Fake Snow

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Maintenance | 2 comments

Shelf grinding day.  A late summer storm and kiln wash dust = a fake snow storm.

Shelf grinding day. A late summer storm and kiln wash dust = a fake snow storm.

Part of studio maintenance includes cleaning kiln shelves.  This is a messy job and not one of my favorites.  I use an angle grinder with a masonry blade to remove all the kiln wash which kicks up a ton of dust.  I wear a face mask, ear plugs, and protective eye-ware; I also wear a bandanna around my hair to keep the dust out.  It is quite the ordeal so I when I do scape shelves, I do all of them.


Here’s my process:

  • Get dressed in shelf scraping outfit
  • Gather all the shelves
  • Use angle grinder to remove all kiln wash and glaze
  • If glaze has bled into the shelf, I grind it until it is completely gone
  • Once the shelves are bare of kiln wash, I wipe them down with a large, moist sponge
  • I allow the shelve to dry before applying a thin layer of kiln wash
  • I apply a layer kiln wash and allow it to dry approximately 10 minutes
  • I apply 2-3 layers of kiln wash
  • I allow the shelves to dry completely (at least a day) before using them in a bisque fire

I have been using Jeff Campana’s kiln wash recipe.  The first few times, the kiln was was very thick and cracked quickly.  This time, I thinned the kiln wash and sieved it before applying it to the shelves.  So far, no cracks have appeared!


  1. Hi!
    I m trying Jeff’s kiln wash, I think mine is too thick 🙁
    Did you just add extra water?
    or/and extra Darvan 7??
    Also do you think I shoild wipe them down again and start w a new application ? 🙁
    Thank you,

    • Thank you for asking. I had a similar problem. The kiln wash was too thick but I used it any way. It cracked and flaked off. So I added a lot of water and re-ground the shelves. Applying the watered-down kiln was much easier and quicker – and, it dried beautifully. Don’t give up on the recipe. I have been using it since my posting and I have found that the wash lasts a really long time and is very durable. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you.

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