Introduction: Porcelain Clay Glazing - Basic Introduction

Picture of Porcelain Clay Glazing - Basic Introduction

Hello and welcome to my short basic introduction on how to glaze porcelain clay :D

In this instructable I will show you in some easy steps the step by step way to glaze your new design pieces from this magical material. Yet I would like you to take your time and carefully read all instructions provided with your clay and glaze material.
I hope you like it and maybe give it a vote for the CLAY Contest at the end? I'D be really happy <3

So, Let's go!

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

First things first.

Here's a list of what you'll need :

  • porcelain clay (ready ade liqued)
  • whisk
  • plaster mold form
  • soft brush
  • ready made glaze or
  • empty bottles
  • water
  • color pigments

All of these things you probably find t the closest crafting, clay and ceramics store. or online

Step 2: Making Porcelain Clay Chips

Picture of Making Porcelain Clay Chips

To make this whole process a little bit easier I decided to make some model chips instead of a actual cermic piece. So this way we can focus on the steps better.

To Do

  1. open up your porcelain clay and use a whisk to stir it carefully. You don't want to have bubbles in it, because they will show in your model later on. so slowly whisk to a smooth and uniform material. Some bubbles won'T kill it, but the less the better ;)
  2. Be sure to have a dry plaster mold. The mold will suck off the fluency of the porcelain and helps it curing from the outside to its core. I made solid chips here, but if you want n actual model you will pour porcelain into the full mold, wait a few minutes to let the outside wall set and pour out the excess back into its container.(If you like to know more about this in partiular, please note me and I can do a tutorial on it too.)
  3. After some time the chips loosen and you can carefully remove them from the mold. Let them sit and dry for at least 12 hours till they are completely dry.
  4. Now it's time for the first firing. the buscuit firing. This first time in the kiln will get rid of most of the moist part of the chips. Be sure to have a look at the info of your porcelain clay to know the max temperature to use for firing!

Side Info:
If you want your model to be colored not only by the glaze, but by the clay too (pic 4,5) you can achieve this by adding color pigments to your material before pouring it into the plaster mold. Be sure to whisk it good so you have uniform material. Note that the more pigments to add the more vivdly colored your model will be.

I did a black example

Step 3: Glazing Time - 2 Ways

Picture of Glazing Time - 2 Ways

Not that the clay model chips have had their first firing they want to be glazed of course ;)

I will show you 2 ways to glaze your pieces so you can test bith of them.

Picture 1 shows a quick summary to help you understand the steps of working with a water andpigments mixed glaze:

  1. Choose the pigments you like and mix them into a (rubber) bowl containing water. You don't need to much, so add little by little of both water and pigments. Stir the two parts and mix them well.
  2. Now it is time to pour the glaze over your model. I used a second rubber bowl to catch all excess again! You will notice that the black fluid glaze will set into pouder like form on your porcelain clay model. That's because the porcelain is super super thirsty for water and water based things. It will suck off the glaze' water leave behind the colored pouder. Be carefully not to touch it with wet fingers!
    1. If you feel like it didn't go well the first time pouring the glaze, you can wash it all off , wait for your model to dry again and give it another shot.
    2. using a dry finger you can softly rub off some seams or dripplets. your finger acts as sandpaper actually :D
    3. Before you can give the model chip to the kiln for the final firing you need to clean up the side of the model that it is going to stand on. Otherwise it will stick/glue to the plate in your oven. In my example i had to clean all excess glaze off the bottom side of the chip.

Method 2 of glazing is shown in picture 2 and 3:

  1. you can buy some read made glaze in the store or online. There ar different kinds depending on the temperatur of firing them so be sure to inform yourself well or ask the shop owner if the glaze temperatur fits the one of the kiln.
  2. I made two examples - One time a light mint color and one is calles watermelon red :3 When you open the pot you have to slowly stir the mixture again so it becomes a uniform batter like liquid.
  3. Not use a soft brush to brush the glze onto your porcelain clay model.
  4. and here again...

    Before you can give the model chip to the kiln for the final firing you need to clean up the
    side of the model that it is going to stand on. Otherwise it will stick/glue to the plate in your oven. In my example i had to clean all excess glaze off the bottom side of the chip.

Step 4: Kiln Time - Final Firing

Picture of Kiln Time - Final Firing

Your pieces are set and you're happy with the glaze. Then it is time to put them in the kiln for the second and final firing. This time the heat will get rid of everything wet and moist left over and harden your clay.

Interesting note: porcelain clay will shrink between 17-20% when firing!! So if you ned a certain meassurement in your final product, be sure to make your model 17% bigger!!
I kind of learned the hard way ;A;

set the kiln to the correct programm and let it do it's magic for the next days.Yes. It will take quiet a while.

Step 5: Finished Product Comparison

Picture of Finished Product Comparison

We did it! Your clay is finished and glazed! Hurray!!

I set up a little comparison composition so you can see what we used in the process and what the model chip looks like after the first and the final firing.

Yellow example for more hppy color!

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I hope you could follow my sheps regarding the tutorials topic. I'm happy to try answering every question you have though.

Thx for your time,

Kion

Step 6: Clay Contest

Picture of Clay Contest

I hope you liked this short tutorial and therefore maybe help me out a bit.
This instructable will enter the 'ClayContest' here on instructables.com and it needs your love and votes! So please click on the orange litte flag on the top right corner of this tutorial to vote and tell your friends about it. Your support is highly appreciated <3

Thank you! Wish me luck ;)


Kion

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