William C. Melcher on thu 17 oct 96
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 18:29:24 EDT
From: Sue Lily
Subject: Re: Oil Lamps and Microwave-safe Mugs
I have had good luck with coating the inside of the lamp with a mixture of 50%
white "Elmers Glue" and 50% water mixed. Pour it into the lamp, swirl it around
so that it coats the entire inside and then drain the remainder out. Allow to
dry thoroughly before putting oil in the lamp.
Bill in Tucson
Stern HQ on fri 18 oct 96
what good does putting the Elmer's glue/water combination do? Does it
protect the inside of the oil lamp or what? Jeni
On Thu, 17 Oct 1996, William C. Melcher wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 18:29:24 EDT
> From: Sue Lily
> Subject: Re: Oil Lamps and Microwave-safe Mugs
> I have had good luck with coating the inside of the lamp with a mixture of 50%
> white "Elmers Glue" and 50% water mixed. Pour it into the lamp, swirl it arou
> so that it coats the entire inside and then drain the remainder out. Allow to
> dry thoroughly before putting oil in the lamp.
> Bill in Tucson
Ed Hoeflinger on fri 18 oct 96
The sealent helps stop oil from leaking throught the ware and any
glazes on it.
The lamp oil seems to be better at leaking than water
Ed in Columbus Ohio, Where it is raining, again 75 yesterday 30 tomorrow
Betty Burroughs on mon 13 jan 97
On Jan. 8th I e-mailed firstname.lastname@example.org who had kindly offered to give the
manufacturer's name of the glass vials and wicks for oil lamps. I got the
message returned as "host unknown", so if anyone knows how/where I can
obtain these devices I would be very appreciative. Thanks in advance!
869 Cunningham Road,
Victoria, BC V9A 4M7
Marshia Hall on thu 16 jan 97
I suggested you try the Glass Eye Studios in Seattle Washington
They have a toll free 800 number if you care to ask information
LOWELL BAKER on tue 10 feb 98
You will find a marvelous collection of oil lamps at the Royal
Onterio Museum in Toronto. From early bronze age to roman and
beyond. You might have to get into the collections, but they have
W. Lowell Baker
The University of Alabaam
Earl C. Brunner on mon 14 jun 99
A number of years ago I made oil lamps out of porcelain. I need to make
some more. I would like to use the same brand lamp parts as before, but
no longer know where to find them. I believe they were EAGLE brand lamp
burners. Does anyone out there kow where I can find them?
Lois Craig Elementary
Maria Elaine Lanza on wed 16 jun 99
Am interested in making oil lamps... are they basically a container with a
narrow neck with a wick in the throat?... is there a supplier that you would
recommend for part(s) and oil? Thanks in advance, Marie Elaine
Christine Sawyer on thu 17 jun 99
Creative Hobbies in Belmar, NJ carries wicking. Aftosa in Ca also carries it
if you need a number let me know.
----- Original Message -----
From: Maria Elaine Lanza
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 9:01 AM
Subject: Oil Lamps
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Am interested in making oil lamps... are they basically a container with a
> narrow neck with a wick in the throat?... is there a supplier that you
> recommend for part(s) and oil? Thanks in advance, Marie Elaine
Earl Brunner on sun 20 jun 99
I have never had to seal the surface of oil lamps before. I seem to
remember something about using shellac? Is there something better?
Nick Zappa on wed 29 sep 99
This is an account of what a leaking oil candle/lamp did to a customers =
told to me by a gallery/store owner. The person bought a oil candle, filled =
up with the recommended oil, set it on her fireplace mantle and went on
vacation. She came home a few days later and decided to try her lamp. She =
match and went to light the wick and low and behold , caught her home on =
and burned her house down. Needless to say a tragedy. Legal action was the =
step. Please be careful with flammable containers.
Lorri on fri 16 feb 01
Quite some time ago, someone sent a post to ClayArt stating that their oil
lamps leeched oil and they felt badly enough they were considering ceasing
to make them. A responses to this post was that other makers of oil lamps
made them correctly such that they never had a problem with the oil leeching
out, so the problem would be solved if this person made them properly in the
first place. As always is the case, I was thinking how I didn't have such a
problem, then proceeded later to notice that my oil lamps also leech oil.
Now, I would heed the advice and make them properly if I knew what this
meant. As I have pondered this idea, I have come up with a couple of
possibilities. It could be that these oil lamps I have made are cone 6 and
perhaps I should try them with cone 10 instead and get better results.
Perhaps a factor, perhaps has nothing to do with the problem. Another
thought is that the clay is still somewhat vitreous so firing to cone 7
instead of 6 might take care of the problem. But again, if it is a cone 6
clay, that might not prove to be such a good idea. BTW, I glazed inside and
out with the base of the lamp glazed as well to try to ensure it was well
sealed. Any ideas what causes this to happen and how to prevent it?
Welcoming any thoughts,
Wade Blocker on sat 17 feb 01
To prevent leaching, the clay body should be vitrified. Overfiring would
not be the answer,nor firing a cone 10 clay to cone 6. Your ceramics
supplier should be able to tell you at what cone the clay body you use
becomes vitrified. When in doubt just glaze the inside with a dependable
glaze to make doubly sure that the clay is completely sealed. Mia in ABQ
Cindy Strnad on sat 17 feb 01
I was lucky with my clay in that the first variety I tried (and pretty much
the only pre-mix available here with reasonable shipping) is good and dense.
Your clay needs to be as nearly vitrified (turned to a glass-like state) as
possible for oil lamps. That is the first step.
This is also important for pieces to be used in the microwave oven. I've got
a piece on microwave safety (written with RRoy's, JHesselberth's, and Gavin
Stair's help) coming out in the next Clay Times. There are instructions for
checking the vitrification of your clay in that article. This has been
covered recently, so I won't re-state everything just now. If you like, I'll
send the info to you privately--my address is below my signature.
Second, you want a glaze that fits well. Look at your glaze with a
magnifying glass if necessary. Dust it with a bit of flour. Examine it in
different lights. Can you see any crazing? Is it a gloss glaze? Matte glazes
may do all right if they're mature, but to be safe, I'd develop a good,
well-fitting liner glaze and use only that for the inside of oil lamps.
I have oil lamps sitting around my house which were some of the first bottle
forms I ever made in my life. I was still using commercial glazes, and some
of the glazes are crazed. Not one has leaked oil. I can only credit my luck
with the clay--it wasn't skill or wisdom on my part. Of course, they all
weigh a ton, but over this much time, that oil should have found its way
through if it was going to do it.
If your clay isn't vitrified at ^6, you can experiment with firing it
higher. When it starts to bloat (get blister kind of things--looks like it
has some horrible disease), you'll know you've gone too high and you can
back it off a bit. Then, check it for absorption and see what you get. You
might even try making an unglazed bottle, filling it with oil, and setting
it on a newspaper pad (inside a protective container) for a couple of weeks
or months and see what happens.
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730
Ceramic Design Group on sat 17 feb 01
on 2/16/01 10:35 AM, Lorri at lorri@SOUND.NET wrote:
> Quite some time ago, someone sent a post to ClayArt stating that their oil
> lamps leeched oil and they felt badly enough they were considering ceasing
> to make them. A responses to this post was that other makers of oil lamps
> made them correctly such that they never had a problem with the oil leeching
> out, so the problem would be solved if this person made them properly in the
> first place. As always is the case, I was thinking how I didn't have such a
> problem, then proceeded later to notice that my oil lamps also leech oil.
> Now, I would heed the advice and make them properly if I knew what this
> meant. As I have pondered this idea, I have come up with a couple of
> possibilities. It could be that these oil lamps I have made are cone 6 and
> perhaps I should try them with cone 10 instead and get better results.
> Perhaps a factor, perhaps has nothing to do with the problem. Another
> thought is that the clay is still somewhat vitreous so firing to cone 7
> instead of 6 might take care of the problem. But again, if it is a cone 6
> clay, that might not prove to be such a good idea. BTW, I glazed inside and
> out with the base of the lamp glazed as well to try to ensure it was well
> sealed. Any ideas what causes this to happen and how to prevent it?
> Welcoming any thoughts,
In the 1970's and early 1980's, we made literally thousands and thousands
and thousands of oil lamps and oil candles. In fact, well, I'm sure that
some of you may know, that we not only made these for ourselves, but in the
1990's, made them for Tacha Vosburgh, who was the reigning queen of oil
candles, marketed under the copyright of "Stoneware Candle" and " Porcelain
Candle", the porcelain one having a beautiful machined and threaded brass
wick holder and brass collar for cementing to the porcelain body. In fact,
we have some cases of these brass devices in storage just waiting from the
renaissance of oil candles) We cast again, thousands of these devices for
The best fuel is "Liquid Paraffin" available from Lamplighter Farms. \.
Trust me, the best. No scent, no smoke, just clean burning. The products
known as lamp oil really didn't work well. So we bought cases of Liquid
Paraffin and sold them with every dozen porcelain candles/stoneware candles.
These fuel burning devices can leak because of poorly applied glaze on the
interior, poorly formulated glaze on the interior, poorly vitrified clay,
bad clay-glaze interface, and the nature of the fuel to wick by capillary
If the glaze is a hard, well formulated and well applied glass, they don't
leak. However, unless the fuel is spilled all over the outside, in which
case the fuel on the inside will indeed wick onto the outside surface and
then onto the base no matter how well the outside is cleaned of spilled
We also provided small funnels with each purchase.
The best solution is to make sure the glaze is correctly formulated and
applied. In my experience, the unfired liner solutions applied over the
already fired interior glaze is a quick yet ineffective remedy.
Jonathan Kaplan, president
Ceramic Design Group
PO Box 775112
Steamboat Springs CO 80477
voice and fax 970 879-9139
1280 13th Street Unit 13
Steamboat Springs CO 80487
(please use this address for all deliveries via UPS, comman carrier, Fed Ex,
"Custom design and manufacturing for the ceramic arts, giftware and pottery
industries. Molds, models, and tooling for slip casting, jiggering and
hydraulic pressing. Consultation on technical issues such as clay bodies
glazes, and kilns."
ASHPOTS@AOL.COM on sat 17 feb 01
Lori, i have been making oil lamps off and on for years and i have ALWAYS use
Axners pottery sealer. It is simple and easy and works.
Lookout Mountain Pottery
Rising Fawn Ga
dayton j grant on mon 19 feb 01
Whats the problem with just firng the
clay up to the point of vitrification ?
I know that im not any kind
of authority on the history
or Rome or Greece
or Mesapotamia or whatever,
but i would assume that they
could vitrify earthenware
in an open air campfire
and given their reputation
for moving around conquering
the neighbors all the time
i bet they left heavy things like
ceramics all over the place and
just kept making new stuff at every
new camp along the campaign trail
vince pitelka on tue 20 feb 01
> Whats the problem with just firng the
> clay up to the point of vitrification ?
That doesn't really help. In studio ceramics, vitrified clay is not
liquid-proof, because there is always some degree of porosity and
absorption. And as has been pointed out, oil has a much greater ability to
penetrate a porous structure.
> but i would assume that they
> could vitrify earthenware
> in an open air campfire
Not only can you not vitrify earthenware in an open campfire, you cannot
vitrify earthenware at all. The definition of a true earthenware clay
implies a certain flux content to give strength at low-fire temperatures,
and such claybodies will usually bloat and blister before they can truly
vitrify, especially in wood or gas firings.
This is another one of those no-win situations, other than using a
commercial lamp-liner such as available from Axner or Aftosa. That seems to
be the sure fix. Otherwise, you might be selling an oil lamp which is
actually a malotov coctail.
Best wishes -
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Home - email@example.com
Work - firstname.lastname@example.org
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803