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Re: [teacherartexchange] glaze question and clay looms


From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 17 2007 - 08:14:56 PDT

Your wrote:

>1. I had a bunch of glaze drip off of a project and
>stick to the kiln shelf (I did use stilts). I tried
>chiseling it off and I cannot get it all off. I
>looked at some posts online and they suggested using a
>power chisel. I do not have access to one. Does
>anyone have any other ideas to save the kiln shelf?
>2. Also, we've been making clay looms. Most of them
>have turned out great, but we had a little problem
>with some of them breaking, because they are thin,
>flat pieces. Also, the holes sometimes got covered in
>while glazing (we tried poking through them with pins
>before firing, but some of the glaze still ran into
>it). Has anyone made clay looms before and have any
>Thanks, Marcia

1. _ _ it happens. To remove glaze from shelves, I use a standard freshly sharpened stone chisel with a steel mallet (hammer). The chisel is re-sharpened with an electric grinder (dipping in water very frequently to prevent over heating that removes the hardness). A belt sander is also good for sharpening tools with less overheating than a grinder.

Set the shelf vertical on the floor so it is learning against the wall nearly vertical using a sponge behind it at the top edge (to cushion it a bit). Hold the chisel as vertical as possible so you do not break the shelf when you whack it. Keep whacking at the glaze globs harder and harder until the glaze breaks off. Turn the shelf as needed to hit the glaze from other directions. This may take a divot out of the shelf, but you can fill the divots with thick kiln wash. A hand held high speed electric grinder also works. Anyway you do it, it is a labor intensive job. ALWAYS wear eye protection.

If you cannot or choose not to remove the glaze. Cover it with heavy kiln wash mixed with some silica sand and fire it with the glaze still on the shelf. You can try again to chip it off after another firing. To prevent the problem next time, use more kiln wash on the shelves and less glaze on the pots. Also, be sure the kiln is not firing hotter than it would need to.

2. I was wondering why the clay looms would be glazed? In the Dremel tools section in the hardware store or building supply store they sell small diamond wheel points. These diamond drills can cut through glaze, but it may be better in the future make the pieces without glaze on this area of the piece. This page shows the diamond wheel points.

If I want to glaze an area with holes (like a salt shaker), I use wax resist to fill holes prior glazing. If holes are too large for wax, I fill them with wet paper wads prior to glazing. I poke these out and toss them before firing.


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