Ken Horstman Studios

New Images

I have recently unloaded a glaze firing and new images should be on the website in the next few days.  Don’t forget to go to the contact page and become a subscriber and receive all the news of what’s happening at 

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Glaze Testing

Most potters come with a system for testing their glazes,  experimenting with new glazes and the multitude of glaze variations.  there are as many ways to do glaze tests as there are the potters who make them.  After making pots and testing glazes for over forty years I sure have accumulated a lot of test tiles and notes on the test.  Recently I found that making digital images of my glaze tiles and making a data base of them and my notes is a real space saver.  In my data base I cross reference and link color, temperature(cone), ingredients etc… Along with anything else I discover.  It’s a little time consuming in the beginning but once you get started its a time saver as you can search results under a multitude of keywords and saves dulplication. 

Hope this gives you another idea for best studio practices.  if you like to  hear a longer description and an actual entry let me know by contacting me on the contact page.   See you in the  next blog.   

Update to Reconstituting Clay

In my most recent batch of pots I’ve had some problems with “Scumming”,  water soluble salts coming to the surface  sometimes in drying and other times when gazed firing.  It will leave a bumpy rough surface which is not very attractive.  One of the mysteries is that it seems to happen , not to all pieces but to a series of pieces.  

In doing some research I came across this article by Jeff Zamek     one suggestion was a clay body with a lot of bentonite may have this issue ( I use a porcelain body) Another possible cause the article suggested was too much deflocculant such as Darvan 7 could add a soluble salt to the clay.  I’ve always added a teaspoon of Darvan 7 to my water and then added my dried clay scraps and mixed it up.  Never really noticed a problem.  But recently what I have done is when my throwing water is getting thick I add a teaspoon of Darvan 7 and then addition scraps of clay.  Use an immersion blender and making almost a casting slip pour it in my drying slab and recycle it. I feel that may cause of too much soluble salts in a small batch of recycle clay.  The article also recommended adding up to 2% Barium Carbonate to possibly reduce the effects of the soluble salts.

I will just add my throwing water slop to another bucket and add water and barium carbonate  to this mixture when I recycle a bigger batch of clay.  I will follow up in a future   See you in the next post

link below to drying slab  

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