Saturday, September 14, 2013

How much is enough…

…kiln wash?   I had been doing some research on came across a post that said they mixed the wash to the consistency of heavy cream.  I decided to ignore the directions on the bag of wash that came with the kiln (hey I’m a guy…what do you expect) and mixed up a brew that was twice as thick for my kiln shelf.  After the first firing the wash on some parts of the shelf cracked and peeled up.  On other parts it stayed intact for several firings which resulted in a smooth back for the few cabochons I created.  But alas realized that I had crossed the the kiln wash gods and decided nest time to follow the directions and mix to a 5:1 ratio.  The results were kind of a drag.
Yeah the cabs I created had a smooth back but all of them had kiln wash stuck on the backs of them and I had to clean the shelf off and re-coat.  Not being satisfied with that solution I started to use some thick kiln paper(2mm) I had gotten to see how that worked.  I one sense it worked great because I didn’t have to replace it with each firing.  The downside is that it embossed its own pattern on all the glass I fused. After a few firings I got frustrated again and started to so more research and found there’s really not a consistent answer.  A bunch of people said follow the directions and mix to a 5:1 ratio. Others mixed to a consistency of skim milk, light cream and one enterprising gentlemen mixed it to a consistency where he could use a drywall spatula to apply it.  Check it out.

Now that’s Kiln wash well applying!
By this time I was totally confused.  What’s a poor fuser to do?  Well this is what I decided to do and it seems to be working so far.
For slump molds I follow the directions and use wash mixed to a 5:1 ratio.  For the kiln shelves I use a thicker mix (light cream) and then bake it in my oven at 500 degrees for about 30 minutes.  That seems to provide a good smooth surface that lasts about 3-4 firings.  I addition I got a second shelf so I can have one prepped and ready for when the other shelf gets worn out.

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