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Which raw materials to buy?


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Hi All,

I'd like to start making my own glazes and wondering if you can suggest what raw materials to have on hand, sort of a basic inventory so that I can make a few glazes. Or do you recommend that I find a couple of glazes that I like and then purchase the raw materials that I need for those specific glazes? 

Ceramic Monthly provides this list. https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Glaze-Ingredients.pdf 

And I found this much shorter inventory on a site and I recognize that this list might be based on many of the glaze recipes on her site. 

Silica, EPK, Frit 3124, Gerstley Borate, Nepheline Syenite, Custer Feldspar, Whiting, Talc, Dolomite, Zinc Oxide, Bentonite,  Copper Carbonate, Red Iron Oxide. 

Thanks!

Betty

 

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I tend to take the approach of figuring out what I want to make, and then getting materials accordingly. If you’re starting out, I’d start testing with the aim to find no more than 5 recipe bases  to work with. 

In regards to the lists you’ve found, I’d say the first one there gives you more options to choose from. The second list seems like it’s pretty efficient for cone 6, but I’d want to add some form of opacifier (tin or Zircopax) and a variegator (titanium or rutile). The titanium will act a bit as both an opacifier and variegator. 

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I would advise not buying any material that you’re not sure you will need in the future. It’s already likely you will end up collecting a whole bunch of things you don’t ultimately need. That’s just part of learning how to make your own glazes. Storage space is an expensive commodity in any studio, so try to keep the extraneous materials to a minimum. 

Start researching recipes and narrow it down to a few that you want to try first. Then buy the materials for those recipes. Buy them in small amounts for now EXCEPT for Silica and EPK. Go ahead and buy 50# sacks of those, and containers to store them. They are so ubiquitous in glazemaking that you won’ be sorry for having them on hand. 

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Thank you Callie and Mea. I was trying to approach this as I would a baker or cook, find the recipe, and then buy the ingredients, but didn't know if I there were basic ingredients that I should purchase.  

Betty

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I’d say that kit sounds pretty specific to a course. There are a whole bunch of colourants and other things that either have very specific uses (strontium and barium carbonate, silicone carbide), or aren’t used that commonly. I’d be worried about more than one of those list items just gathering dust if you bought them without a purpose in mind. I wouldn’t recommend buying that one without also paying for the course that shows you what to do with them. 

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Low, med or high firing glazes makes a difference too. For lowfire a couple boron frits plus silica, epk, colourants and opacifiers would be enough to get started. For high fire you wouldn't need the boron frits or gerstley borate. For midfire there is a wider range of materials that are useful to have. 

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I recently "threw away" a little plastic shoe bin I was keeping Neph Sye in. Since the new 50# won't fit in it. It was $1.

I found it makes no sense to get smaller quantities of anything that is under $50 for a 50# bag. 90% of the time if you can store 5lbs you can store 50, and 90% of the time you're getting hosed on the per lb price smaller than 50, because it is being repackaged. I can't forget this thing Mark C said about repackaging materials, it's a waste of time, plus hazardous. I put 50's inside plastic garbage bags and work right from them with ease.

If you can afford to 50 up on the expensive stuff, you can end up side hustling smaller quantities to pay for it when supplies run thin. "Betty the Cobalt Queen" has a nice ring to it!

You can probably find under bed storage bins that'll fit a laid down 50. May be even easier to work from.

Eh...do the rightest thing as oncest as possible!

I fire from 6-10 so I grabbed a bunch of 6-10 recipes off Glazy.com. 

Narrow your pallette, find the commons, and go 50# everywhere possible.

Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cups cut down to excellent scoops. Seems less staticy than plastic 2 liter bottles. 

 https://www.riogrande.com/product/stackable-screen-sifters/350013gp

Sorce

 

 

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Thank you everyone for chiming in. I knew that I would receive some sage advice. 

Part of my reason for asking if I should have a basic inventory so to speak, is to avoid having to take time off from my job and drive an hour to pick up one or two items. 

I think I will find a few glazes that I like and then buy the items that I need. 

Betty

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I'd like to suggest research and pickiness when choosing glaze recipes.
Perhaps some others can chime in here on recipe sources. I have some trust in: Hesselberth's notes - see the tested glazes link from his frogpondpottery.com site (better yet, the book he and Mr. Roy wrote, Mastering Cone 6 Glazes); also Tony Hansen's site, digitalfire.com, and a few others.

Glazy is a recipe repository, err, like an entire library - one that keeps any/all books, it's not the best seller list, nor the recommended reading shelf, get me?

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Glazy has the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, for sure. Also, be sure to read the articles on Digitalfire, especially the ones about chasing the glaze dragon. (That makes more sense eventually, I promise.) Starting with a couple of glaze bases and learning how to adjust them to do what you want them to do rather than chasing recipes will save you a lot of headache.

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Thank you for the scoop suggestion Mark. 

Hulk, I get you.....wink, wink. When looking at Glazy, I was specifically looking at recipes that had reviews. 

Callie, thank you for the suggestion on base glazes. I have visited Digitalfire and will revisit for more info. I took a glaze workshop and helped to mix glazes at a studio, but that was just one time. Thought it was now time to try it on my own, but realize that there is still so much to be learned. 

I knew that if I posted my question I would get a some great advice. Thank you again! 

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13 hours ago, Bam2015 said:

Sorce, do you have some favorite recipes from Glazy.com?  Are you suggesting I can become the Cobalt Queen? :)

Betty

People act crazy with just TALK of supply shortages! You can be selling grams of Cobalt for $100! Lol! Is that Queen or Kingpin!?

C.J. Frosty Crystal! 

Really, there are PEOPLE that are my faves! Folks who do good tests and take good pics and notes. 

Sorce

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