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You are right makers are like to have their own secrets =)

About "milking" ("molochinnya" how it calls here) it is quite open info here. But recently my friend started additionally to cover finished ceramics with special mixture "ganozis" made of wax and oils, probably this part he won't tell.

As for temperatures first firing is around 1000C and second not higher then 350-400C because if temperature will be higher the milk will burn out.
As for clay - he uses bright one as image attached. If you wish I may ask him for certain sort :)

Milk should be "fat" that is why here was used milk of domestic cow, Usually domestic milk has more fat then one from a shop.

Here is some video of the process 


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I just posted a picture of a piece I did in the milk a couple weeks ago.

I have been experimenting with milk firing for a while. The bisque fired pots are soaked in whole milk for 10 to 15 minutes, then allowed to thoroughly dry. They are then heated to 600f to 650f and he

Not a joke, how do you think yoghurt would work?

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Well, for what it's worth, I bisque my pots to 04. I soak them in whole milk. I then fire them to 550 - 650f, as mentioned before. I have had good luck in both my oven and my raku kiln, getting everything from a light creamy color to dark chocolate. I use beeswax to polish the outside of the pots. I have never tried yogurt. I know it's the fat in the milk that seals the pot, so it might work as long as you didn't use fat free. Might be worth a try. Well that's my two cents.

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Is anyone else seeing some strong similarities between those two pots?

 

The pieces don't look at all the same to me, between the two sellers.

 

Actually it is true that I'm not making them by myself and I'm just a seller. The maker lives in a village and mostly sells his items at Kyiv and Chernihiv area. But I can ask him about some specific questions.

 

 

Ayjay looks around, and leaves again:  complete with smug grin.   :D  ;)

 

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I gave it a try last night, after bringing my fired test bowl home from the studio. I gave it three sponge-downs with milk, allowing it to dry in between, then put it in the cold oven and set it to 550°F, which is the hottest my oven would go. I think it was in the oven for close to an hour after reaching temp.

 

I did manage to leave fingerprints on it. Lesson learned.

I didn't get decently even milk collection in all of the grooves, and it shows in the final result. I'll shoot for that as a goal for next time.

 

Once it was all done, I mixed up some beeswax and olive oil (2 parts to 1 part) melted together and gave the warm pot a couple rub-downs with it. By the time I was done coating it, it had cooled, had milky waxy sticky spots, and was covered with lint from the terry cloth rag I used to apply the wax. So I stuck it back into the oven at 200°F for about 10 minutes. Once out, the lint all brushed off easily.

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So about to cone 020, then, correct? Do they even make Orton cones that low-temp? My kiln only has a kiln sitter - nothing to register actual temp or to regulate. Would I be better off making a bunch of stuff to justify a special firing in the computer-controlled kiln at the arts center? Or could I just keep an eye on it through a spy hole until they get as dark as I want?

You can get  a thermocouple which slides through a small apeture in your kiln wall, usually is one about mid kiln depth, which gives a temp reading form the area of kiln into which it protrudes. Orton does go down to that cone. With the thermocouple, you could use a higher cone and go by temp, but isn't giving a totally true picture, if you get what I mean.

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Just a factoid

Milk on Molokai is around 10$ a gallon

This may cut down on milk baths.

Mark

Wow! I knew goods, were more expensive, on the islands, but yeah just wow.

 

I guess that's what happens, when there just isn't room, on the picturesque hills and beaches, for dairy cows.

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Sounds like the sealing characteristic of milk bathing is the fat content in the milk. I am now curious what half and half cream or heavy cream would yield due to a higher fat content. It was mentioned before what yogurt might bring to the table as well.

 

Also, I am curious if this process would be a good option for sealing a pit fired pot. Perhaps a vase you would want to have water tight for flowers and the likes. I am thinking a sealed interior, not a surface for eating.

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Give it a try. The least you could get is a bit of wasted milk and some browner pots.

 

I'm waiting for some test tiles to be taken to ^6 for me to try the milk process on, to see if they will take on enough of the milk to make any difference. Normally I'm not a very experiment-y kind of person, but this has me wanting to play with possibilities!

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  • 2 weeks later...

^6 test tiles have been added to my Milk-firing gallery.

Starting with fully vitrified clay rather than bisque is definitely the way to go. I got way better color, and a much more glossy and water-resistant finish without having to wax at all.

I still have a lot of fine-tuning to do to get my technique down reliably, and I'm sure I'll think of other variables to test in the future. But for now...I like!

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^6 test tiles have been added to my Milk-firing gallery.

Starting with fully vitrified clay rather than bisque is definitely the way to go. I got way better color, and a much more glossy and water-resistant finish without having to wax at all.

I still have a lot of fine-tuning to do to get my technique down reliably, and I'm sure I'll think of other variables to test in the future. But for now...I like!

Look at my post on obvara pit firing. It's about milk protein. It sounds like a mix between your firing and obvara firing.

 

Jed

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Stell, I love the test tiles you posted.  I have a few pots waiting to try this, it may be a few months before I get to it, but am definitely intrigued.  I did come across snippets of this technique when I was researching Obvara, but didn't pursue it at the time.  Thanks for reminding me.

 

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  • 4 years later...

I’m probably a bit behind, but I was looking into this technique recently and decided to give it a try today on my low fire white clay body and dark clay body  , bisqued then brushed with whole milk. And put it in the kiln  at 550 F for 55 min after temp is  reached.The result is just beautiful  and I can’t wait to start using it on my work. As for water tight properties, I tested a drop of water and surprisingly the water did not get absorbed !! 

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  • 1 year later...

I purchased two mugs from the Ukraine on Amazon that used this milk process. When they arrived, the surface was very rough inside and out. I loved the 'earthy' look but still contacted the seller/artist asking if the mugs needed to be cured in any way. He replied back that they should be soaked in hot water for about two hours. I suggested he include this info online which he said he would going forward. After soaking the mugs, the surface is much smoother. It still has the earthy feel and dark brown color and I'm enjoying the mugs. 

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43 minutes ago, angelina said:

I purchased two mugs from the Ukraine on Amazon that used this milk process. When they arrived, the surface was very rough inside and out. I loved the 'earthy' look but still contacted the seller/artist asking if the mugs needed to be cured in any way. He replied back that they should be soaked in hot water for about two hours. I suggested he include this info online which he said he would going forward. After soaking the mugs, the surface is much smoother. It still has the earthy feel and dark brown color and I'm enjoying the mugs. 

Are they virtrified? I would not drink out of an unglazed, unvitrified vessel, no matter how it was sealed.

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So if surface alters after soaking in hot water...on stove as water would cool in 2hours, what is that telling you??

Absolute ages ago when someone asked re what to do about mugs leaving a damp ring on table, someone advisrd to leave the mug full of milk to "seal" it.....

Crazy.ok for garden pots where smearing with yoghurt can develope a patina.....

Common sense anywhere around?

Cranky here today obviously 

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