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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Testing: glues and glazes

My early training is in medicine, and more recently I have worked in textiles and printmaking. Experimenting, sampling, and proofing have been drilled into me in many ways. Knowing that glues would be a vital part of the structural integrity of my work, I started early with my tests.

My first attempts were with two-part epoxy glues (Araldite and friends) because I've had some success with them in the past. They hold well, but I struggled to be tidy with them, so the work was marred by unwanted streaks of glue. My other problem was drying time: the shorter the advertised drying time, the weaker the bond and since the glues are quite liquid I had trouble keeping things in the right place.

The next family of glues were the one drop-type superglues. These ended up being my favourites for attaching things to the shards, but not for bonding shard to shard. As you can see, I struggled to be tidy... These are the glues that notoriously stick skin to skin, but even so, they need a 12-24 hour curing time. I'm using masking tape to splint the joins while they cure.

Finally, I found the aptly named Kintsuglue. It's more like a kneadable bonding putty than a glue, which gave me a distinct line at the join. It's easy enough to clean off the surface once dry, though I should have paid more attention to the fragility of the bond, because that became a problem down the track. I tested both black and white, but settled on the subtlety of the white putty.

To glaze my porcelain, I chose a commercial clear satin glaze. I tested gloss and crackle glazes too, but simplicity was the goal.

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