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- Clay and Glaze Technical (11 posts)
- 16-November 12
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- Jun 07 2013 08:24 PM
Posts I've Made
Posted 7 Jun 2013Pizza cutter from Goodwill cuts tiles from slabs without dragging the edge.
Posted 10 Mar 2013I'm not even a wheel potter, but the rotator cuff surgery comment was a red flag to my medical mind .... surely your upper arm and shoulder muscle strength were altered by that whole experience ....
Posted 17 Feb 2013Once again, excellent ideas!
I haven't tried the slip idea yet - concerned it will fill in my impressions/stamps. But recently, I tried drawing into the clay, and liked the ease of it, so may try the slip with that. I need to look for a slip from clay with similar shrinkage as the main clay body, right?
I had been using the two pieces of sheetrock (wall board) in the past, but I'm actually getting better results from the open racks right now. Probably because of the change in clay body. Also allows for my occasional tiles with an added on surface decoration.
Also have used a rib (wood) to smooth the slab surface (need to try the rubber one) ... but never thought about the fabric taking some clay with it .... basically it seems to be just wet, but might be contributing. I don't think I could pick up and flip slabs without deforming them ... they are usually about 20 x 6 inches (to cut out 4 - 4 1/2 inch tiles). That's where I'm using the fabric to be able to slip a piece of luan under the slab to flip it.
This forum and site has been SOOO amazing!
Posted 16 Feb 2013An update on results of several ideas presented here, and others - :
1. Changed to a heavily grogged clay, Std 420 and Std 547 (red). The 547 seems pretty good, but have not found a glaze that looks decent on 420. Amazing shades of ugly so far. Don't like the huge sand particles, tricky to smooth edges and backs or cut hanger-hole at just the right time in the drying process when still damp enough to smooth, but firm enough to move. Really would prefer a less coarse grog.
2. Made sure when rolling out clay to have minimal movement under the fabric I was using (bedsheet cotton). I believe the surface fibers of clay were adhering to the fabric while the deeper layers were getting rolled unevenly. I'm now beginning with a slab not much thicker (1/4") than the desired thickness (3/8"), roll out, pull fabric away and flip slab/roll a couple of times so there is no 'drag' on the surface from the fabric. Using dowels for thickness guides and kitchen rolling pin. Will consider going to a local studio to use the slab roller again if I have a big order.
3. Moving, flipping slab by sliding a piece of luan plywood under the fabric and turning without distorting the slab.
4. Drying on an open wire rack with no plastic or covering. Even leaving wet tiles on the damp sheeting on the wire rack influences drying/warping.
5. The drop method suggested was not useful, at least not with wet clay. The edges slumped making an uneven thickness between center and edges of tile. Did not try after clay had firmed up a little.
6. Changed to a pizza cutter instead of fettling knife. Less distortion and drag on wet clay when cutting out tiles.
7. Tried the 'score and break apart later' method, which worked very nicely, but with the heavy grog in the clay it was too difficult to smooth the edges once dry.
8. Firing on tile racks (large size to accommodate larger thickness), and found a sale on them!
As a result of these changes (and I believe primarily #1, 2 and 4), I have only 10-15% warping, vs >60%. Better, but I still do not like the clay bodies (too gritty), and have not found a good glaze for 420. Hopefully someone can benefit from my results, and suggestions are always welcome! Thanks so much to this most generous community of artists!
Posted 2 Jan 2013I am a newbie over and over and over again in the past 20 years. I experimented with several clays and several glazes. I found I never figured out how to get good results (would have one single decent piece out of the whole kiln load, and couldn't replicate it). Constantly frustrated and disappointed. Closed up the "studio" for years at a time.
My suggestion is to pick ONE clay body you want to work with, and only one or two glazes. Exhaust the possibilities (sizes, thicknesses, glaze application techniques, etc.) with those before you add in another clay or glaze. Make excellent notes in a spiral notebook. Don't assume you will know what you meant 3 or 6 months from now, so take time to write it out well. It takes longer than you want, but at least you will feel like an "expert" in one clay and one glaze. It's really, really hard to stick with this plan, but honestly, it will save you tons of frustration, and you really will be able to sit down and make gifts for people in the clay and glaze you know and understand.
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- Age Unknown
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- Fort Mill, SC
- Currently (2012) it's tile. Has been sculpture. Hobbyist. Dreams about clay.