The maiden voyage of the Uber-Blend 5000 Turbo

 I acquired this piece of machinery, the Uber Blend 5000 Turbo, from a kindergarten that had used it for mixing large batches of powdered milk. It is basically just a very heavy motor suspended beneath a large reservoir, driving some wicked looking 4 inch wide mixer blades. It is so heavy that it needs its own frame to support it and stand it up. When mixing is done, the entire reservoir can be tipped down to decant the contents.

I’ve been doing lots of glazing this last week, and decided at the last minute to test a new glaze in the upcoming firing. This glaze is basically just stamped feldspar and ash, in a 9 to 1 ratio. Anyway, mixing up this stamped feldspar is always a time consuming, tiring affair, because it comes in cakes straight from the filter press, and is like a stiff clay. Getting this to melt in water is tough. If you let it dry completely, as I have started doing, it gets rock hard, but is easy to break into smaller chunks. I’d been slaking these small chunks in water over a period of days or weeks to prepare it for thorough blending with a drill mixer, but this time I had the Uber-Blend 5000 Turbo!

Here are some of the chunks of Taishu feldspar. These were the smaller ones, measuring a couple of cm across. The largest chunks were up to about 7cm.

The Uber-Blend 5000 Turbo, in all of its sleek elegance. It is an absolute chick-magnet. With this baby parked in the studio, who needs a Lamborghini?

This is 9kg of spar and 1kg of ash turned almost instantly to smooth, silky glaze, requiring NO screening. There were a few tiny lumps left after the initial 30 seconds, an additional 5 minutes of uber blending and they were history too…

And in conclusion:  IN YER FACE, Magic Bullet!

Happy potting everyone.