Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Pot Melt Contamination

Pot melting occurs at temperatures above that for which kiln washes are designed. This means the kiln wash most often sticks to the back of the melt.

If you put only fiber paper – Thinfire, Papyros, or standard 1mm or 2mm fibre paper – at the bottom, the dripping glass will tear and move it about.  It also tends to incorporate fibers from the refractory papers into the melt.  It is best to avoid fibre papers of any kind on the base.  Using fibre paper around the edges of dams, if you use them, is better than simple kiln washing of the dams.

From wikihow

If you have a sandblaster, it is easy to take the kiln wash off leaving a matt surface. You can live with this for many purposes, but if you want a more polished surface you can take the melt up to fire polishing temperature to shine up the surface. You will need to flip this over and fire again, if the original top surface is what you want to present.  Or if you like the new shiny surface, use it as is.

If you are going to cut the pot melt up for other uses, there is no need to fire polish as the surface does not matter, only the cleanliness, and removal of contaminants.

There is another thing you can do to avoid kiln wash contamination.

The best solution appears to be to put a disk or rectangle of glass on top of fibre paper. It can be clear or any colour you wish, but needs to fill the area enclosed by the dams. This seems to keep the fiber paper from tearing and being incorporated into the glass, even though the base will have the fibre paper marks.

It also works very well when you are confining the melt to get a thicker disk. Make sure you have kiln washed the sides of the container or dam very well, in addition to 3mm fibre paper arranged so that it is 3mm narrower than the expected final thickness, or any excess glass may stick to the dams. The means of arranging the fibre paper around the dams is given here. You may need to grind the marks off the edge of the disk, but this is much easier than grinding it off the bottom.

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