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The Magic of Vinegar and Ceramics: Article or Project

There are a lot of uses for vinegar with ceramics. Vinegar is primarily a corrosive when it comes to using with greenware, so caution is advised.

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1. Remove Hardspots from greenware. A thin dilution of a small amount of vinegar in a couple cups of water will aid when cleaning greenware…especially old ware or ware that has hardspots aka hot spots. If you clean your item then lightly sponge wipe it down with the vinegar/water mixture, it will roughen up those slick hard spots (which are often hard to see) and thereby give you a better surface once fired for painting.

2. Create relief designs on plain ware (clay carve). Transfer a design onto your greenware and then mask it off with mask n peel or wax resist. You can also use masking tape to create a grid design or other methods of protecting a design. Use a mixture of vinegar and water and apply with a sponge wiping away the ware from around the masked area. The stronger the vinegar/water ratio, the faster it will work. Rinse out the sponge in the water mixture and keep wiping, (from the masked area outward) until you have achieved the dimension you desire. Peel off the mask, finish off the edges as desired with clean up tools. Dry completely and fire to bisq or paint with underglazes however you desire.

3. A few drops of vinegar in a small amount of slip will thicken it and it can be used for repairing some broken ware.

4. Vinegar modified slip can be used to create design work on wet ware such as slip trailing or embossing or texturing. You can also dip a loose weave sponge into the treated slip and press it onto the wetware surface to create a rough texture. When creating texture with the thickened slip, it works best with wetware as it can and most often will flake and fall off of dry greenware.

5. Modified slip can be thickened to a stiff consistency to create a sculpture paste to build up designs on wetware.

6. Test food safety on glazed surfaces. Submerge half of a glazed item in vinegar for about 24 hours. If there is a change in color, the item is most likely not food safe.

7. Use as ‘Mocha tea’ instead of the nicotine tea when making Mochaware. Natural Apple Cider vinegar works best.

8. Soak dried, dirty nylon paint brushes in vinegar for about 30 minutes to help soften the paint for easier cleaning.

9. Clean your hands after working with clay to clean and soften them.

10. Stinky clay can be treated with small amount of cider vinegar to help remove the stink; however most potters agree that the stink is nature’s way of improving the quality of the clay.


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The Magic of Vinegar and Ceramics

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