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Quick glaze stirring and mixing


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Well getting to the shed after about 4 weeks away,  and finding my glazes need waking up, I found myself, by glancing in the buckets, reaching for a variety of "stirrers.

Toilet brush,  bamix, or stick beater, drill with stirrer attachment abd and in one case my talisman sieve.

What are your go to tools?

Whilst glazing my toilet brushes are on hand.

 

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Interesting, haven't considered using a toilet brush, but it  sounds like a good tool. I like being able to use tools from around the house instead of buying specific items for pottery.

I use a spatula to scrape the bottom and then a paint stirring stick. 

Betty

 

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 I use the sieve and drill attached Jiffy mixer when I make a new batch, or if I see lumps in my glaze. Those make a huge mess, so I don't use them every time I need to stir glaze.

I was at a community studio that used the toilet brushes. Those were great for really scrubbing glaze off the sides and getting it mixed up. I use a slotted spatula made of silicone for stirring before dipping. I had spatulas made with metal that I kept in the bucket to avoid having to rinse off and waste glaze. The metal would rust, and I didn't want that getting into my glaze, so I switched to the silicone. I don't waste any glaze rinsing it off every time I stir. 

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I use a drill and paint and paint stirrer with plastic blades on freshly made glaze before sieving twice. Glaze that has sat I use the same set up, without the sieving unless the glaze has frozen. Then I sieve twice also. When mixing up smaller amounts of premixed glaze in a spray gun bottle I use a stick blender. I also use the stick blender to mix smooth slips for brushing, or other application to freshly thrown pots. 

I used to see folks mix glaze in college dry, then add water. Never for me, too much dust.  At the same time over the years I have become much more cognizant of dust and try to do everything I can to cut it when mixing glazes, when filling dray material containers and such.

best,

Pres

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kswan, there is a trick to stirring things without making a mess.  it is true that if you use a 10 inch long paint stirring stick with plastic blades and remove it from a 6 inch container while it is still spinning, you can spread wet stuff all over the room.  the secret is to stir only while the container is sitting inside a tall paper bag, bucket or box to catch the overspray.  pushing a just damp sponge down the central stick while it is running slowly sends excess material down into the blade area.  a quick spin sends it flying into the original container, bag, bucket  or box.  

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I use a 1/2 inch drill attached 20 inch 5 gallon Jiffy mixer 

90% on glazes are in 5 gallon buckets-one is ina 20 gallon container. I have a small jiffy mixer on a small cordless drill for 1-2 gallon buckets.

No mess ever as buckets are the right size for the right jiffy mixers and the drills are all varibale speed

I have 3 sizes of jiffy mixers -I also have a cordless  drill with the baby jiffy mixer for a few small containers I use every glaze day as well

I mix all my glazes with this set up on glaze day then put sticks of wood -one in each bucket a bit larger and longer than say a paint stick-these have 40-50 year of use on them and I wash them off and toss into a 5 gallon bucket at clean up time.

I have used toilet brushes at a art center I demoed at-I prefer a wide stick myself 

as a toilet brush cannot work up hard stuff off bucket bottoms as well-once the glaze is power mixed than a toilet brush would be fine-many have metal in them and are going to rust so thats a concern

I glaze large volumes of work so it has to work smoothly and efficient .

I recall a old post on this where I had some photos of all this as well as my homemade brushes from animal hairs

 

Edited by Mark C.
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Actually my problem is less from the drill splattering than from pouring one five-gallon bucket into another with the sieve on it. I probably need to build more upper body strength to lift that bucket! I always seem to make a mess with glaze, but I've gotten better over the years.  I clean glaze off the Jiffy mixer by spinning it slowly in my rinse bucket, and then sponge off what is stuck in the crevices. My glazes don't get hard panned, so I have an easier time stirring them when it comes time to dip. Mark, one studio where I took classes had some large homemade wooden stirrers that looked like small oars. They really worked well. 

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4 hours ago, oldlady said:

kswan, there is a trick to stirring things without making a mess.  it is true that if you use a 10 inch long paint stirring stick with plastic blades and remove it from a 6 inch container while it is still spinning, you can spread wet stuff all over the room.  the secret is to stir only while the container is sitting inside a tall paper bag, bucket or box to catch the overspray.  pushing a just damp sponge down the central stick while it is running slowly sends excess material down into the blade area.  a quick spin sends it flying into the original container, bag, bucket  or box.  

I have seen folk use a dog bucket, thing they put over dogs head to stop them licking sores etc, placed over the rim of bucket to catch the spray, but seemed like an over kill unless big stirrer in small bucket.

@Mark C. modern toilet brush here, no metal, some have a  plastic rib at end.

Hard pan , the split pan and sieve sieve sieve but 4 weeks don't get that way. 

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I use the toilet brush system but find that a paint stick still needs to be used for the bottom corners of the bucket. ( Do round buckets have corners?)  I got the brush attachment to my drill which also works fine, but as many of my glazes are in ice cream buckets, I have to remember to pour off the water to start the process.  Otherwise we have a very big mess.  The poured off water gets added in as the glaze becomes mixed. Also the bucket must be held firmly between my feet or the bucket just twirls around = another big mess.  It's a good thing I can do most of this outside so I can clean up with the garden hose!

Lin

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34 minutes ago, LinR said:

I use the toilet brush system but find that a paint stick still needs to be used for the bottom corners of the bucket. ( Do round buckets have corners?)  I got the brush attachment to my drill which also works fine, but as many of my glazes are in ice cream buckets, I have to remember to pour off the water to start the process.  Otherwise we have a very big mess.  The poured off water gets added in as the glaze becomes mixed. Also the bucket must be held firmly between my feet or the bucket just twirls around = another big mess.  It's a good thing I can do most of this outside so I can clean up with the garden hose!

Lin

I've gone through bottom of bucket...once!

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I’ve seen a lot of mentions of the usefulness of the dollar store toilet brush. The only reason I haven’t tested it in person is because I wonder how easy they are to rinse or keep clean afterwards. How’s the cleanup on them?

Currently I use the drill/paint mixing bit option for large batches. I also have a bunch of commercial kitchen sized wooden spoons with the corners on them to get into the bottom edges of the bucket, or for smaller buckets.

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Toilet brush stays in the bucket but can only be used in the 5 gallon buckets as it's too long for the ice cream buckets.They  don't get cleaned. I yearn for the simple life!  Otherwise it is a series of cut down spatulas, paint sticks, etc.  which stay in the smaller buckets.  Lin

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1 hour ago, LinR said:

Toilet brush stays in the bucket but can only be used in the 5 gallon buckets as it's too long for the ice cream buckets.They  don't get cleaned. I yearn for the simple life!  Otherwise it is a series of cut down spatulas, paint sticks, etc.  which stay in the smaller buckets.  Lin

Exactly!!

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For small containers (pts/qts) I use a large or small manual spinner  that I got from American Science and Surplus (thanks to Pres for turning us on to that source for great gadgets!) It works like a hand blender, which I also use sometimes (carefully positioning it re controlling where the glaze goes/cleaning it off the tool back into the bucket). I also use a metal paint  stirrer on my drill, when called for.

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2 hours ago, LeeU said:

American Science and Surplus

Funny you mention, right here locally in Illinois. Used to go there as a kid all the time. Last trip (40 Years forward)  was a few years ago to pickup cheap dental tools for ……. Carving clay and some cork stoppers someone in the studio needed for their clay project.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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In my studio I use a jiffy mixer on a variable speed drill, if it’s splashing I slow down the drill. After it’s all stirred up I use a long whisk to make sure it’s in suspension, like if the bucket’s been sitting still  for several minutes. At school it’s toilet brushes and big paint stir sticks. If there’s globs of glaze in the bristles students can see it’s not mixed up well enough. 

Mixing up new glazes I always sieve it couple times then adjust the viscosity with Epsom salts. That (Epsom salts) has probably saved me more time than anything else. I never have hard panned glazes. At worst it’s a thick gel at the bottom of the bucket, even after sitting a few months. Tony Hansen wrote a nice article on flocculating glazes and adjusting viscosity for anyone not familiar with that. I don’t go to the lengths he does for exactness, but just a basic  understanding of the principles has been invaluable. 

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Always kept a container of water saturated with Epsom salts in the HS, when mixing glaze would add 3-3 tablespoons full of the solution to the wet glaze when mixing new glaze. This does major good in keeping from glaze hard panning in the bottom of the bucket, and is stayed in suspension longer also.

 

best,

Pres

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