Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to make and use batwash?

When I first bought my kiln, I knew the shelves needed to be protected from future glaze marks with som batwash. Batwash is a substance you can buy ready made in ceramic supply shops but it is very easy and much cheaper to make it yourself. I thought I'd share the recipe with you.
Here's what you need:
A container to mix the batwash in, a jar to keep it in, a sieve,
a spoon, a paintbrush, aluminium oxide, quarts, china clay and a scale.You need 60% Aluminium oxide - I use 180grams.
You need 20% China clay - I use 60grams.
You need 20% quarts - I use 60grams.
Add water until the substance is quite liquid so you can spread it out easily.
Put the substance through a sieve so that there is no chunks in the substance.
Normally, kiln shelves look like this.
Mine look like this:
I get the old batwash off to apply some new one. I do this about twice a year but it depends on how much you glaze and how the state of your shelves look after firing. I feel very confident that my shelves are protected and I don't have to worry about dripping glaze on my shelves.Looks much better - now it's ready to apply new batwash.You'll find that as soon as you put the brush on your shelves,
the substance will get sucked into the shelves.
Apply in the same direction and let it dry.
That's why I do this outside when it's sunny.When it's dry, apply another layer in the opposite direction.
Two layers will do fine unless you want to be absolutely sure, apply another one. And look how clean my shelves are now...
All ready for many new firings - yeah! :)