Fabienne Cassman on sat 21 aug 99
Hello folks, :)
everyone agrees that one factor to achieve reliable glaze results is to
have reliable materials, i.e. materials that arrive at your studio an show
no variation or perhaps some variation which is insignificant -- the same
goes for colorants.
I know that some of you have had unpleasant surprises after running a new
batch or a few test tiles using the new bag of your usual material. I
realize that running a test tile is a good way to prevent disasters=3B
however, it's after the fact. The bag is in my possession, shipped and
handled, and suddenly becomes my worse nightmare.
Which brings a question to mind while I am about to select a supplier(s).
How do I choose one from another without having to constantly worry about
quality control? How do you deal with this issue?
Yes, I have learned from my mistakes...
I can reproduce them exactly.
Jeremy/Bonnie Hellman on sun 22 aug 99
If you have both the storage space and the money for the initial cost, I'd
highly recommend buying full bags of glaze ingredients. Most of those dry
bags apparently last forever. The one that comes to mind as not faring well
over the long haul is plaster, but that's not =22really=22 a glaze =
It seems that most ingredients in the USA come in 50 lb bags. I set up a
studio in Colorado and 2 months ago bought blue plastic containers with lids
(tall rectangular shapes, similar to small trash cans) from WalMart for =245
each that hold almost all of most 50 lb bags. I also bought Gorilla Rack
shelving units from Sam's Club at =2460 each. Thanks to fellow Clayarter and
new friend Lynne Anderson for the good advice about Gorilla Racks, which are
strong enough to hold many hundred pounds per shelf. (BTW if you are dumping
glaze ingredients into other containers, you'll want to wear a good
respirator to avoid breathing the dust.)
Firstly, you'll save money in the long run. Here in Pittsburgh, when I buy
from Standard Ceramic Supply, the price of most full bags is the same as
buying 25 lbs. Also, you get the bag as it comes with the original printed
label from the manufacturer, and there's no chance that your supplier has
made a mistake and mis-labeled anything they send you. Standard Ceramics
also has reduced prices when you buy 500 lbs of various ingredients, and
still lower prices when you buy 1000 lbs of ingredients. Last time I ordered
I got together with someone else and we came up with 1,000 lbs of various
ingredients. I think those will last me a long time=21
Shipping costs can be considerable, so I'd certainly recommend dealing with
a supplier who is close enough for you to do the transportation, if at all
The other advantage of buying full bags is that if you need to adjust a
recipe, you'll be using those same ingredients for a while, so they'll be
constant (at least for a while).
Those are my thoughts.
Bonnie Hellman counting down the days until I fly to CO on August 28th for
another 3 weeks=21
=3EFrom: Fabienne Cassman =3Cfabienne=40justnet.com=3E
=3ESubject: Materials Suppliers - Damage Control
=3EDate: Sat, Aug 21, 1999, 5:16 PM
=3E ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
=3E Hello folks, :)
=3E everyone agrees that one factor to achieve reliable glaze results is to
=3E have reliable materials, i.e. materials that arrive at your studio an =
=3E no variation or perhaps some variation which is insignificant -- the =
=3E goes for colorants.
=3E I know that some of you have had unpleasant surprises after running a =
=3E batch or a few test tiles using the new bag of your usual material. I
=3E realize that running a test tile is a good way to prevent disasters=3B
=3E however, it's after the fact. The bag is in my possession, shipped and
=3E handled, and suddenly becomes my worse nightmare.
=3E Which brings a question to mind while I am about to select a =
=3E How do I choose one from another without having to constantly worry =
=3E quality control? How do you deal with this issue?
=3E TIA. Cheers,
=3E Faye http://clay.justnet.com
=3E Yes, I have learned from my mistakes...
=3E I can reproduce them exactly.
Craig Martell on sun 22 aug 99
>Which brings a question to mind while I am about to select a >supplier(s).
How do I choose one from another without having to >constantly worry about
quality control? How do you deal with this >issue?
A lot of the stuff that we buy from different "suppliers" comes from the
same mine or production facility. There will be differences in a lot of
things though. Coloring oxides would be an example of this.
If you are buying Custer spar, or G-200, it's most likely going to be the
same stuff from one supplier to the next. Then, you go for the best price
if you are going to buy a lot. I usually buy feldspars by the ton and
that's where you get a price break. If you find any material that's working
well for you, buy as much as you can as things do eventually run out, or the
analysis will "drift" a bit.
I like to deal with suppliers that know about the materials and equipment
they are selling to you. Like a lot of other things, this is a real "trial
and error" process. There is a company near to me that is merely a buy and
sell type of clay operation. The guys who work there don't make pots, never
have, and also don't really know materials and minerals very well. I don't
buy from them because I assume that they don't know what they are selling.
I buy most of my stuff from the Clay Art Center in Tacoma, or Georgie's in
Portland. Joe and Kim at Clay Art know their stuff and are good people.
Christy Runyan at Georgies is very knowledgeable and helpful and she's been
in the biz for a long while.
When you buy minerals for glazes, ask the supplier to give you a data sheet,
and ask about the company that mined the stuff. If you get full bags as in
50 pounders or so, read the info on the bag and record the lot or production
number. You can sometimes get materials from the same production run but
often, it's history.
regards, Craig Martell in Oregon