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applying glaze to tiles

updated thu 15 apr 99


Janet H Walker on wed 14 apr 99

Diane asks about
...appropriately apply onto the tiles. I dip in a shallow
bowl for 5 seconds and invariably where the excess drips off on
whichever corner, is where there is a slight glaze discoloration....

Find out first how watery the glaze is. Measure the specific
gravity by first measuring out 100 ml of (stirred up) glaze and then
weighing it on a gram scale. The weight divided by 100 is the
specific gravity. It will probably be something between 1.3 and
1.6. For this kind of dipping, gee I dunno gang, how about 1.45 to
1.55. If the number is smaller than this, the glaze is too thin.
Let the water settle and pour some off. If it is bigger, then the
glaze is too thick and you want to add more water. (And measure

On the other hand, I'm about to mention a technique for application
that involves pouring instead. I don't see an s.g. for that in my
notes but I suspect that a similar one would work.

At NCECA, Dick Eppler described the old-time "waterfall method" of
glazing tiles. You put a tile on a screen over a container, then
pour the glaze over the tile. After it is dry, fettle (there's that
word again!!) the edges. (i.e. scrape the dry glaze off the edges
into your scrap glaze bucker. I'll let Paul Lewing tell you what he
does with the scrap glaze fettlings.) This gets you an even coat I
bet. Maybe you'd want a thinner coat here. I wonder.

There's another approach to getting an even coat of glaze on a tile,
which is to not make it even at all but rather to sponge the thing
all over several times with sea sponge. This gives you multiple
uneven coats which comes out to the same thing with some kinds of

Have fun Diane!
Jan Walker
Cambridge MA USA