must be their in house name for it, because I don't see any trade names that match

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I sent them an email to be sure. Now the tedious process of 100 gram glaze tests begins. Have to admit that it's not my favorite activity. I also noticed that one of the unknown substances I was trying to identify is actually cream colored. Looking at the barium carbonate I ordered, they both have that tendency to form into little loose balls. The ignition volume loss will tell the story. Interestingly, calcium carbonate loses 43 percent but barium carbonate looses nothing.  I am thinking my gritty feeling #5 may be bone ash....it's the only other thing that feels gritty like that. I found a coffee can of white stuff....no clue what it is. It was in with the oxides....and I wouldn't have packed it in with the oxides if it was not related. Betting it's tin, titanium or zircopax. That will make three zircopax tests (sigh).  ( old, new, unknown). Mark C said one of the five things I sent him was zircopax.  So, have to test to make sure.  If I didn;'t have what amounts to 50 pounds of #5, I would have given this up a while ago.  I am pretty sure #1 and 3 are dolomite and calcium carb. But the ignition loss will be interesting. 

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Does this reply from Clay Art Center make any sense to you?

 

"Lith o sil is 99% lithium, 1% silica.

 

The manufacturer of lithium and Spodumene has made it against the rules to sell raw lithium or spodumene, which is why we make the blended product.  It allows us to still sell a material we otherwise couldn’t sell."

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He finally got back to me a few minutes ago....999 parts Lithium Carbonate and 1 part silica.  Geez....it's not like I was asking something that was a national secret! 

I tried Laguna Frost today and really liked it....cone 6 porcelain....smooth but not sticky, nice to throw. Will see how it fires. 

Got six glaze tests weighed up....and a bunch more stuff in containers. EPK sure looks weird now....it's tan....used to be kind of cream colored. 

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32 minutes ago, MFP said:

He finally got back to me a few minutes ago....999 parts Lithium Carbonate and 1 part silica.  Geez....it's not like I was asking something that was a national secret! 

I tried Laguna Frost today and really liked it....cone 6 porcelain....smooth but not sticky, nice to throw. Will see how it fires. 

Got six glaze tests weighed up....and a bunch more stuff in containers. EPK sure looks weird now....it's tan....used to be kind of cream colored. 

Mine is a grayish white this time, last time it was snow white.  Haven't had a tan batch yet, but it's probably on the horizon

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The following is a mixture of facts, speculation, and invention off the top of my head. Some months ago there was a hew and cry in several pottery-related Facebook groups about an impending demise of the availability of spodumene. Everybody was rushing to buy the last available material from their usual sources and there was much rending of clothes that they would not be able to make their favorite glazes anymore. I never saw any rigorous business analysis of the issue (other than the obvious market impact on the price of lithium caused by the huge demand of the lithium ion battery industry) to explain a cessation of availability of spod. Some US-based commenters pointed to their favorite suppliers having warehouses full of the stuff. The only logical comment I saw in all the discussion was from an EU-based person who indicated there was some EU regulation that forbade dividing branded merchandise into smaller quantities and reselling it in unauthorized packaging. The company mining spodumene in western Australia (generally referred to as Gwalia Spodumene) supposedly ships its product to distributors worldwide only in very large ~200 pound sacks, and distributors would rebag it as needed for local resale. It was this end-of-supply-line issue that ran afoul of the EU regulations. There hasn't been much noise recently about "what should we do now that spod is gone" as there was at the turn of the century was when the gerstley borate mine closed, so perhaps it was much ado about nothing, a false alarm. Or perhaps the ingenuity of the potters in affected areas developed a workaround - source the spod (and lithium carb) in the standard big bags from the original producer and reblend it with an immaterial amount of something innocuous into your own proprietary product and sell it in whatever quantities you wish in your own bag?

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Yes this was quite crazy. I wanted to order my materials from Clay Art Center because it was closest to me and I noted they did not have Spudomene...so I  just ordered it from Clay King and it came packaged as Spudomene.  I had submitted a list to  CAC of what I wanted....and lithium carbonate was in the list ---this lithosil is what I got.....I finally got an answer that it was 999 parts LiCO3 and one part silica..  Apparently Clay King doesn't give a rip....they have both Spudomene and LiCO3 listed as such.  The increasing ability of people to make things unnecessarily complicated is most vexing. 

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