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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q.  How do you make the slides?

A.  I make the slides by hand in small batches.  I extrude our high-fire stoneware clay through my home-built extruder. The slides are not slip-cast.  They are crafted by hand.  Each die is designed to specs that will take into account a calculated shrinkage rate between the organic, wet clay and the finished procuct, which gets fired twice!  I fire hotter than porcelain yeilding a more durable, tough slide than "slip-cast" or "so-called solid block clay" slides.  I hand finish/detail each slide... some on the wheel, some free-hand,  before the first firing.  After the first firing, I detail again and then hand dip each slide in my personally-developed glaze formulas, and then fire them a second time. You can really see the finish quality and detail if you look at high-resolution close-up photos of my slides and bars compared to other maker's products.  The quality shows!

Q.  Why stoneware?

A.  My wife and I have been making high-fire stoneware pottery for a combined 60+ years.  You are invited to check out our pottery web site at www.clayrabbit.com .  Stoneware's properties are well known in the ceramic world as being the toughest, most durable clay body available.  Ten years ago, when I first thought of making these, I wanted to use a material we understood and could consistantly control... and besides, no one else in the world was using stoneware to make slides.. so why not try it?  The end result is fantastic!

Q.  Will the glazed surface wear?

A.  My glaze formulas are time-tested and extremely hard due to a high content of silica and a special formulation of additional natural elements.  I make the glaze in small batches to control quality and provide consistant results.  The glaze will not wear out or scratch.  It yeilds a very smooth surface with no "bumps" or surface imperfections to create un-wanted noise.  The blue slides have the same glaze formula as the clear/white slides with the exception of added cobalt oxide.

Q.  Do the colors affect tone?

A.  When I started making these, I wasn't sure what the result would be... but I found that, indeed, the blue slide has a different tone, a bit warmer, than the clear/white, a bit brighter.  They sound fuller than brass, metal, porcelain, or glass... yet retain a bit of highs for a well-balanced tone.  For the player looking for more "tone" options, these ceramic slides and tone bars should be checked out.

Q.  Do you offer custom sizes and shapes?

A.  Yes!  All current sizes and shapes were developed with a focus group of veteran players who gave me the specs of slides they wanted to own.  I did not copy other makers' products.  My slides and bars were developed independently and demonstrate design innovations and attention to details important to players.  After making hundreds of prototype/attempts, I was finally able to deliver their "custom" requests.  Further, because I make these by hand, one at a time, it is fairly easy for me to alter length dimensions to suit a player's special requirements.  I also make custom shapes and quote those on a case-by-case basis.

Q.  Some slides available today claim to be bent to match string radius and are unglazed inside to absorb moisture, do you make these?

A.  No, I don't make absorbent guitar slides and I don't sell bent guitar slides.  If you look closely at my hand-crafted ceramic guitar slides and bars, you will see a very silky-smooth surface, it's an "organic look" that does not have the rigid, harsh look of a tooled-steel cylinder.  Because it is extremely hard to control clay distortion, there is a percentage of slides that I make which never see the light of day... I discard them.  I try to keep only the best, most uniform slides and bars.  So as I move through my process to make these, I will discard "failures" along the way.

As far as absorbing moisture is concerned, the higher you fire, the less moisture the clay body will absorb.  If it absorns moisture, it isn't fired as hot as my slides... and won't be as durable.  Period.  End of story.  If a slide fits your finger and is held properly, it won't slip off your finger.

An old-fashioned test one can conduct to estimate pottery fire temperature is to pick up a piece of pottery or ceramic and put your tongue on the unglazed surface, if it sticks a little bit, it is not truly high-fire. 

High-fire is the most durable, most desired, and most expensive ceramic process out there.  I believe it helps to make Paloma Stone Slides the best ceramic slides and bars available today.

Q.  Why should I buy Paloma Guitar Slides and Bars?

A.  My slides and bars are designed by players... to be used by players.  Each ceramic guitar slide and ceramic tone bar is designed and hand-crafted to become a part of your instrument, a part your personality, a reflection of your musical values, and a conduit for your ultimate quest for "tone".

 

If you have a question that isn't covered here, please send it along to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I'll be happy to reply.