Ceramic Tips

How to prepare porcelain or B-Mix for wedging:

Before opening that bag of porcelain, drop it hard on a cement floor, pick it up, turn it a quarter turn, drop again, repeat about 6-8 times; then open bag and wedge as you would any other clay. You will have saved your wrists a lot of stress! Porcelain is thixotropic! 

How to rehydrate hardened clay in bag:

Have bags of clay that are older, and perhaps a bit harder than you like? Submerge in water, still in the bag, and leave for 6 to 12 to 24 hours, depending on hardness and desired softness, then drain, and clay will be workable. No need to unbag and slice, etc. to rehydrate. (This won't work on bone dry clay, though.) 

How to prepare decorative plates for hanging:

Trim that decorative plate you've made so that it has a nice deep foot. Pierce the foot with a thick needle tool in three evenly spaced places. After it's fired, put a piece of strong fine wire through the holes to hang securely from a picture hook on the wall. 

How to remove wax resist from brushes:

Wax resist can be hard to remove from your brushes, so keep a tightly lidded jar 1/2 full of rubbing alcohol handy to soak the brushes. After swishing back and forth in the alcohol, the brushes can be rinsed with water. 

How to keep lids from sticking to pots in kiln, and porcelain from fusing to shelves:

To help keep lids from sticking to pots when firing in place, and to keep porcelain from fusing to kiln shelves, add 2 tablespoons of powdered alumina hydrate to your pint of wax resist before applying it to rims, flanges, and feet of pots. 

How to avoid denting kiln floor:

Put pieces of broken kiln shelf (from that small warped shelf you knocked over and broke) under the shelf posts on the soft brick floor of your electric kiln, to prevent the posts from making divots or depressions in the soft brick floor. Pieces of about 3-5" x 3-5" work well.