Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Knew It!

Really I did.
In fact I even said so.
I just knew these mugs were going to be a pain to glaze.
My weapons of choice:

I like these sumie brushes for they seem to hold more glaze then regular painting brushes. The sponge is to wipe away mistakes.
I make a lot of them.
Mistakes, I mean.
The thing that makes these things so difficult and time consuming is the gears. It seems like I have to do each one individually before I can lay down the primary color:

This looks like fun but it isn't.
I have been thinking of laying the primary color over the whole thing, then doing the gears, but I'm not sure how the two glazes will interact.
Must do some glaze testing.
So anyways, after you lay the primary color around the gears, you're ready to cover the whole mug:

Then you do this like two more times.
Yes, two more applications for these glazes need a minimum of three coats.
I tend to work one glaze at a time, for instance last night I just did all the gears and some of the tire rims.
After three and half hours, this is what I had:

That's not a whole to show for three and half hours of work.
This morning it wasn't any better.
The tires.
Boy, I need to do something about the tires.
They just take too long to glaze:

See the glazes are pretty viscous so they don't exactly run into every nook and cranny. I sort have to put it there.
In every nook and cranny.
With a brush.
In every nook and cranny.
The thing is, since glaze is sort of a clay too, it will end up filling some of those nooks and crannies and I'll probably lose some definition and detail anyways:

Two and half hours today and I managed to finish two mugs.
I was going to wait until I glazed them all to fire them, but this is just ridiculous and I'm sort of anxious to see how they turn out so I'm firing off the two tonight.
The thing is, I'm thinking they will have some flaws and they'll need to be refired anyway.
I just know it.


Oldfool said...

Those look great but probably a little out of my price range. They don't have to be perfect because there is no doubt what they are.
I did a post on our trip to Kauai a little over a year ago and the changes in the place in a couple of years was dramatic. "Pave paradise and turn it into a parking lot" is the theme there.
Here is a link to the post

John Romeo Alpha said...

Those look great, can't wait to see how the tires come out of the kiln. I was wondering if it's possible to include materials other than clay or glaze--an actual steel cog, for example? I guess if you just stuck it in a kiln at that high a temperature no good would come of it. But is there a way to do it that does turn out well?

limom said...

Oldfool, I think I was in Hanalei sometime around the summer of '81. Just trees!
Thanks for the link!
Did you ever get around to posting up more of your log?
Funny you should mention price. If you are really interested, drop me an email

JRA, I'd have to check on the the feasability of that. I know in high fire, which I used to do, we'd stick some nails and stuff in the clay and it would just melt out, but that's at around 2130F. Right now I'm firing to around 1870F so I guess it would depend on the metal.
A steel cog? Again depends on the fluxing point of the steel and any coatings(chrome) on it.
I could embed the cog in the glaze I suppose, if it were horizontal, like on a plate.
Vertically, like on a mug would present some problems like the curvature and I would have to fire the mug sideways or laying down.
Still, I'm not sure how that would bond; steel and well, glaze is basically silica and alumina, so perhaps it would work.
Then again maybe not for the clay and glaze actually expand and shrink during the firing.
What exactly did you have in mind?
I'm game to try anything new.
The only thing to do is to put it(the "other" material) on something and fire it up.
If it's still there after the firing in it's original shape and form, I can go from there.

John Romeo Alpha said...

I was trying to think of ways to save time, and since I don't know much more about ceramics than what you've explained here on TFT, the only thing I could come up with was some way to not have to glaze the cog. Maybe embedding a steel one would not take so long. Or maybe it would take longer. Or using an actual bike chain for a handle. Something like that which wouldn't end in disaster in the kiln. If there's a way.

limom said...

If I were making these in ginormous quantities, I suppose there are some things I could do to make it go faster.
Press molds for the gears and chain links, for the tires even, though I'm not sure I'd be saving tons of time.
I was thinking of just pressing the cogs to create an impression, but others seem to have been there and done that.
I don't mind making them, as long as folks enjoy them.
I just wish glazing them didn't take so long.