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fwd: re: mixing big batches and glazing large platters

updated thu 29 oct 09


Paul Borian on wed 28 oct 09

obviously everyone is going to have a different opinion depending on what
kind of studio/business/production schedule they have going on - but i
personally depend on my 30 gallon glaze batch mixer. I made it from a
stainless tank from a scrap yard, a 1/2 hp motor from a household water
pump (pump broke but motor still was fine) and a stainless shaft with a
little piece of twisted metal at the end. I use it mostly for my slip glaze
and my ash glaze and it makes it very easy to mix enough glaze for several
months. But, i do drain the glaze into smaller buckets for screening and i
generally try to keep it in them for storage because it makes it easier
when it is time to use it. Usually i don't screen it all at once, just one
bucket at a time when it is time to use it.
It takes about the same amount of time to mix 25 gallons as it does to mix
a 10,000 gram batch for me.
just my personal experience/opinion.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Hendley
Date: Oct 28, 2009 12:09am
Subject: Re: mixing big batches and glazing large platters

> Hi Rikki, I will answer this, since you directly ask me, but I

> think I already stated why I think mixing extra-large batches

> of glaze is not a good idea for a studio potter in my previous

> e-mail.

> Just reading over your glaze-making procedure sounds tiring

> and like it would take over a good portion of my glazing area --

> plastic bags, large trash cans, plant movers, heavy duty slip mixer,

> smaller buckets.

> I use a scoop, scales, 2 free buckets and a homemade 80-mesh

> sieve to measure and mix my glazes.

> Your 50 pound batches are actually not that large, not close to

> the 30 gallons Mel keeps writing about. My 15,000 gram batches

> that fit into pickle buckets translate to 33 pounds.

> Of course, if I were having an outside source mix my glazes, who

> knows what method I might use, and yours might well be the

> most efficient and the optimal quantity. Not many studio potters

> have their glazes pre-mixed for them, and I wouldn't give

> advice to anyone with health concerns.

> Best regards,

> David Hendley



> ----- Original Message -----

> Why do you think large batches are a mistake? I have good way to do

> this.

> I have asthma and no longer want to put together my dry glazes, so I have

> our local clay maker ,using my formulas, put the dry mixed chemicals in

> plastic bags for me. I have 50lbs done at one time. I have the bags

> placed

> on a table, so I can pour the glaze into the water in large trash cans

> that

> are set on plant movers. I then roll them to a heavy duty slip mixer, and

> mix them up for at least 30 minutes, until they are totally smooth. I

> don't

> use a strainer until I decant the glaze into smaller buckets.

> I keep the buckets tightly closed when not in use. This system works

> well,

> partly because I never let them dry out. For larger pieces, I sometimes

> dip

> directly into the trash cans themselves.

> When I make a new batch, I first decant the leftovers into something

> smaller, and scrape down the sides and mix with the clean water, so I

> don't

> get any lumps. Then I add the dry glaze and mix it. After testing the

> new

> batch, I add the leftovers. I have been doing this for a few years now,

> and

> I am very happy with this system. It definitely works for me. I use five

> main glazes, and 50lbs

> of each lasts me about a year.