- Hand build delicate pieces on newspaper on a bat. This helps
prevent distortion as the piece shrinks. The work can then slide
easily without additional handling onto the kiln shelf: the newspaper
- (From Tricia Dean) When mixing a line blend test, if you add
dry colourants to a small volume of base glaze in solution, first pour
one teaspoon of water gently onto the surface of the glaze, than add the
colourant. (This will enable the colour to quickly blend into the glaze
with merely a quick stir and eliminate the need for sieving.)
- When testing a glaze, the volume of water to add to the dry
ingredients is approx. two thirds of the volume of dry ingredients.
Use two identical cups to visually estimate this. Add the dry
ingredients to the water and allow it to slake down (wait for about two
minutes). There should be about 3 mm depth of water over the
settled glaze ingredients. If there is more, touch the surface of
the water with a small sponge and draw off the excess. Stir and
apply to a test tile by dipping, pouring or brushing, as desired.
- If you want perfectly texture free slabs, roll out the clay on
Vilene. Vilene is a stiffening material which comes in several
weights. Choose a heavy weight which will support the clay slab
for transfer to the work surface. Vilene is used in dressmaking
and can be bought at a fabric shop.
- To remove unwanted wax from a pot, microwave on high for five
minutes - no need to re-bisque.
- Fluid Glaze - If you have a fluid glaze you like and don't
want to give it up even though it runs all over the kiln shelf, try
putting a sliver of soft brick under the pot. The brick will act
like a sponge, soaking up any glaze that might run off the pot, thus
protecting the shelf as well as your pot.
With a cross cut saw, this slice of soft brick can be easily cut
from a brick and gently broken away from the pot after firing.
Some grinding, if necessary finishes the piece.
- GLAZE RECIPE - SHINO IN A GAS KILN, COURTESY PAUL DAVIS
Salt 2.0, Neph Syenite 47.6, Spodumene 31.8, Zircon Opacifier 4.8,
Alumina Hydrate 12.0, Bentonite 4.0
- Hard Clay - If clay has become too hard to use, cut it into
pieces, spray with water, and microwave on high for five minutes in a
plastic bag. The result should be soft clay.
- Bats - Canvas cut to fit the wheel head can be used instead
of a conventional bat. Attach the canvas to the wheel with slip,
making sure it is wrinkle free. After throwing , slide your
cutting wire under the canvas and the work will easily transfer to a
board. When piece is firm the canvas can be removed.
- EGGSHELL GLAZE RECIPE - Stoneware Cone 10 reduction
Potash Feldspar 140
this gives a clear transparent glaze
/For Eggshell White glaze, use
Magnesium carbonate 25 and
25 - instead of dolomite.
- "Mocha Tea" - Steep approximately 2 tblspns tobacco in
boiling water for about a week. Strain, squeeze out the liquid and
reserve it. When dropped from a loaded brush onto raw pot or
freshly applied slip, mocha tea fans out from the drop to make a fern
like image. Several drops grouped make a decorative pattern.
Camels' urine may be substituted for the tobacco!
- Sand casting - for a sand cast tile mould, first make
one or more wooden frames with a ply or pressed wood base. They
should be at least 508mm (19") in dimension with edges of at least 10.27
- 10.52 mm in height. Next half fill the wooden tray with damp,
fine sand and model into the sand a tile design that will be at least
305mm sq. (12") and 25 - 50mm thick. When the design is
complete, pour into the recess some highly grogged casting slip and
leave it to dry. When leather hard, remove and brush off any
surplus sand. If desired, pigment areas of the tile with basic
oxides when almost bone dry. When bisqued, the tiles can have
glaze applied by spraying or by hand, with brush, trailer or sponge.
- Egyptian Paste: Base Glaze - Cone 010-06
Recipe 1) Soda Feldspar 39.0, Silica 39.0, Ball clay 12.0, Soda
Ash 6.0, Sodium Bicarbonate 6.0.
Add up to 3% oxides or carbonates as a colourant.
Recipe 2) Soda Feldspar 35.0, Silica 35.0, Ball clay/China Clay
12.0, Bentonite 2.09, Soda Bicarbonate 6.0, Sodium Carbonate 6.0
Add up to 3% oxides or carbonates as a colourant.
Recipe 3) A more plastic body, Cone 09 - 08
Ball clay 25.0, Nephalene Syenite 25.0, Ferro Frit 3134 15.0, Silica
20.0, Fine Sand 5.0, Calcined Borax 3.0, Soda Ash 4.0, Bentonite 3.0
Add up to 3% oxides or carbonates as a colourant. Please note that
maturing temperatures may vary due to differences in local materials.
- Pots too Dry? To bring overly dry pots back to leather hard
without cracking, wrap and line the pots with wet newspaper and leave
for 24 hours. They should then be ready for turning.
- Raku - For excellent crackle results, fire your pot, take out
of the kiln and allow to rest for about one minute. When glaze
'pings' put the pot into the reduction container, cover with paper,
allow to flame, then close the cover. Leave for about two minutes,
lift the lid and allow the paper to re-ignite. Close the cover
again and leave to reduce and cool normally.
- Hand Moulding - Instead of the usual stocking filled with
rice, try using a balloon filled with sand when pressing lay into a
mould. It fits easily into awkward bends and corners, and leaves a
smooth finish, eliminating any stray finger marks.
- Throwing - A useful idea when throwing is to have a mirror
propped in front of the wheel, at a distance to suit yourself.
This enables you to see the development of the vessel easily and quickly
without any discomfort.
- Gold Leaf - when firing gold leaf onto pots, use a
combination of pine resin and eucalyptus oil as a medium to adhere the
leaf to the pots. Gold will adhere to itself so you do not
need to add oil between any layers of leaf.. You can move the leaf about
and break it up once it is on the oil. Fire, well ventilated,
using safety precautions for toxicity (masks, etc) to 750 degrees
- Drinking straws can be used most effectively as armatures for arms
and legs when making small ceramic sculpture. Use the heavy duty
jumbo straws with 'elbows' that bend, the clay can be built around these
in almost any desirable position. The main advantage in using
these is that you have a built in air space that is indispensable in the
drying and firing stages. Another advantage is that they will burn
out in the firing.
- Marketing tips:
1) Search for what makes your business different from your
competitors and market that difference
2) If there is no difference, create one. If you find this
difficult then get help. You must find that difference. It's
how you will succeed in business
3) Develop a database of customers and make special offers to them.
Use pre-emptive advertising techniques.
4) Focus on making your advertising really work for you. Avoid
using any ads that don't work. measure responses from every
5) Create response advertising by always asking the customer to:
Write to us at......Phone us on .....Fax us on ......Book now.....Act
- Glazing: Cover the glaze page you are using with a sheet of
clear plastic and cross off each ingredient with a white board marker as
you go. Wipe clean when finished or discard.
- Glazing: To exchange cobalt carbonate for cobalt oxide -
divide the carbonate amount by 100 and multiply by 63 to give the oxide
amount. Vice Versa: Divide the oxide amount by 63 and multiply by
100 to give the carbonate amount.
- Glazing: From Peter Rushforth: To avoid thick glazes or
glazes prone to running from dripping down onto your kiln shelf, dip the
lower half in water before dipping into the glaze. It will then
absorb a thinner layer of glaze.