Saturday, March 8, 2014

Arch Pikes Orange Glaze cone 6

Comments, hints or suggestions to correct this glaze are welcome. Not sure what happened or why, but this glaze didn't turn out orange at all, as per the recipe and comments, looks golden yellow with no hints of orange. :o(
The test pieces were cone 5 porcelain clay on the left and light brown speckled clay on the right.
Here is the recipe I used.
Arch Pikes Orange Glaze (cone 6 ox)
 Neph Sye 24
 Whiting 18
 Silica 18
 Ball Clay 9
 Zinc Ox 6
 Rutile 19.20
 Zircopax 6
Very Nice Glaze, orange, matt. Really nice on a speckled clay body, with brown specks. (comment from the recipe provider)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tips for shopping safely on Etsy

Etsy is an online selling venue for artists of handmade, sellers of vintage wares and sellers of crafting supplies.  I have been selling my pottery on etsy since early 2007. Over the years things have changed and there is increased activity by "less than reputable" members..... both buyers and sellers, who may be trying to scam you. I have seen many buyers come to the community forums looking for help,  how to buy, and asking if it is safe.  Yes it is!  All you have to do is "shop smart", like you need to on other selling venues.   There will always be scammers, but us smart shoppers can outwit them!

So I have decided to provide this bit of information to be of help to buyers, especially those new to etsy.  Here are my tips on how to buy with a good level of confidence and have a good buying experience.

After selecting items of interest to you (which is going to be hard, etsy is vast and varied and I bet you will find more than one thing you want) know that etsy is comprised of numerous individual shops.  You will have to make separate payments if buying from more than one shop.

These are several things I recommend you look for and do:

1) Feedback/Reviews:  Does the seller have good reviews, read the content of them to make sure that there are no complaints of non shipment, poor quality, general disatisfaction.  I don't recommend going by the actual star ratings themselves as there is a bug in that program which isn't allowing some mobile users to leave the full 5 star rating they may have meant to leave or sometimes changes the stars to 3 or 4 even if the reviewing buyer selected 5.

2) Sellers Location:   This is important for two reasons: the first is to get a feel for the amount of time you might expect to have to wait to receive your item. It is not uncommon for international shipments to take a month or more to arrive.  Sometimes it's less, but patience is definitely needed when ordering from another country.  
Also, there has been an influx of sellers of mass produced items over the past several years, and while that is not on par with etsys guidelines, it can take quite some time for their shop to be discovered and removed from etsy. So be watchful and diligent,  if there is any inkling that the item(s) being sold might be mass produced/not handmade by the seller, you might want to avoid purchasing from that shop.  Once discovered and the shop removed from the site, you would see a page that says "Uh oh, this user no longer exists" message and both you and the seller will have no means to make further contact, hence you may never get the item.  In the even the etsy shop had been closed, immediately go to Paypal or Etsy depending on how you paid, or directly to your credit card company, and file a dispute to get your money back.

3) Method of Payment:  Whether you choose to pay through Paypal or Etsy's own Direct Checkout, depending on what the seller offers as payment options, (it could be one or both), ALWAYS use a credit card to pay for the merchandise.  Your credit card company offers you the best level of protection in the event something goes wrong.    You do have the first option of filing a dispute through Paypal or Etsy, and additionally reporting the shop to Etsy too.  Always attempt contact with the seller first though, there may be a way to work out any problem with your order without going to the extent of filing a claim.  Sellers do have the ability to issue refunds when warranted and buyers have met the sellers requirements to receive a refund.

4)  Ready to Ship or Made to Order:  It is always a good idea to look at the listing info box in the upper right hand page area to see if the item states: Made to Order.  Made to order items should indicate in the shipping/policies area as well as the item description area how long of a lead time is needed for the item to be made.   Not being aware of this information can be disappointing for all involved if you needed the item quickly, but did not realize it was not already made.  Please note most Custom Orders are not eligible for refunds, although this is up to each individual shop owner to determine.

5) Digital Downloads:  PDF files for patterns, graphic arts, and other digital goods
While the listings may contain photos of finished items as examples, be sure to read the description and note (again in the upper right hand page area) if the item states Digital Download, that you are not getting  a finished item - you are getting the instructions to make that item.  Digital Downloads are not eligible for refunds.

6)  Read the Description, Look over the Policies and learn more about the seller on their About page.  You may find a wealth of information and maybe even a bit of a kinship.

Happy Shopping Everyone!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy Holidays to everyone

May you have a Joyous holiday season. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Metallic Satiny Copper and Chartreuse Lime Green Glazes tested

This weekends results from the continuing tests of modifying and testing (and re-testing) ingredients and ratios to create both exciting color and silky smooth finish with a shimmer or sparkle:
This week I am looking for an apple to chartreuse green;   sorry my pics are washed out and don't quite show the amt of green they did achieve

One blend of barium glaze with the addition of rutile and copper, plus some titanium yeilded a more limey green when applied very very thin. But a bit too matte with a tendancy towards turquoise where thicker. Also the rutile lent some speckling (probably should have seived it better).  Interesting but not exciting.

Then I tested with chrome, adding high amounts of lithium in hopes of that sparkle, a good but not saturated enough yellow green color response, and a totally crazed finish and I mean badly.  (I am sure I am part to blame for removing it from the kiln just a bit early - however, I think this would have crazed even if I had waited)  Further tweaking to that test glaze with the additions of more barium,alumina, neph and a scosh of titanium.  This yielded a smoother less crazed finish, but lost some of the green and leaned more yellow.  My next modification of that will be to add some more chrome and a little more flint.  The one thing I found really exciting about this blend is near the top and bottom where I applied some RIO and Mng wash the line where the yellow green and the black meet turned a brilliant turquoise.

The thing that grabbed me the most was an unexpected shimmery smooth metallic burnt copper orange in a small area inthe well of the foot of a piece I had refired, where I had failed to wash away all of the glaze from the dunk.  Now if I can only figure out what created that!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Glaze with a pearly sheen..... More testing ensues in my never ending search for "The Glaze"

I have been running a lot of tests tweaking and tweaking that barium glaze recipe for my little weed pots over the past week.  I veered off the purple variation for now looking for additional colors I could call my own.  Had a number of disappointments, but also some really promising ones.  My favorite tonite is a lovely mint green with yellow, which I will enhance with a bit more copper in the next batch to see if I can get a bit more of an apple green.   But I can't stop looking at it, it has a lot of promise!  Also born was an interesting deep mottled forest green and a super pretty medium blue purple too.  The light turquoise as well as the mint both have a lovely sheen, sadly the turquoise has to be applied so thin to retain the color that the throwing lines on the pot shows through and the texture is a bit too dry for my liking.  I guess burnishing them will help in that respect and maybe taking it up another cone.  I love the sheer veil and sheen in the turquoise, even with as hard as it is to get an even application,  so it will be worth the extra time to do that.  Take a peek at my results from todays kiln offering.


Friday, November 1, 2013

a study of crawl glaze pieces

Recently I mixed up a new barium glaze recipe that was noted as a lowfire cone 04 glaze.  Note, I used midrange porcelain for my testing bodies.
Interesting color response that I loved, but the feel was a very dry matte and the surface had a crawl effect (although it looks crazed it is not, the edges are smooth)  on the areas where thicker, the glaze turned a very vibrant purple and crawled, on the thin areas it was a lovely turquoise.   The color was brilliant though and I wanted to pursue perfecting the glaze to a smoother surface, in hope of keep the same color response.

I started by simply firing another piece to cone 5,  the glaze did not run, did smooth out a bit, but it still crawled in larger patches and  the brilliance in color was subdue.  The mottled look inherent of the nature of a matte finish.  Still I wanted this color, but in a silky soft finish. 
I mixed up another 1/2 batch (#2) this time increasing the flux via added neph and barium and continued firing at cone 5-6, no more low fires.   More neph seemed to make a deeper inky blue while more barium a lighter denser denim blue. 
Smoother, but where's the purple?  One more batch (#3) that I poured 1 cup of mixed epsom salt water solution into as part of my liquid, hoping the MgO would brighten the color up.  Well it did, but now we're back to a crawl effect.  Apparently all the mgo in the epsom salt water was overkill.  I will continue on, not making that mistake with the epsom salts and report new findings later on.  During these tests, I notice that on the pieces with a wash of red iron oxide at the base, a light green was occurring, so I also tested a few pieces that show the color response when iron is added.  I also had a green results over iron bearing clay bodies.

If anyone knows what ingredient will increase the purple, please feel free to leave a comment and I will play around with the amounts.
Ingredients in the glaze are Barium-Neph_EPK-Flint-Lithium-Copper
Happy Testing!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

pit fired pots without digging up the yard - making pottery in my new campfire pit

These pictures are from a previous attempt at firing a little bowl in my fire pit purchased at Menards for having backyard campfires.
By using some organic fuels, coloring agents next to the pot and then wrapping in newspaper and tin foil, and finally allowing it to burn in the fire for several hours, I can make our evening outdoor fires have a little of the anticipation a child feels at christmas.