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Making my own parting stones


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Hello, all.   I've been a longtime lurker and faithful reader on this wonderful forum.  Have learned so much from reading, and while waiting for my husband to build my new pottery studio, I"m spending lots of time here, gathering up ideas and more info on everything.

My question is in regards to a post I read earlier, about "parting stones", produced by a company that charges way more money than I have to spend.   The parting stones are made using cremains, and some other material (someone on here guessed dental material), resulting in a smooth stone for remembering a loved one.

I have stoneware clay, buff and white, and ashes from each of my parents, and am interested in making my own parting stones to share with my brother.   Would I be able to mix the ashes with clay, and make my own?   I'm not at a point in my knowledge base to make any assumptions, and have read in the past that ash is a flux.   Is adding ash to some of my stoneware clay going to make a puddle in my kiln when fired to cone 5 or 6?    Is this whole idea ridiculous?   Is there a percentage of ash that I should stay below to mix into my clay to avoid any kiln disaster?     

If all this is not feasible, I'll go back to the idea of a Black Friday type ash glaze, and make my brother and I a pair of mugs.

Thanks in advance for any help with this.  You guys are great!

Rebecca

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Hi Rebecca,

My condolences on the loss of your parents.

If I were to do this I would mix up some bone china using your parents cremains as the bone ash component. Traditional bone china is made with 50 bone ash, 25 kaolin and 25 Cornwall Stone and fired to cone 10. I think that firing to cone 7 or 8 should be hot enough to make the stones strong but they would probably still be somewhat porous. I would sieve the cremains then weigh them out then add the kaolin plus Cornwall Stone (this is hard to find anymore but there are Cornwall Stone Substitutes or you can mix up your own). Add water to make a thick slip, mix well then pour it onto a plaster wedging table to dry out enough then wedge it and form your stones. It won't be a plastic claybody but should be okay for hand forming stones with.

I'm sure there are other ways to do this, perhaps somebody has made some parting stones and can give information on how they made them.

Link to the thread @Rae Reich started about Parting Stones if anyone missed it.

 

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Thanks, Min.

I actually have some Cornwall Stone, bought it to mix up a glaze I wanted to try.  Got a local suppliers last 11 lbs. of it.  The kaolin, I'm hoping will be the EPK I have?

I lost my parents 20 years ago, both in the year 2000, and still have my portion of their cremains, which myself and my two siblings split.  I have an almost new L & L kiln that is rated for Cone 10, but have only fired it a couple of times, no higher than cone 6.  So the cone 7 or 8 you suggest is doable.

Hubby and I just moved back to Texas, so I am without a place to make pots until he gets my studio built, soon.  Meanwhile I'm hunting for new ideas and techniques to try. 

I've been throwing pots on the wheel for about 4 years, just got into making my own glazes last year before we moved.   I'm sure looking forward to potting again.  

Thanks, again.

Rebecca

 

 

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Hi Rebecca - 

I also spotted that post and am super interested in hearing about your results. Please post if/when you start experimenting. 

And if anyone else has tried something like this (especially if you have tips about what really, really won't work) I would love to know more. 
Seems like you could wedge some into clay and fire, especially if no glaze was required, but I'm not sure about what the best case/worst case scenarios even are. 

Thanks for bringing up this topic!   

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Thanks for your reply, Kristina.

I will be trying this at some point.  Right now, all my equipment and all my potting tools, everything is boxed up and stacked up in my hubby's shop. We recently moved back to Texas;  a shop for me is next on the build list, we're waiting for the rain to slow down so dirt work can be started to pour a slab.  

So glad you expressed your interest in the parting stones.  I don't feel so silly for bringing it up. 

Will post pics when I finally get to this.  Thanks!

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Hi Rebecca. I’ve not heard of Parting Stones before, perhaps not something common here in the UK.  I’ve seen ashes of loved ones made in to diamonds and such like. 
I don’t know if the Stones are usually just unglazed ceramic but have you thought of using the ashes in a glaze? 

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Hello, Jays.

Yes, I've got a recipe for glaze using human ashes, and will keep that in mind.  Have been tossing the idea around for a long time, but when I ran across the Parting Stones, it appealed to me, more so than the glaze.   

Min posted a link (above) for the Parting Stones, there's a video that explains it.    

Thanks!

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  • 11 months later...

Hi Rebecca,

It's been a year since you posted about using your parent's cremains to make your own version of Parting Stones. I have been doing a lot of research myself and came across the Parting Stones site as well as the Lonité site for turning ashes into diamonds (and you thought Parting Stones was expensive?!) I have a Skutt Kiln that can fire to Cone 10, so I am considering the suggestion of using my mother's cremains in bone china. I have seen videos of people creating clay from wood ash and water alone. It's not fire though. Even though the composition of cremains would be different from wood ash, I wonder if a clay could be made in a similar way. I have also looked at ways to use her cremains in glazes - which seems to be more common. I am a total novice though, so am worried about making a mistake. I'd love to hear if you ever made something.

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Hi, Pauline.

No, I've not tried the cremains yet, parting stones or glaze.   I'm still considering it, though it's on the back burner for now.   Haven't researched integrating the ashes into clay, sounds interesting.  One of the posters above gives a rule of thumb/recipe for mix for bone china. 

I do think since I've easily found the recipes for making glazes with ash that is the way I would go, as I'm not terribly experienced in making glazes.  The recipe I found is called "Black Friday", and without looking up the author/creator, what I remember is he made the glaze with his dog's ashes.

Have been trying out glaze recipes for only a couple of years.     If you do try something before I post on here again (hopefully with some sort of results), please let me know.   I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks, 

Rebecca

Edited by RebeccaC
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