Cutting bisque ware?

I’ve come across a project that requires me to cut some bisque ware. I’ve found little on the subject online, probably just not something people do much of, but I was wondering if there’s anything I need to consider for it? Is bisque ware especially fragile?

I was thinking of taking a dremel with a diamond bit and using that but figured I should ask the people who know about it first as it’s kind of a one shot thing.

I’ve never cut bisque, but I’ve cut glazed pieces and the diamond Dremel bits work, they just aren’t very quick.
Also often times one of the sides will crack when cutting. I’d bisque a few extras just in case

It’s done, but it’s usually easier to cut finished ware as the strength is usually a little better. At least at an industrial ceramics scale.

The key will be keeping things cool. The killer here is delta T. The reason you’d do finished ware is because you can more easily use liquid cooling when cutting. You’ll have to do a careful dry out cycle on any bisque that soaks up water since it’s not fully densified / sintered.

Best yet, do as much forming at the green stage

Not sure if you were planning to do this at the space, but in one of the ceramics classes I recall being told that sanding or cutting on bisque should be done outside, and while wearing a mask.

The dust left from this work apparently gets into the lungs and causes havoc. Even for those who come upon it later/ stir up the dust. So it could be a problem for you and for anyone coming after you. This is probably not the time to do things that put lungs at risk. Anyone’s lungs.

As @Ian_Jaeger indicated, working with the greenware is safer for all concerned, but the item will be much more fragile.

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Depends on more details of the project and shape of said bisque…totally agree that if possible it should be done as greenware. Is it really bisque or just unglazed Any cutting tool geared towards masonry or tile work should be fine. Bricks are bisque

The name of the condition is silicosis. At least that was why I had to get fit for a n95 respirator in college for mixing clay and glazes.

Here is my 2 cents, wrap the item with blue paint tape then duct tape.

Then duct tape it to a board in some fashion that you have something to hold on to. Then use a wet tile saw.

I have also had great luck with a DMS hand held grinders on SMALL cuts with the below Blade. Tape the piece its a must to keep it from pitting from Flying debris.

Ware a full face mask! Outside.


Yep. Silicosis. Typically takes 10-30 years of industrial exposure to develop. Now – if you’re going to be a serious potter, then you start watching out for your lungs when you start, because you expect to be working that long. Plus, glazes contain other chemicals/minerals that are not healthy to breath.

In a shop like DMS, one is never sure of the condition of other people’s lungs. Certainly folks who already have some sort of breathing issue shouldn’t be breathing silica dust.

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Unfortunately cutting it as greenware isn’t an option. I only have this one bisque ware piece to work with.

To my understanding it goes greenware, then is fired and from that you get bisque ware which is then glazed and then you get finished pottery? Would anyone happen to have any scrap bisque ware I could maybe practice on? Stuff that broke or whatever?

Let me go through my things – I’ve probably got a thing or two I don’t care about.

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