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Using Ashes for Glaze

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Trying to figure out how to use (excuse the morbidity of it, folks) my
deceased pet's ashes on ceramic pieces. I'm using a fairly heavy clay
body and glaze firing to cone 10 (reduction). However, a friend
mentioned that the ashes might put too much sodium into the kiln's
atmosphere, thus lining the kiln's walls and ruining it. He suggested
that I might be safer looking for someone with either a salt kiln or a
wood firing kiln.

Also, from this friend. He suggested that, rather than just putting the
ash into a water solution (I don't want to mess with glaze formulas), I
should mix it with gum arabic. This way it will stick to the bisque
fired ware better.

Any comments on either of these recommendations? Any suggestions? Anyone
have experience with this?

Thanking you all in advance!

April G.
Rochester, NY

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Hello April,
Tiddings to the gentle animal.

Use a clear lowfire or highfire glaze and mix the ashes into it.. this
will work on bisque.
you might try raku for color and tones..

Cheers CB.

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i don't think there is enough ash in your pet to hurt a kiln - unless this was
your old horse?? even there i don't think it's a problem. when all burnt up
we're not much different from alot of tree ash - aluminum oxide and silicon

i have had fun with ash glazes for a good while. plain old ash -- mixed with
water to a typical glaze consistancy works well by itself. i fire to cone 10
and plain ash WILL run easily so keep this in mind. plain ash inside bowls can
be very attractive with the runny rivers and all. add maybe 50% porcelain to
slow down the runs. add colorants as you want - but i've gotten greens and
blues along with the more typical browns and greys from plain ash.

i'm keeping my old cat's ashes around for similar reasons. my wife wants to
become a glaze when it's her time. personally i want to be added to the next
batch of tomatoes...

see ya


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The ashes are primarily bone ash, calcium phosphate. The sodium
content won't be high enough to give you a problem.

The May issue of Ceramic Monthly includes an article by Jeff Zamek
entitled "Black Friday". It tells about his using the ashes of his
Black Lab to glaze a coffee mug - The article
is also included in his book, "What Every Pottery Should Know". He
includes the recipe for the glaze he used, but it's cone 6.


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I have my cats ashes that I would love to put into a glaze also. I would
also like to use a little in the claybody that I make the urns I would like
to put what ever ash is left into... he was a big cat... but we are talking
just small portions of ash in each....

anyone used the ash in their clay body?

Steve Mills

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Paul Soldner wrote an article in one of the American Mags on trying to
glaze with human ash; he found it almost impossible to make a successful
glaze with it, but found it good for decorating with (I think) under a
reliable transparent glaze.
From another source I have the following analysis (allegedly) of human

CaO 39.0%
P2O5 50.2%
K2O 4.8%
Na2O 3.8%
MgO 0.9%
SiO2 1.1%
Fe2O3 0.2%
ZnO 0.1%

Loss on ignition 94.8%

Hope this helps


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LOI of almost 95% for the ash?


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That's what it said, although I'm wondering if that was not a typo in
the original and meant 9.5. I no longer have the originator's
name/address Sad


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This analysis for pet ash is from the Clayart archives. I would
expect pet ash to be very similar to human ash, however this analysis
is substantially lower in phosphorus than the one you posted.

LOI likely varies greatly depending on the cremation temperature,
though I can't imagine that it would ever be 95%.

ashes, kilns etc.

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One way to protect a kiln might be to fire piece(s) in a saggar, a clay vessel thrown and fired for use as a container for other bisqued pieces AND combustibles, and sometimes salt or other kiln-eating additives, which is placed inside a kiln... Unlike American raku, you can high fire and end up with a non porous (water holding) result (assuming clay was made to mature at high fire temps). There's tons of info on the internet about saggar firing...

Regarding 95%; it depends quite a bit on the temperature, doesn't it?

Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 1
City and State: new york
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Yes, And well, Have you ever had a glaze that kept settling to the bottom of your bucket! This is a common problem and may result in firing problems. When a glaze settles out, some of the heavier components of the glaze settle to the bottom of the container.
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Using Ashes for Glaze
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