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shawnhar

Glazing big bowls/large objects

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How do you do it and what tools do you use?

I struggle with it, all my glazes are in 5 gallon buckets and the big bowls don't fit. I have a cheap paint sprayer and have had some success with that, but it seems to waste a lot of glaze and it's hard to tell if there is enough coverage. I have a large soft plastic tub and have tried that, but I don't have enough glaze to fill it up so that the bowl can be completely submerged and I have to do part, turn then do the other part, which leaves a line where the 2 dips overlap. Iv'e tried pouring in/over but that leaves lots of drips for me, I can smooth them out but it seems I always get a spot or 2 that is too thick or it looks uneven after firing.

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Regarding sprayed glaze thickness, This pic shows a "chunky velvet", that is what you are trying to get. The area that is smoothed out and cracked has too much glaze applied. When you start filling in the chunky you are applying too much glaze. I use the Critter spray gun.

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I store my main glaze in a 10 gallon plastic bin with a rectangular opening. It’s wide enough to dip a bowl/platter that is maybe 15 inches across.

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When I want to use another glaze on something large, I have these big tubs that I found at the Korean grocery store (kimchi making tubs).

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Learn to embrace the overlap. make it part of the design.

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I glaze large bowls two ways. One way is to use a large square bin, fill it with glaze from my 5 gal bucket, and roll/dip the bowl through the glaze holding it with staple removers in each hand. If the bowl is too large I will dip 1/2 and then the other 1/2, usually dipping at an angle as to not divide the bowl in 1/2 visually. You'll find lots of ways to vary this technique aesthetically.

The second way is to use a small 2-4 cup pitcher to pour the glaze into the interior of the pot rolling the glaze quickly to pour it out. Then I pour glaze over the outside of the pot as evenly as I can in one stroke while the pot rests on a padded stand in the square bin I mentioned before. Big secret to both of these is to wash the pot just before glazing with a damp sponge, getting some moisture into the clay to keep the glaze from getting really heavy build up areas.

Often with either of these I use a compressor and glaze sprayer to add other glazes over top of the base glaze for decoration.

 

 

best,

Pres

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I had a firing partner who made lots of big bowls and platters. As @GEP advocates, he embraced the overlap with two and sometimes three glazes that created additional colors/effects where they met and lapped. Quick and dirty, as we used to say, and pretty enough to sell every one.

note: you want to try not to lap in the very center to avoid pile-up (and for aesthetics).

Edited by Rae Reich

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I have tubs that I think were supposed to be for drinks at parties  that I got at the dollar store. Similar idea to what Liam has.  If I have enough glaze, I can dip the outside of a bowl very easily, but more often I invert them and pour. The trick is to use slightly thinner glaze and pour for two full rotations. This doesn't eliminate drips entirely, but I'm of the opinion a small drip isn't a big deal. I'm making handmade ware, not working in a factory. Maker's marks, when left deliberately, are part of that aesthetic.

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Forum member @Chris Throws Pots has a video on his website where he shows how to glaze on the wheel with a brush and a squeeze bottle of glaze. I can see this being helpful if you don't want to mix up a large amount of glaze for dipping.  I think I would do the outside first and hold the pot down with clay wads (if you don't have a Giffin Grip) and glaze up to those then do the inside and glaze over the rim and down to the glaze line on the outside.

 

Edited by Min
added a thought

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I make huge bowls and always have 1 or 2 for sale.

I pour 99.9% of glazes with dipping and brushing of under glazes (other cone 10 glazes) I pour the insides of most bowls and pour the outsides with a long nosed pitcher I have posted about many times-they come in two sizes and pour extremely well with great control. I use at least 3-5 of them on glaze day.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PSB5VU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

As far as dipping lips I use a large plastic tub just like the ones that GEP shows in her photos-you can get these at many specialty markets-Koren ,Japanese or Mexican. I have a few huge ones that are larger than hers in Photo as well-its nice to have multi sizes to choose from.

When I see one I always buy it as they are a bit hare to find. I drill a hole in the lip and hang it on the wall.

I also have several 20 gallon buckets I use for some glaze that I use all the time so I can dip into those like my rutile blue glaze, its about 2 feet across .You can find those at restaurant supply stores.

It takes some time to gather all that you need as a potter 

Spraying glazes takes to long to do 35 cubic feet loads-brushing glazes is WAYYYYYY to much time for a production potter to do.

 

Edited by Mark C.

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4 hours ago, Min said:

Forum member @Chris Throws Pots has a video on his website where he shows how to glaze on the wheel with a brush and a squeeze bottle of glaze. I can see this being helpful if you don't want to mix up a large amount of glaze for dipping.  I think I would do the outside first and hold the pot down with clay wads (if you don't have a Giffin Grip) and glaze up to those then do the inside and glaze over the rim and down to the glaze line on the outside.

 

Blasphemy! Everyone knows you can't brush on glazes meant for dipping! 

Doesn't that cause some kind of catastrophic reversal of the magnetic poles or something? :D

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Only if you're dipping a brush into them.  Dripping a line of glaze in front of the brush keeps the brush from sticking and keeps the glaze from drying as you apply it.  The main issue with brushing dipping glazes is that they dry so quick, so it's a fun little workaround for that by squirting glaze while brushing

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2 hours ago, shawnhar said:

Blasphemy! Everyone knows you can't brush on glazes meant for dipping! 

Doesn't that cause some kind of catastrophic reversal of the magnetic poles or something? :D

It might be blasphemous but whatever it takes to get the job done!

It's great that there have been a lot of replies to your question, there have been a lot of good tips here. I think the type of glaze is a consideration too, drips are fine if it's part of the look you're going for (or don't want to fettle them down). Fluid glazes that blend well together probably have more leeway than a stiff majolica type glaze as to application method.

One other thought about dipping, overlapped glazes can be part of the design but if it's something you want to avoid you can use wax resist on part of the glaze. It's a bit of hurry up and wait because you have to dip the pot part way or even just where you want to hold onto it for the second dip / wax / wipe of the glaze below the wax / let the pot dry / dip the other side. Same as if you use wax over a liner glaze on a mug to avoid the liner and outside glazes overlapping.  

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6 hours ago, Min said:

Forum member @Chris Throws Pots has a video on his website where he shows how to glaze on the wheel with a brush and a squeeze bottle of glaze. I can see this being helpful if you don't want to mix up a large amount of glaze for dipping.  I think I would do the outside first and hold the pot down with clay wads (if you don't have a Giffin Grip) and glaze up to those then do the inside and glaze over the rim and down to the glaze line on the outside.

That's a fun party trick! Excuse me, I'll be back. I need to go get some squeezy bottles!!

 

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Before I go any further with suggestions I need to know are these pouring -or brushing glazes???? I assume you where firing to cone 6 and were using dipping /pouring glazes-if all thats a yes then take my suggestions-if on the other hand they are brushing glazes please do not listen to me as I have not brushed a low fire glaZe in 40 years.I know how but that all-three coats going different directiuons if I recall right.

Now in terms of too much (to thick)or not enough (to thin) this all takes practice and time to learn just as learning to throw did -its no different its a skill set.

I love glazing and thats my fun part but I mastered it long ago-it sounds like you are like many who dread it. You need to learn to pour quickly and do not let glaze sit in the bowl. thinner is better than thicker on the inside. I spin the bowl while pouring out very quickly-you could practice on a stainless bowl and you will not waste glaze that way. Go pour a stainless large bowl 20 times and I bet somewhere along that line you will GET IT. Of course stainless will not absorb galze so that also another learning curve.

I feel glazing is the next part of being a solid potter-another skill set -kiln building is another-firing (gas -raku reduction) another-they all take time and many stop at the throwing part and struggle with the glazing. Push thru it and master it.It took me a few decades to do it while asleep-maybe you can do it sooner.

 

Edited by Mark C.

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I don't know what is considered a brushable glaze.  I brush any glaze I have if it seems like an appropriate method for the form.  The Magma product helps with some glazes, I think, but the real trick, as always, is the right tool for the job.  Here's mine.

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An ear syringe can be handy for spaces that have an edge, see ~5 minute mark in Hsin-Chuen Lin's vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_BIm8lKGus

Bisque grabbing can be mitigated - try dipping your brush in water, then glaze/underglaze; the material "floats" on the water and spreads, particularly if the objective is to fill chatter marks, carving, etc.

For sharp boundaries, I'll tape, dip, wax, wait, pull the tape, then second dip. A burnished groove/line helps hold a straight tape line. 

 

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When pouring glaze you should not have drips-The inside pour is a spin the bowl as glacovers insdie evenly than a drip on lip. Do the inside 1st always in large forms. The outside is also a spin with your hand inside (handling pots while glazing is a skill like throwing) there should be a even spin with one hand the other is pouring with whatever container you choose but overlaps should be avoided and the only drip is off the lip which you spin until its gone.

I'll make a few YOUTUBEs after I die when I have time 

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To do the outside of large bowl shape forms I use my wheel.  A large basin like a concrete mixing tub with sticks supporting the bowl.  Slowly rotate while pouring.  It can be done perfectly, but just to add that extra, I'll take the air compressor to it and blow the glaze evenly, eliminating any drip.  Messy, yup.

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