Recent firing with traditional porcelain stone glaze. In the past I’ve tried but failed to use modern materials like feldspar and kaolin to capture the beautiful, unctuous surface and depth of porcelain stone celadons. In this glaze the coloration is completely due to iron occurring naturally in the material.
I use X-acto blades all the time, some modified for specific tasks like carving porcelain or scraping glaze off of feet.
I’m not sure if it’s all part of a vast X-acto conspiracy, but it seems that a lot of people don’t know that these blades can be easily & quickly sharpened? While there are a number of sharpening methods (even just using bare fired porcelain) that will work, it can be tedious to get the sharpening angle right. The most convenient method I have found is an angled sharpener (pictured). Just a few quick passes through the ceramic sharpener gets the blades useable again. It’s faster for me to sharpen the blade than switch out a dull blade for a new one. (Unfortunately my sharpener is approximately 45% degree sharpening angle (> 20 degrees per side), it might be better to have a narrower-angled sharpener.)
Also note that not all X-acto blades are stainless steel. You don’t want rusty blades all over your studio or in your reclaim. A 10 or 100-pack of stainless steel #11 blades might last you a lifetime.
A step up from the X-acto blades are stainless steel surgical blades. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sixes perfect for a number of jobs. I usually use the blades without a handle. They come in ten-packs and last a really long time if you sharpen them.
I’m sure that using a garden watering can for pouring glazes is a common technique, but when I came up with the idea I thought I was a genius 🙂 The design of a watering can ensures a constant, strong stream of liquid during pouring that is perfect for glazing. Bubbles are reduced since the watering can pours liquid from the bottom of the can.
Pouring the Outside
Once the inside is glazed, I will wait until the next day to glaze the outsides. It’s important not to overload the bisque ware with water.
I use an old electric wheel for pouring the outsides. It’s important to rotate the wheel at sufficient speed so that glaze does not gather on the inside rim of the pot.