Friday, 20 March 2009

New Glazes in a busy week

I've had such a busy week this week, collecting and sieving the ash for a glaze
I borrowed one of these big soil sieves to get through the bulk of it.
I got a good close look at Burrow Hill this week when I delivered
the 10 Tankards to Burrow Hill Cider.
and I spent all day Wednesday making up new batches of Glaze, then doing the usual thing of having to glaze a whole kiln load without testing it first.
I've been worrying about it all night so I got up early this morning
and popped down the workshop to open the kiln.
This is a new 1/2 pint tankard in the new batch of Glaze.
More pics later.


ang said...

oh very nice...all that worrying i do exactly the same thing..

tsbroome said...

That glaze looks edible, very nice. What a great hill....

brandon phillips said...

for some reason people think that all potters are laid back hippies. i worry all the time about everything, i've probably taken years off my life because of it. though i am pretty laid back about everything else.

do you plan on washing your ash? i would recommend it, it will have a very short shelf life if you don't.

Hollis Engley said...

Paul, I'm of the don't-wash-the-ash school. I sift it and make up the glaze. I've never had a problem with it. I'm not sure what Brandon means by "short shelf life." The glaze itself? The washed ash? I'm curious about that, Brandon. In any case, not washing it seems to work for me, though I fire to cone 10-11.

brandon phillips said...

hollis- i guess it depends on the glaze and the type of ash. my experience with hardwoods is that they tend to chemically change over the course of time if not washed. it's actually the soluble alkalis bonding with the other ingredients in the glaze-so obviously less ingredients=less change. one experience i had the glaze changed from a glossy green to matte mustard yellow over the course of about 3 months. other times it's just a change of color or surface. i've heard that with softwoods this doesn't happen(less soluble alkalis?). i exclusively use mesquite but have used oak and hickory in the past. chestnut is a hardwood so that is where my concern stems from. my reference to a short shelf life doesn't mean that the glaze will "go bad" it just changes in physical appearance. but maybe this change is welcome? i think paul may end up using such a small amount of ash in the glaze that it may be a moot point. you could easily wash a small amount and test it both ways. unwashed will have more fluxing power so that is something to consider.

i've always felt that washing made the batch more consistent throughout-i wash two trash barrels full at a time and store it all together so that i have a "reliable" source for at least a couple years. i think we can all agree that ash can have subtle changes from batch to batch. of course, i may be more anal than some people. they funny thing is that i go to all this trouble and then blast it with more ash and salt in my kiln.

sorry if we've confused you paul. i don't think there is a right or wrong way, just preferences depending on what you want to achieve. hollis has been around the block a few more times than me so you may want to give that some consideration ;)

Hollis Engley said...

Hi, Brandon (and Paul ... sorry, we're doing this ash debate thing as if you weren't here). My experience with ash is mostly with one particular glaze, Phil Rogers's "standard ash," which I use a lot. It does vary a bit, depending on what ash I'm using. As a rule, it's hardwood ash, mostly oak, from my sister-in-law's woodstove in New York state. I've just never noticed any particularly dramatic change over time, either in the dry, sifted ash itself or in the mixed glaze. For me, washing ash takes up more space and time than I want to give it. I'm a lazy bastard that way, mostly. And Brandon seems to know more about ash chemistry than I do. In the end, no doubt Paul will figure it all out based on his own firing.

paul jessop said...

Thanks Guys,
My main reason for not washing the ash was to keep as much natural flux in it as possible, because i'm trying to get a good glaze at only 1100. a tall order I know. I think your right brandon about ending up using such a small amount of ash that it waters down the whole idea. The other reason for wanting to use as much ash as posible in a glaze is that it is Free. I'm gonna try some washed as well and see how it goes. I'll post pics of the results.

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