Accessory and glaze question


#1

I have some questions if possible before I try to run by Trinity this afternoon. I was talking with Madison about clay to play with, I wanted to get T-Mix, do I get T-Mix 6?

I know there’s small supply boxes at the shop but is it worthwhile getting my own sponge and if so, is there a preferred type?

Lastly I’m looking at picking up a few glazes since I’ll be taking the mug class. I know for the Amaco I should look at 5/6. For the Mayco would the 1100 Series and/or the Stroke & Coat work? It looks like they say cone 6?

Thank you in advance for any help!


#2

I’m loving all these ceramics questions!

  1. Clay. T-mix is my favorite general purpose clay, fires very white and throws/builds easily. You will want to get the cone 6 version and it comes both with and without sand. If you are throwing larger items (or doing special atmospheric firings), the sand is cool. Otherwise, without sand has a smoother finish. In general, for community firings you will want to make sure you are using cone 5/6 clays. If you ever decide to pick up some of the funky clays, feel free to chat folks up about them, there are some tips and tricks for clays like the B-3, Spec-tacular, etc. Stoneware, white or red, fires just fine at 6.

  2. Sponges. There are so many kinds of sponges! If you are using a very white clay, you might want to have your own so you reduce getting specks from poorly cleaned community sponges. Or you can just be sure to take one with you when you get water and rinse well. The most cost effective is to buy a big bag of them off amazon, they are super cheap and you can cut them into the shapes and sizes you want. I also like the tiny natural sponges for pulling walls on the wheel and the expensive finishing sponges that smooth surfaces nicely (but that’s a ‘treat yo self’ tool for when you feel fancy). Until you get fussy with ceramics, the community ones are perfectly fine.

  3. Glazes. Many of the stroke and coats can fire successfully to 6, some change. Same with most of the speckle and effects glazes from Mayco. You can check online for glaze charts that will let you know what changes you might see. For any glaze that is rated in that 06-04 sort of range, you can glaze and put it into the bisque fire instead of the cone 6 glaze fire. Also, don’t be afraid of chemistry glazes! There are many of them that are very, very stable and have a rich color. I like the Amaco Celadons (darker shades) quite a lot. Pigment glazes like the stroke and coats aren’t bad at all, though, and are good for detail work.

Here’s a sample chart:
http://www.theceramicshop.com/downloads/MaycoSCFiring.pdf


#3

And because I like pictures, here are some examples:

This is a cone 05/06 glaze that was perfectly stable at 6-

And here is a 05/06 also fired at 6 that was most certainly not-

Here is the above glaze fired at 05-


#4

Thank you @cmcooper0 for all the info! This is immensely helpful. I am also in love with that speckled glaze! So neat!

I definitely already have an Amaco Celadon on my list for today : )


#5

Quick thing –
If you’re buying your own sponge, it’s what YOU want. Most of us stick to the cheapie round sponge, but some of the other choices can be helpful, depending on what you want to do. I’d chat with the folks at Trinity – they are all potters, and can tell you what might be helpful for what.

As a matter of fact, I am so much a cheap-round-sponge person, that I couldn’t think of the reasons that the fancier sponges are desirable. I mean, I know that there are good reasons, I just couldn’t remember any.


#6

The Amaco celadons are beautiful on light clay bodies! I would recommend three things when glazing with them.

  1. Bamboo brush, not small acrylic brushes-you need to pick up a lot of glaze.
  2. Alternate your brush strokes, first coat one direction, second coat the opposite, etc.
  3. Three solid coats (thin towards the bottom to prevent running and sticking to the shelf).

They aren’t very opaque glazes, they are more translucent, so if your coats are too thin it will look washed out color-wise and potentially show brush strokes. Unless that’s what you want, in which case, awesome! I’ve seen some lovely watercolor-esque work with the celadons.


#7

Thank you all! I wound up getting 4 different glazes (since I have a few upcoming classes) to play around with, got some white stoneware clay and just a basic sponge. I asked about the sponges as suggested, the guy I spoke to said a lot of it is just user preference sometimes and comfort and often I guess what we start with may be what you use even moving forward. Seeing as I’m only just attempting to see if I’ll truly enjoy this as a hobby, determined I shouldn’t go too far in. Now I just need to see about a slab rolling class or something so I can try to test glazes in test areas instead of being unsure what layering really does : )