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Hi,

I've been working with mostly a low fire clay body (Standard 105, cone 06) making functional pieces including spoons and utensils. I glaze them completely and then stilt them without any problems. But, now, I've starting to work with porcelain (Standard 365, cone 6) and wonder how in the world will l glaze them with Amaco  Zinc Free Clear (HF-9). I don't really want to glaze only the inside of the spoon and leave the handle and back unglazed. I'm sure I'm not the only person who wants to do this so I'm wondering... how do I glaze them completely? One solution I thought of would be to hang them... if I make a hole, right? But, in the event I haven't made holes... what other solutions might there be? I'm assuming using stilts is out of the question at cone 6, right?

Here's a peek at what these pieces look like. The longest is about 16"

Thanks! Andryea

738205333_ScreenShot2021-03-12at9_21_25PM.png.ceffc6ddea763712c1fd6459069695ca.png

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I favor the hole and have even scored  significantly below the hole when I wanted to break that piece off later leaving no evidence of the hole. Your HF9 may or may not fit your porcelain. I suggest to test first before glazing those spoons in the picture.

These are cone six porcelain fully glazed, hand carved, signed and dated and are gift  toppers for special occasions. The largest range four to eight inches actually.

856743A0-B472-4A0A-90CB-D5A0A2495458.jpeg

Edited by Bill Kielb
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Thanks for replying @Bill Kielb

I like your suggestion of scoring below the hole and then breaking it off. It's a brilliant idea!  Do you score all around, front and back? Does it break pretty easily? Do you take a dremel tool fitted with a diamond bit to smooth the break or what?

As for hanging... I'm not exactly sure how to set up a hanging system but am thinking that this might  be the way to go for future pieces.

That said... what do I do with these unglazed spoons? Is my only real option to leave the handles and backs unglazed?

BTW - I have tested the HF-9 with the clay body and it's a good fit so, gratefully, that's not an issue.

Nice ornaments!

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1 hour ago, andryea said:

  Do you score all around, front and back? Does it break pretty easily? Do you take a dremel tool fitted with a diamond bit to smooth the break or what?

I scored very deeply at the time  making 6” stems  for wine glasses. Hanging them kept them straight.  I would throw them hollow, complete with a base and very thin pretty much like a regular fine wine glass stem. Threw  them over a soda straw as I recall, what a pain learning how then learning to repeat!  Made quite a few custom engraved for a very special occasion wherein the patrons took them as memorabilia. Did the same to the thrown stemless glass as a temporary foot ring to sit on in the kiln to be cut off as well. They were affixed together with high temp food grade Uv cure epoxy and ended up virtually 100% glazed inside and out. Extremely sturdy yet ordinary thickness, frost porcelain that were slightly translucent.

Anyway, scored each all the way around and cut them with a diamond disc.  All of the cuts were easy to do so especially with a diamond disc and I found I actually could grind them extremely smooth with a proper diamond disc. The score line kept unwanted areas from chipping away during cutting.  So now I would say moderate score line all the way around makes life easy. As a thrown item it was easy to score with a needle tool and a couple revolutions so maybe 1/16”  - 1/32” at the time.

My hanging system was just a bunch of stilts actually  notched neatly into a fire brick and glued using green patch, never made anything custom other than that.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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How much of actual spoon is in contact with the bench?

Into the future could your design shape be altered so there is minimum contactwith bench/ kiln shelf.

16"" big ask to hang safely I'd reckon.

You may find you only need a small spit at end of handle anScreenshot_20210314-154235_Gallery.jpg.9e3ae26c9e6f190045f13d14bb1b0df8.jpgd another at the belly of the spoon in whicch case, a dab of resist or be prepared to lightly grind when placing on a spur..like used in cystal glazing may be the way to go. A spur do

 

 

Edited by Babs
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If, say, you were prepared to have the top inch of the handle unglazed, you could make a stand with holes, and put the spoon handle into the hole, with the bowl end upwards for firing.

There is a risk the porcelain could sag tho'.

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@JohnnyK Great picture, really shows how heat causes some strange but with a little thought predictable things to happen.  Back when teaching, I used the same square posts you have there. I drilled holes in the sides with a drill press, water and a diamond bit. This allowed me to insert the kanthal(I think) rods to support the christmas ornaments we made for a few years to demonstrate mastery of piercing, stamping, incising and added on clay decoration processes. Finished them with ribbons and beads in time for Christmas presents at home.

 

best,

Pres

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When I made long soup tureen spoons in porcelain at cone 10  the handles had a curve (so they did not warp flat) and the two touch points where on soft brick peices. They absorb a bit of glaze and you can sand/grind the small points smooth. I was not the only potter doing this. Then I decided wooden spoons where a better fit for my soup toureens

soft brick is easily removed and sucks up the small amount of glaze-I also sponged off the glaze a bit at the touch spots.

Edited by Mark C.
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Use sea shells to support glazed ware surfaces. after the firing, soak in cold water and the lime will dissolve and a small area might require polishing to remove any ruff points.  If the spoons a heavy, fill the shell with some wadding. 

LT

Edited by Magnolia Mud Research
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Thank you all for sharing your advice and experiences. I am answering your questions below and have a few follow up questions. Thank you in advance.

What the general consensus about stilting regardless of whether it's sea shells or soft brick or a stilt itself when firing porcelain to cone 6?

@Babs The whole back side of my spoons rests flat. Can you clarify what you mean when you said... 'You may find you only need a small spit (?) at end of handle and another at the belly of the spoon in which case, a dab of resist (?) or be prepared to lightly grind when placing on a spur..like used in cystal glazing may be the way to go. A spur do (?) You also posted an image of a stilt. I didn't think I could use stilts at cone 6 with porcelain for fear of slumping.

@JohnnyK Yes... I will consider engineering a stable stand! Thanks for sharing that image! Ugh

@Pres great suggestion... using the posts themselves makes a lot of sense

@Mark C. soft brick? 'm not sure what this is exactly. Is this something I can buy? If so, do you know where?

@Magnolia Mud Research Sea shells? I never heard of this. What's so special about sea shells? And will any kind of sea shells? Small? Big? I live nowhere near the ocean so I'm figuring this is something I'd have to purchase. Any advice?

 

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soft bricks are the same as the bricks in any electrick kiln-they are for sale at ceramic supply houses-They are called K23 brick-you cut them with a hand saw-or a pruning or hack saw to the size or shape you need.One brick will go a long ways.The sea shells is also a great idea-just buy some on the internet

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1 hour ago, Mark C. said:

soft bricks are the same as the bricks in any electrick kiln-they are for sale at ceramic supply houses-They are called K23 brick-you cut them with a hand saw-or a pruning or hack saw to the size or shape you need.One brick will go a long ways.The sea shells is also a great idea-just buy some on the internet

good to know. thanks.

I'm still a little confused and wonder what I'm still missing.

How are the bricks or shells different from stilts? And won't the porcelain slump regardless if it's sitting up, off the shelf, on something?

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34 minutes ago, andryea said:

How are the bricks or shells different from stilts?

They crumble into nothingness-ish after firing.

34 minutes ago, andryea said:

And won't the porcelain slump regardless if it's sitting up, off the shelf, on something?

Maybe, maybe not.  I had a porcelain spoon rest (resembled a whale tail) slump to complete flatness.  It was born flat under a slab roller, and bent into shape.

Next version was born raised (one of my few successful thrown and cut objects) and didn't slump.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Chilly said:

Maybe, maybe not.  I had a porcelain spoon rest (resembled a whale tail) slump to complete flatness.  It was born flat under a slab roller, and bent into shape.

Next version was born raised (one of my few successful thrown and cut objects) and didn't slump.

 

 

Hmmm, that's pretty interesting and maybe a tell tale sign! I make my spoons in two parts, a coiled handle and a flat, under a slab roller/bent into the bowl shape. I wonder how a pinched or carved bowl shape would behave.

Thanks!!

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14 hours ago, andryea said:

Sea shells? I never heard of this. What's so special about sea shells? And will any kind of sea shells? Small? Big? I live nowhere near the ocean so I'm figuring this is something I'd have to purchase. Any advice?

Sea shells are predominately calcium carbonate held together by organic tissue; the organic tissue burns away, the calcium carbonate is converted to lime that remains as a white powder that will be dissolved in water.  The ribs in the shell often leaves interesting marks in the glaze that can add to the design applied to the ware.  
I get my shells from the Gulf beach or from local craft stores such as Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels.  

LT
 

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Stilting at cone 6 is entirely possible, as long as the stilts are rated for that temperature and the pieces being stilted are not too heavy.  You will have some small stilt marks to deal with, but if you have been stilting at cone 06 then you already know how to handle them.  The stilts I use are rated for cone 10, and work fine at cone 6.

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1 hour ago, Piedmont Pottery said:

Stilting at cone 6 is entirely possible, as long as the stilts are rated for that temperature and the pieces being stilted are not too heavy.  You will have some small stilt marks to deal with, but if you have been stilting at cone 06 then you already know how to handle them.  The stilts I use are rated for cone 10, and work fine at cone 6.

Thanks. I have one experience stilting porcelain pieces to cone 6. It was disaster. Everything slumped around the stilts. Fortunately, the stilts survived but the pieces got all wavy and warped. I'm not sure what 'not too heavy' means exactly because I had something pretty light in there that practically melted over the stilt!

oops.png

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19 minutes ago, andryea said:

Thanks. I have one experience stilting porcelain pieces to cone 6. It was disaster. Everything slumped around the stilts. Fortunately, the stilts survived but the pieces got all wavy and warped. I'm not sure what 'not too heavy' means exactly because I had something pretty light in there that practically melted over the stilt!

oops.png

Are you sure that the piece in the photo was cone 6 porcelain?  It looks more like what happened when I accidentally fired a high talc low fire body to cone 6.  I f you're sure of the clay, are you sure of the firing temperature?  Did you have cones in that firing?  I have often used stilts with both porcelain and stoneware at cone 6, and have never seen that degree of slumping.

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16 minutes ago, Piedmont Pottery said:

Are you sure that the piece in the photo was cone 6 porcelain?  It looks more like what happened when I accidentally fired a high talc low fire body to cone 6.  I f you're sure of the clay, are you sure of the firing temperature?  Did you have cones in that firing?  I have often used stilts with both porcelain and stoneware at cone 6, and have never seen that degree of slumping.

I am pretty sure it was porcelain. Although now you have me doubting it.

I don't use cones because my kiln has programs that I follow. It was set to Slow Glaze at cone 6. Here are a couple of images of three other pieces that were stilted in that same firing.

IMG_1310.jpeg

IMG_1311.jpeg

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34 minutes ago, andryea said:

I am pretty sure it was porcelain. Although now you have me doubting it.

I don't use cones because my kiln has programs that I follow. It was set to Slow Glaze at cone 6. Here are a couple of images of three other pieces that were stilted in that same firing.

IMG_1310.jpeg

IMG_1311.jpeg

I have computer controllers on all but 2 of my kilns, but I still use cones to make sure that the heat work got to where it should have gotten.  Not every firing, but whenever I change a program or whenever I suspect  a problem.   The bowls in the photo are larger than I would typically stilt.  If I was going to try to stilt them I would use multiple stilts per bowl  spread out to distribute the weight.  I usually add foot rings to bowls that size and leave the bottoms of the rings unglazed.

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1 hour ago, andryea said:

I am pretty sure it was porcelain. Although now you have me doubting it.

All the large shapes you have there in the picture would slump using my porcelain due to their size. So I would not expect any of them to survive a single three point stilt in the center. Just my experience but For my stuff, I believe they would end up just as they did for you.  

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The placementf of the stilts are important.

First image I would place the rows of stilts along the base so pot is not suspended.

In the other images I would put about 3 stilts under the base , but with those shapes, why glaze the bottoms?

It may be that you need to make ware a little thicker.

Is this a one of , many successful firings prior to this?

Then I would question the clay body.

What is your firing schedule to C6?

Put cones in kiln for sure if haven't done this for a while.

How did unstilted pots go?

 

 

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Thank you all for your insightful input. I am just an infant when it comes to ceramics. I've had little formal education and it's obvious here. Nevertheless, the experience has been a good teacher.

Like I said in my first post, I'm more familiar working with low fire clay. However... the allure of porcelain is so powerful that I bought 50#'s to experiment with. I didn't realize it comes with a steep learning curve. I'm not sure I like it or that I will continue working with it but I am determined to use it so I appreciate the advice.

@Piedmont Pottery You are right a foot ring would solve the problem. I am practicing doing just that with success since those fatalities!

@Bill Kielb My naivete is showing with how I thought one single centered stilt would be sufficient as that's how it worked at cone 06. As for using cones... this is something I know very little about and is probably something I ought to learn about.

@Babs  Thanks for your guidance using stilts. Clearly I used them incorrectly.  That was my very first cone 6 firing and I assumed I could do what I did with my low fire clay. I have  since had some other relatively successful firings. I have stopped glazing the bottoms (because you're right, why?). I am making my pieces thicker. And, aside from various glaze issues, the unstilted pots are fine.  FYI-My kiln is two years old with less than 100 total firings.

That all said... I'm guessing that I should NOT ... 1. completely glaze or 2. stilt those spoons.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will feel pretty good if they haven't gone all flat on me when I open the kiln next! Hahaha

Thanks again everyone!

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5 minutes ago, andryea said:

Thank you all for your insightful input. I am just an infant when it comes to ceramics. I've had little formal education and it's obvious here. Nevertheless, the experience has been a good teacher.

Like I said in my first post, I'm more familiar working with low fire clay. However... the allure of porcelain is so powerful that I bought 50#'s to experiment with. I didn't realize it comes with a steep learning curve. I'm not sure I like it or that I will continue working with it but I am determined to use it so I appreciate the advice.

@Piedmont Pottery You are right a foot ring would solve the problem. I am practicing doing just that with success since those fatalities!

@Bill Kielb My naivete is showing with how I thought one single centered stilt would be sufficient as that's how it worked at cone 06. As for using cones... this is something I know very little about and is probably something I ought to learn about.

@Babs  Thanks for your guidance using stilts. Clearly I used them incorrectly.  That was my very first cone 6 firing and I assumed I could do what I did with my low fire clay. I have  since had some other relatively successful firings. I have stopped glazing the bottoms (because you're right, why?). I am making my pieces thicker. And, aside from various glaze issues, the unstilted pots are fine.  FYI-My kiln is two years old with less than 100 total firings.

That all said... I'm guessing that I should NOT ... 1. completely glaze or 2. stilt those spoons.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will feel pretty good if they haven't gone all flat on me when I open the kiln next! Hahaha

Thanks again everyone!

Well as others have said, the resting small points of ware can be polished quite successfully. After all they are not going in the mouth or even touched by hand. Many spoons, because of ease of use ,are designed with a curve in the handle and , if viewed from the side only touch the bench/ shelf in two small places .

The photo I posted was of a stilt for higher firing...no metal, may have gone out of style .

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