Thursday, August 21, 2008

Preparing Kiln Wash and Coating a Mould

A couple of people have asked me how I prepare kiln wash and apply it to the kiln floor, kiln shelves and the moulds for The Serenbe Project. This time when I used the kiln wash, I took pictures of the process so that I could post here.
I mix my kiln wash according to the manufacturer's instructions, which was 4:1 in this case.
I mix kiln wash, a bucket at a time, so that when I need it, it is ready. I measure out the water that I need and the amount of kiln wash that I need. For example, if I have 12 cups of water, then I would measure out 3 cups of kiln wash. I always put the water in the bucket first and then sprinkle the kiln wash on the top of the water.

The picture (above right) shows the kiln wash floating on top of the water (before being stirred).

This picture (above) shows the kiln wash after I have stirred the wash some.

After I have stirred for 20 minutes or so, or until it dissolves, I apply the kiln wash to the mould (in this case), kiln shelf or kiln floor. Using a hake brush, I saturate the brush, lightly run the brush over the rim of the bucket, then lightly brush the wash across the mould in lines going toward and away from me. When the first coat is absorbed, which will be quickly, I apply the second coat at a right angle to the first coat, so I'm painting this on from side to side for the second coat. For these moulds, I only put three very light coats of wash. The number of coats of kiln wash that you use depends on the application. On the floor of my kilns, I applied at least eight coats. I reapply kiln wash to the floor about once each year, depending on how much each kiln is used.

The mould on the left is a mould to which kiln wash has been applied, the mould on the left has not had the wash applied yet. The hake brush is on the right hand side of this picture. The other little brush that I use to coat the inside of the leaf cavity is an old BBQ brush.

After I finish applying the kiln wash, I place the moulds in the kiln and fire to 500 degrees to cure the wash, WITH THE LID SLIGHTLY PROPPED OPEN WITH A KILN POST. When you prop the lid open, this allow moisture to escape from the interior of the kiln. This is the manufacturer's directions for this wash. No matter what type of wash you use, you have to dry it in the kiln before you can fire on the shelf or the mould.

1 comment:

driffe said...

Thanks, Donna, for sharing this process. You are sooooo resourceful. I actually "get it" now!!