New Glaze Firing …

Well the latest firing seems to have finally jumped that gap between what I want and what I actually end up with. After a couple of previous firings that I wasn’t completely happy with I decided to start over with my glaze choices. I’ve been searching for a combination that would produce an appearance close to my previous work – which was all gas fired (reduction/oxidation) to cone 10. I still think for the time being that my choice to move down into mid-range stoneware (cone 6+) is a good choice for long term production. It’s just not been that easy to reproduce cone 10 effects as I had hoped.

S0, in my quest for colorful, yet matte glazes, I’ve switched over to a calcium matte glaze as my base. I wanted a formula that matures properly with the clay bodies I use and is long term stable. I’ve used these types of glazes at higher temps and have never had issues with them but here again, firing at cone 6 is much different!

I tested 4 glazes this time around. The base white glaze, two colored versions, and an iron red glaze that gives more of a satin finish if fired properly. Well the base glaze turned out as expected. White. Matte. The cobalt blue version of the base turned out better than I could have hoped. Definitely a keeper (and with further modification can be extended into several shades). It wasn’t as blue as I had expected but I found I really liked the almost pale Carolina Blue. Texturing also produced some very interesting surface effects. The second colored version was supposed to come out a nice yellow. It didn’t. I ended up with a decent taupe color (but definitely not what I wanted). Whether from the clay body or the firing I’m still not sure why this one didn’t come out correctly. The iron red glaze didn’t come out red either (iron reds are notoriously difficult) but it did come out a somewhat rust color with red, brown, and green flecks. It didn’t come out as expected, but I really like the glaze and I was able to get some very interesting mottling where combined with my texturing glaze.

So overall I was very happy with the way most of the pieces turned out. I’m going to play with the blue glaze much more and I’m planning on extending it out with some copper, iron, etc. versions. I’d love to develop some green and pink/purple versions. My base texture glaze reacted very differently with the calcium matte glaze but I love the effects it created. This round of testing gave me several glazes I was extremely happy with – now I have a good starting point!

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