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  1. for you new people who think that red is the color of santa's suit you should understand that when many experienced potters talk about a red glaze they are talking about a rust color obtained from iron in the glaze recipe. it all depends on your frame of reference. if you are purchasing little bottles from a manufacturer of underglaze or glaze you have a color chart from them that shows a real, santa suit red. as you move into making your own glazes, know that the color in those commercial glazes comes from an ingredient that is dangerous for the average studio potter to use. cadmium is a carcinogen so it is not generally found in home studios. bottled red glaze should not be used on surfaces that will come in contact with food. if you want to paint little red flowers on the outside of your vases or flowerpots, go ahead, just not on a plate. potters who fire fuel burning kilns can get wonderful colors and flashing of golden highlights in their iron rich glazes. these effects are generally not available to those of us firing electric, lower temperature kilns. people like those effects and think they are "colors" and want to buy a jar of that "color". some manufacturers recognized this and have developed glazes that give some of these effects by layering glazes on top of each other. so you buy 2 or 3 jars of something that looks great on their samples but you cannot get the same results even though you try everything you can think of. (probably ruining several shelves in the meanwhile). all of this is just by way of introducing the idea that as beginners it is your responsibility to educate yourself. asking a question here is helpful to solve a single problem but it does not end your search for knowledge. if nothing else, get a fundamental book that has a thing called a glossary in the back. learn the terminology and explore the subject as thoroughly as you can. start at the beginning of a general text and READ it from cover to cover. do not skip around looking at pictures until you read the text. all this because i visited a small teaching studio while several beginners were trying to figure out how to achieve something one of them saw and wanted to duplicate. remember that ice dancing in the Olympics looks beautiful but would you expect to do that your first time out on ice? the first color is Spectrum Christmas red out of a bottle, the second is Don's crimson (not the original name, not candy apple red) and the third is from Jane Cullum who calls it Chinese Red.

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