Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer report #2

Here are the results of the triaxial blend. I'm pretty happy with it, as I suspected though there aren't any usable glazes(to my liking anyways.) There are several that I'll use as a base for further tests. I wasn't too surprised about what the results looked like, I am surprised about the raw materials alone. The red clay has what I guess is a very high shrinkage(useful for raw glazing!), the granite kinda looks like poorly fire malcolm davis shino on stoneware and the ash...



The ash is completely unmelted. It looks like velvet and I can easily dust it off the test piece. I use mesquite ash, which is a very hard wood and generally speaking the harder/denser the wood the more refractory the ash. I also wash my ash which according to Phil Rogers rinses away about 25% of the fluxes. I learned early on that mesquite ash used unwashed has a shelf life of about 3-4 weeks. My glossy green ash glaze will go matte mustard yellow over time, weird right? So I wash all of my ash. To keep it consistent I wash several batches, enough to last 2 or more years and then sort of dry mix it all which leaves me with one large source that will be consistent from one batch to the next. This means that I don't have to test my material before I mix each batch of glaze. I will do the same with the granite and red clay. Back to this ash...it behaves like other ashes when mixed in 50/50 of 4/4/2 blends which leaves me to believe that the ash is just lacking something on its own to melt and is in fact not too refractory.



I had to make a modification to my blunger by adding pulleys and a v-belt. The motor is 1725 rpms which is much too fast for mixing. These pulleys bring it down to about 400 rpm. I mixed up my first batch a few days ago and it works great. I'm excited to ease some of the strain from my back.





Cheers!

4 comments:

TropiClay Studio said...

The mixing part works good, but how about the pump? You had some concerns about it on a previous post...

brandon phillips said...

The pump works great, can't believe I forgot to leave that out!

Joe and Christy said...

It's not entirely clear to me Brandon, are you planning on using the blunger for mixing clay? Or for mixing glazes/slips, or both? Either way congrats on getting it up and going.
Joe

brandon phillips said...

it's for mixing clay...as a slip. it mixes a batch of 250# dry which is just over 300# plastic.