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silicate/soda ash water for handles w/cats drinking the water...

updated thu 28 jan 10


Paul Borian on wed 27 jan 10

first off, thanks for all the replies about not scoring for handles - i
read a lot of them and then decided the final answer was up in the studio
so i decided to put about $800 worth of ware to the test - mugs and large
bakers. I should have tried this years ago...but since i didn't then i put
all the handles on those pots without scoring any of them, the first time i
ever attached anything without scoring. It was just a habit that i learned
and it seemed to make sense until i watched someone put handles on without
using that technique. So far they all seem just fine - so unless i bring it
up again later in the week to say they fell off we can just assume that it

anyway, i put some of the handles on using the "magic" water with a few
tablespoons of sodium silicate and a teaspoon or so of soda ash (i actually
followed a well known recipe but don't have it in front of me) added to a
gallon of water.
Two questions about this mix: since it is so much more fluid than slip, it
immediately drips down the pots and covers sections of the clay other than
just where the handles stick on. Could this cause those parts of the
bisqued pots to be harder to glaze? i am thinking it could melt a bit over
the ware and seal off the surface in the bisque kiln. Anyone know?

Also, there are a number of cats living in my garage studio, a family plus
a couple drifters, and they all prefer to drink from my clay buckets rather
than the water i put out for them, and they especially like the water from
my throwing bucket. That bucket will eventually get some of the magic water
in it, just small amounts but does anyone know if the sodium silicate could
be bad for the cats? i don't know much about that stuff other than the name
seems to be self-explanatory but i can't confirm that.
any comments?