Is there Magic Water for life?


Stuck together again.

I was in too much of a hurry yesterday. I had several things planned and scheduled for specific times. One of the tasks was to check the firing of flat tiles at the studio which is about 15 minutes away and put the top plug in the kiln to slow the cooldown, but the temperature was still going up at 10:30 and it was time to go help a friend put tile on the side of the cement stairs in her garden. I left the studio planning to come back later because said friend only had an hour and 15 minutes to do the tiling. An hour and 15 should have been no problem for the small job. I brought the mortar and mixed it up like I have done numerous times for my mosaics but because I was hurrying (I’d like to blame it on hurrying and not ineptitude), I started with too much water and used all the mortar and the mixture was really runny. We were determined to get those tiles on so we glopped up the tiles and stuck them up. Miraculously, they seemed to stay in place, but I was worried. I went back to the studio with pictures in my mind of slipped and skewed tiles irreversibly drying on her wall.

Back at the studio, I plugged the kiln and then decided to take out the flower I had made the day before and photograph it. I guess I jiggled while I moved it and the flower part toppled over, taking out several “leaves” and “petals” on its way down. Today I think it would have been a good idea to take a picture of all the parts so you could see the poor broken petals and leaves on the floor, but yesterday I was too disheartened. With a deep sigh and a glance at the clock – remembering my tight schedule – I got out the magic water and started patching. Luckily the flower is made of paper clay because in about 20 minutes the pieces were back together, with only one leaf at kind of a funny angle. The magic water really sucks the pieces together (yes, that’s a scientific term, forget flocculation or deflocculation).

I took this picture and rushed home to change clothes and ran off for a consultation about one of my private tutoring students, but the special ed teacher was out and the meeting canceled. (“Oh, didn’t they call you?” Sigh.)

There were a couple more small disappointments or mistakes as the day wore into evening – I bought the wrong kind of plant for cleaning indoor air ( see my previous post), dinner was mildly unappetizing – and I started thinking about how great it would be to have some magic water for life. A quick fix or a second chance.

I have just switched from using vinegar to magic water for attaching and mending. I’ve read that sometimes magic water leaves a discoloration after firing. Will I wish I had a do over for the magic water?


5 responses to “Is there Magic Water for life?

  1. What a beautiful clay plant – glad you could save it. I’ve heard the peace plant is good for cleaning indoor air. Folks should really call when stuff is cancelled. Do you make your own paper clay? Would you mind sharing your recipe for magic water – I am sure I will need it some day.

  2. Hi Linda,
    The peace plant is high on the list of good plants for indoor air, and I think they are beautiful, but for some reason, they have never liked my house and I have managed to kill off or severely stunt 3 of them.

    Maybe someday I will make my own paper clay. Now I buy it from Leslie Ceramics.

    The recipe for Magic Water I use is:
    1 liter water
    2 teaspoons sodium silicate
    1/4 teaspoon soda ash

    The sodium silicate is sometimes called Eggkeep and might be in a drugstore, but, again, I got mine at Leslie’s.

  3. Yes please, send me some magic water for life. I need something! First I had the stomach flu for 3 days and then just as I recovered from that I got a cold which almost went away and then came back twice as bad!

  4. Barbara, Gosh, your plant is so beautiful and I am glad you were able to save it.

    I’m coming to San Fran this Thursday, the 5th and will stay until the 11th. I am going to stay with Diana Fayt for a couple of days and do the Andrew Martin workshop at Fourth and Clay. Then I’m heading to Oakland to stay with a glass artist friend. It will be my first visit and I am very excited.

  5. Rene, sounds like a great trip. I wanted to do the workshop at Fourth and Clay, but too bad for me, it’s on a day that I can’t come. I hope they do more workshops.
    If you find yourself free on the 10th, I’ll show you around Berkeley!

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