Tip of the Week: Make Your Own Hydrometer for Glazing Success

This low-tech, homemade hydrometer can help improve your glazing results.

This low-tech, homemade hydrometer can help improve your glazing results.

In Wednesday’s feature, potter Ann Selberg stressed the importance of having glazes mixed to a consistent thickness especially when making incised ware. The purchase of a hydrometer made all the difference in the world for her. In this week’s Tip of the Week, potter Mea Rhee of Silver Spring, Maryland, tells us how to make a homemade, low-tech hydrometer for the clay studio. Whether you go high-tech or low-tech, a hydrometer can help you achieve consistent results when glazing! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

You can make an inexpensive hydrometer out of a narrow plastic bottle, which can be found in the travel section of a drugstore. Start with the tallest, skinniest bottle you can find. Fill the bottom with about 150 grams of nails. Close the bottle and carefully float it into a well-stirred bucket of glaze. Add or subtract nails until the bottle floats upright, about three-quarters submerged.
Now, when you have a batch of glaze at a consistency you like, carefully float the bottle into the glaze, and mark precisely the depth to which it sinks. You can then use this mark to check or repeat the glaze’s consistency whenever you like.
Is your glaze palette a little tired? Maybe it is time to try some new glaze recipes! If you haven’t already, download your free copy of 33 Tried and True Glaze Recipes today!

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