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Can a glazed piece be re-fired?

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  • Can a glazed piece be re-fired?

    I am very new to ceramics so would appreciate some help. I have made a small lidless box from low-fire earthenware clay and glazed it with 4 coats of brush-on glaze. It has been very successful, except in one or two places where it looks as though there was a small air bubble under the glaze. In these places there is a small ring of thicker glaze where the air bubble has popped.

    Is it possible to grind these flaws down with diamond files and re-fire the piece?

    Thank you

  • #2
    i'm not sure as im a bit new to ceramics too but are you sure the glaze hasn't 'crawled' this happens when its on too thick or get hot too quickly (i think) so if thats the case its probably not wise to fire it again.... But like I said I'm not sure at all so dont take my work for it!
    Sometimes if there's loads of little bubbles you can fire it again and it will burn the bubbly bits off to make it smooth again..
    email: [email protected]


    • #3
      Unless the glazes have changed I would have said no, as you could burn the original glaze. I may be wrong have you tried to email cromartie as they may have the answer.


      • #4
        Hi Pat,

        I use stoneware clay and am often re-firing pieces that haven't come out successfully back up to 1260 degrees C, and they come out fine.

        I'm not sure if earthenware will work in the same way. But you won't know unless you try... make sure you paint a little bit more glaze over the area where the bubbles were though. As Caroleecrafts said, you may run the risk of 'cooking' the glaze for too long and it might change the look of it from what it looks like now.


        • #5
          I know nothing about ceramics so please feel free to ignore me!
          But I just wanted to say that sometimes you learn by 'just giving it a go'
          If you really don't want to possibly ruin the piece then don't but if you are never going to be happy with it anyway why not try? What's the worst that can happen? (I can hear Dr Pepper!!!)

          You may stumble across something astounding or be deeply unhappy but either way you will deepen your understanding and surely that is worth a shot?
          Hiding just in case you listen to me and it all goes pear shaped
          Terry xxx
          You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
          Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy


          • #6
            I used to help run a ceramics studio with my parents for years (some time back) and I now go to pottery classes at my local college and in both cases we have re-fired pieces.

            I agree with C Hupfield Ceramics, make sure you put a little bit of glaze on the bit that is bare.

            As everyone has said, try and see!

            As I always say - if the item is no good then trying to improve it can't make it worse!!!
            Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars


            • #7
              I am most grateful to everyone who replied.

              I don't want to risk spoiling the piece, so I think I will make a test piece with the same level of glaze and re-fire that - at least I'll know whether to risk the piece or not!

              Many thanks


              • #8
                Hi, it's always difficult when you've got a special piece that goes wrong, and this bit of advice is rather late in the day for you I know. But it's a good idea to make some 'test pieces' so you can test different thickness of glaze, or different firing temperatures on them, before risking your precious one-off.

                One idea is to roll clay on a towel (to give it some texture) to about 1cm thickness, cut some rectangles about 12 x 5 cms and form them into standing up C shapes. If you make several of these they can be fired and you can try all sorts of wierd and wonderful ideas out on them. Also, being C shaped they will fit round each other (without touching!) and take up less room on your kiln shelves than cylinders. Hope that helps - and welcome to the wonderful world of clay! Kate
                Last edited by Cuckoos Nest; 15-06-2009, 09:06 PM.


                • #9
                  i'm always re glazing my earthenware pieces, it shoudl be fine uless there is a reason the galze didn't take in parts.

                  have you re fired it yet?


                  • #10
                    I haven't re-fired it yet. I was able to make another piece instead, and will experiment with re-firing next time I am firing a glaze.

                    Thanks you for your comment - I feel a bit more confident about trying it now



                    • #11
                      Does your kiln have a soak ?

                      Does your kiln have a soak ?


                      • #12
                        I have a fully programmable kiln - Paragon SC2



                        • #13
                          a soak 15mins

                          I was just going to say that a soak 15mins at your glaze temp is often the solution for this type of blemish. Give it a go