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Fixing a nightmare to apply: add water or deflocculate??


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3 hours ago, 2Relaxed said:

If anyone here makes pots in a situation similar to mine (very slow, very part-time), how do you guys go about trying out/developing new glazes?

@2Relaxed   I am in the same boat as you - I work full time during the day then go to the pottery for a few hours each evening. Testing glazes takes excruciatingly long! You have to be willing to fire the kiln with nothing but test tiles.

I have a commission to make a 12 piece dinnerware set. I have to create the glaze color for the customer. The customer wants 1 color over the whole piece. So the glaze must be food safe. Testing started around June 22. After more than 100 test tiles, the testing is down to 4 glazes. The testing is past the test tile stage. Now I am test glazing on 1 pound cups. Today, after work, will be mixing up 200 gram batches of each of the 4 remaining tests. After wetting and slaking overnight, tomorrow will get the water amount correct then pour the liner, wait a day, then spray the glaze on the outside. Probably have 6 pieces in the glaze firing. I cannot wait to fire the tests untill I have a full kiln - that takes about 6 weeks. Time is marching on towards Thanksgiving - my delivery date. 

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1 hour ago, Sorcery said:

If a glaze is thixotropic, all you need to do is give it a good stirring to loosen it up and effectively change the consistency.

One of them drink mixers is recommended. 

Sorce

Hmmm, I guess it's the third school of thought! I wonder what the physics/chemistry are behind this method. I did stir the glaze by hand but it obviously didn't help. Maybe more vigouros stirring with a mixer would make a difference?

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12 hours ago, 2Relaxed said:

Maybe more vigouros stirring with a mixer would make a difference?

The best method I have found for stirring small batches of glaze is the immersion blender. Use it, after scraping the bottom and scraping where the bottom and wall intersect, with a stiff spatula. My normal glaze batches are 1000g.

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4 hours ago, dhPotter said:

The best method I have found for stirring small batches of glaze is the immersion blender. Use it, after scraping the bottom and scraping where the bottom and wall intersect, with a stiff spatula. My normal glaze batches are 1000g.

Gotta get me one of those, maybe in a thrift store. I'd take one from my kitchen but I use it quite a bit there. :D

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18 hours ago, 2Relaxed said:

Maybe more vigouros stirring with a mixer would make a difference?

Studio I used to hang out at had most of their glazes in 5 gallon buckets, with a toilet brush in each bucket to stir with.  When getting ready to use one of the glazes, we would take the lid off & lay it upside down on a table, give the glaze a good stir, and set the brush on the lid while we dipped - then just put the brush back in the bucket when done.  Keeping the brush in the bucket served as a reminder to everyone to stir before dipping - and a brush for each bucket means not having to clean the brush every time you use it.

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7 hours ago, Rockhopper said:

Studio I used to hang out at had most of their glazes in 5 gallon buckets, with a toilet brush in each bucket to stir with.  When getting ready to use one of the glazes, we would take the lid off & lay it upside down on a table, give the glaze a good stir, and set the brush on the lid while we dipped - then just put the brush back in the bucket when done.  Keeping the brush in the bucket served as a reminder to everyone to stir before dipping - and a brush for each bucket means not having to clean the brush every time you use it.

That's exactly how it worked (still does!) at the studio I used to hang out at! Toilet brushes and all! :lol:

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@liambesaw @2Relaxed I believe @Sorcery means that if you mix it thoroughly for several minutes, preferably with a mechanical device appropriate to the batch size, the gelled glaze may become more fluid and apply better. Deflocculated casting slip (which is thixotropic) is pretty stiff if it’s been sitting awhile, but becomes more fluid when mixed. 

edited to add: 

Sorry for the repetition. I’m late to the party because I was away for the week. For large batches, a drill and a paint mixing bit will do the trick. I find that frit does dissolve significantly if left for a month or two. Maybe on the next batch, skip the Epsom salts. The frit will keep things from hardpanning as long as your glaze doesn’t freeze. 

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