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Thread: How to unglaze the interior of a clay pitcher?

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    swords's Avatar
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    How to unglaze the interior of a clay pitcher?

    I'm going to do a project and I got a neat old pitcher and I was curious if any of you know what to do to the inside of a terracotta pitcher to remove the glazing inside? It's a very old pitcher so may not have any glaze inside but if it arrives and it does have glazing inside, what could I do to remove or at least abrade the glaze surface if there is one?

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    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    If i remember from my high school ceramics class correctly, all the glaze is is melted glass. Perhaps you could use something to chip it off, maybe after you use a class-cutter to section it into little pieces? Why are you trying to un-glaze it anyway?
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    swords's Avatar
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    I want it unglazed inside so water will soak through from inside to outside the pitcher.

    I was thinking small sharp stones could be put inside and the the hole capped and shaken like a maraca for a while to wear it down. I'm just hoping there's no glaze inside when it comes, it looks ancient so with any luck there won't be.

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    One of the problems you face is that the glaze is probably quite a bit harder than the rest of the pot. Once you break through, whatever you're using to abrade it will easily eat through the rest.

    A Dremel tool with one of the many available wheels will help you to make the appropriate mess you're attempting ...
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Sandblasting would probably be the fastest, easiest way. Not necessarily the safest though. Otherwise emery paper, a wire brush or steel wool. You might find a brush type wheel attachment for a drill to do it. Depends on the size of the pot.
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    I get the feeling if it's that old, it will be brittle enough that the glaze is the thing keeping it together at this point in one piece and the second you pull the glaze off the inside, it might shatter. I think you'd be better off buying a cheap one from Ikea or Walmart or something.

    I've actually made this scenario before: used cheap clay, used glaze to keep it together XD.

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Sandblasting would probably be the fastest, easiest way.
    Maybe not. With the clay being much softer than the glazing, when the blasting grit breaks through the glazing, it will continue to eat through the remaining clay of the pot much faster than the adjacent glazing.

    In a previous life, a decision was made to strip the epoxy paint from cinder block walls in a pharmaceutical manufacturing room, prior to re-applying a new finish. All of the bidding contractors planned to do this via sandblasting & obviously they all assured us there would be no problem. Wrong. The blasting would break through the epoxy and then keep eating away at the cinder block underneath - creating large holes between almost untouched sections. The time allotted for the manufacturing shutdown increased exponentially and an entire new plan had to be developed. The ripples from this were felt for some time ....
    All the best,
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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    could you just reheat the pot? (provided you have a kiln XD) the glaze will melt right off.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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