Chrysanthos Dipping Glaze
The preparation of any dipping glazes is critical to the result of the firing. A well-adjusted dipping glaze will result in few drip marks and a glossier patch free finish. These instructions apply to all our dipping glazes.
- Each bucket of glaze sold is filled to within 1.5 cm or .75 inch of the top rim of the bucket. Do not decant any glaze out of the bucket at this stage. The contents need to be mixed thoroughly first using an electric hand mixer for 5 or 6 minutes to ensure an even distribution of glaze material.
- Once the glaze has been mixed thoroughly (no glaze on the bottom of the bucket), a portion can be decanted into another bucket to allow room to dip items or for adjustment. To make it easier, the whole bucket should be decanted into a larger bucket for adjustment or dipping, ensuring there is no glaze material left in the bottom of the bucket.
- If necessary, the glaze may now be adjusted. To check, use a Dupont M50 viscosity cup (see notes below) and aim for a viscosity of 18 to 22 seconds. If the viscosity is too high (> 22 sec) add half a cup of distilled water and remix with the electric mixer for 2 or 3 minutes and retest the viscosity. Repeat this step until the glaze has the right viscosity.
- If the viscosity of the glaze is low (< 18 sec). Add in some of the glaze that has not been adjusted, remix and retest the viscosity. If there is no unadjusted glaze left, then let the glaze sit open for several hours or overnight to let water evaporate. Be sure to cover the bucket with something (paper towel) to prevent dust and dirt from getting in then repeat steps 3 to 4 again.
- Before dipping make sure that colored glazes applied to bisqueware are thoroughly dry. Do not force dry colored glazes by using heated air sources (hair dryer, heat lamp) as doing so may affect the performance of both the color and clear glaze.
- For dipping, its a good idea to wear an apron, rubber gloves, safety glasses and shoe coverings. Spraying of the glaze is not recommended without adequate personal protection.
- To dip, use dipping tongs or latex gloves to hold the piece and immerse it completely using a smooth in and out motion. The piece only needs to be dipped for 1 to 2 seconds and only once.
- As soon as the piece is removed from the glaze, shake vigorously, and rotate allowing excess glaze to drip off. Use a fan brush moistened with dipping glaze to smooth out any stubborn drips and to touch up where the piece was held.
- While dipping, the glaze should be stirred every 15 to 20 minutes.
To use a viscosity cup, the glaze must first be stirred well. Once stirred, submerge the viscosity cup into the glaze and then lift out. As the bottom of the cup clears the top of the glaze, measure the time in seconds it takes for the stream to break coming out of the bottom of the viscosity cup. That time is the viscosity in seconds.
Dipping larger pieces is done in 2 steps. First half of the piece is dipped, then the other half is dipped overlapping slightly where the first dip finished. When the piece is dry, moisten a soft fan brush in the glaze and gently smooth over the seam line.
Hazy, white finish
If the fired finish of the piece is hazy, white to bluish in color and the surface resembles hundreds of little pores, the glaze has been applied too thick or the firing did not reach temperature. The dipping procedure may need to be corrected or the firing may need to be checked as should be the kiln. Pieces that have this problem can be refired to attempt to fix the piece, but only when the source of the problem has been identified.