Casting and making glazes

This week I’ve been focusing on making slip casts mold of the stamps handle and making glazes and test tiles to make sure the glaze won’t run off the handle when it’s been fired. I had to make the slip cast mold twice as I’d done it incorrectly the first time, they are now drying in the heat cupboard so they’ll be ready by Monday to cast.

The first mould I did was two parts, I did struggle to get the handle I made out of the cast which suggests you will struggle to get the cast out when you use it but fortunately clay shrinks a little so when I did do a test pour it came out ok but I realised I hadn’t made a plug so there will be a big hole in every piece. My second mould is a four piece mould, I will test it on Monday and hopefully through the week I’ll be able to make lots of casts by Friday ready for the bisque firing on Monday.  I also made test tiles for the glazes, this is vital to make sure the glaze doesn’t run, I managed to fit them in a kiln which was firing this week. I used the same slip I will be using for my mould for the test tiles so I’ll know exactly how they’ll turn out.

I have been experimenting with glazes, I wasn’t sure at the start which glazes i should be making so i just made random recipes i found online, but after researching i realised how important it is to make the right glazes to suit your design. Because it’s my first firing i didn’t want anything too complicated, I’ve decided i will make low firing earthenware glazes which will fire on cones 4-6 on 1060°C, these are the recipes I followed which will hopefully be successful.

This will be a glossy clear glaze in Purple (1080°C)

Lead Bisilicate 62%
Cornish Stone 30%
Whiting 5%
China Clay 3%

This will be a dry textured blue

Lead Bisilicate 53%
Feldspar 27%
Blue Stain 10% (i slightly adapted this to a turquoise stain)
China CLay 6%
Whiting 4%

This will be a Sain/matt lime green

Lead Bisilicate 53%
Feldspar 27%
LIme Green stain 10%
China Clay 6%
Whiting 4%
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