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Chantay

Developing Glazes As A Body Of Work

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Hi all,

 

I have been able to consistently mix and use several glazes that I'm very happy with. Now I am trying to find a group of glazes that can be used with each other. Even if it is only two colors on an item. All my work is functional. I feel overwhelmed by the number of choices and am looking for a method to narrow down my search.

 

My glaze chemistry knowledge is limited as I am mostly self taught. I like glazes that run and can be over lapped. I fire cone 6 electric on white stone ware.

 

Thanks for any help offered.

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I have used the recipes in John Hasselberth & Ron Roy's book, Mastering Cone 6. I have had to test a lot, but I have two that I like most. Waterfall Brown and Bright Sky Blue. Now that I found the SG I like and the application it's making me smile. The BSB is very stable. The WB can run when applied thick. I use a 1 sec dip and another dip at the top for a sec or two. I have used their Raspberry. I like it too, but I still need to tweek it. 

I also use Cream Rust from Bill van Gilder's Website. I like it very much. He also has a green I am going to try, Rutile Green. 

But, I have plans to use the BSB base and start experimenting with oxides and stains. 

I fire on Aardvark Bee Mix 5. ^6.

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marko,  van gilder's rutile green makes a variety of colors other than green.  i have tested it many, many times with oxides, carbonates and stains.  most are very good colors.  hope you enjoy it.

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Make a few dozen test tiles, and spend an afternoon testing all of the 2-glaze combinations you can make with your glazes, and all of the 3-glaze combinations. Repeat using different application methods, dipping vs spraying vs brushing. Make sure to record everything on paper, this approach requires a chart or a spreadsheet.

 

When I used to teach in a community center, where there were about 30 good glazes to choose from, I would encourage this systematic approach. For the ones who took the time to do it, the results were clear. Within a few months they had developed distinctively beautiful glazing approaches, the kind that makes other potters say "that must be so-and-so's pot" and "how did she do that?"

 

And here's an interesting side note ... even if you tell another potter exactly how the beautiful glazing approach was done, the other potter cannot repeat it exactly. There are too many subtle differences in techniques between one potter and the next. So it only works if you develop the approach yourself, using your own techniques.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I just keep thinking there must be a more direct path that I'm failing to see due to a lack of knowledge. In the past year I've made about 600 test tiles. I have cross tested my favorite 6 glazes. The problem I'm having now is glaze A looks best at cone 5. Glaze B is best at cone 6. Glaze C needs a 3 hour cool down. I think I'm going to ditch the cone 5 glazes from the menu. I got super results with the three hour slow cool, but only with some combinations. And it's a three hour cool down, not 1 1/2, or 2. I think things would go faster with a digital controller on my small kiln. As it is I have to fill the big one completely for each firing. Half full the kiln fires different.

 

At this point I can see where college classes would really help. You can't take classes in ceramics dept. at the local University unless you in the ceramics program full time.

 

Christmas show then moving. Guess I will start again in January.

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Depending on what you are looking for I've found with layered glazes that having 2 dissimilar glazes can make a more interesting glaze than 2 similar ones. A runny glaze over or under a stiff one or a gloss over or under a matte. For variegation try having glazes with some rutile or titanium. 

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Chantay, you did not mention the all the different firing schedules before, and that some of your glazes are very fussy. That is the real problem, that will prevent you from moving forward. You probably don't want to hear this, but of the three glazes you like, you need to drop two of them. Give yourself one firing schedule for everything. As you've already figured out, there are still enough variables to juggle!

 

Your next steps are to develop new glazes (again you probably don't want to hear that) that are meant for your chosen firing schedule. Looking for glaze combinations will have to wait until after that.

 

In my business, I adopted a "no fussy glazes" policy early on. No matter how pretty they are, they are not worth the time spent, or pots ruined. Ain't got time for fussy glazes!

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. The problem I'm having now is glaze A looks best at cone 5. Glaze B is best at cone 6. Glaze C needs a 3 hour cool down. 

 

Another thread today talks about different cones on different shelves, thus allowing three different glazes to be fired at the same time.  Would this work for your glazes A and B ???

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I'd recommend using one base that can handle the same schedule. It is not a good idea to have too many variants in the firings.  Old lady is getting lots of results with one base. I agree with Min, find the one you like best and vary the colorants. Simplify your production efforts. Today's Ceramic Art Daily Freebies has a free download for tips on Electric kiln firing and glazes recipes.

 

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/free-gifts/electric-kiln-firing-techniques-and-tips-inspiration-instruction-and-glaze-recipes-for-electric-ceramic-kilns/

 

 

Marcia

 

Marcia

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Thanks everyone for the ideas. 

 

I think I Knew the answer and was just deluding myself.... 

 

Chilly,  I have actually been doing this.  The temp difference from the top of my kiln to the bottom is only half a cone but it works.  It took forever, like a year, for me to figure this out.  Why a certain glaze only worked sometimes.  I learned to  take photos when I empty the kiln and keep the pots in groups as to what shelf they were on in the kiln after the firing.  Then carefully study the results.  This is how I figured out many of my glase (the letter after y is stuck) results.

 

Now I need to figure out what to do with the four boxes of pottery that is functional, but not the glaze I want.  I hate to toss it all.

 

Marci, the issue with your suggestion is that I don't think the glazes I like best work that way.  Well see.  My favorites are the Alberta Slip glazes.  Alberta slip, frit, and Rutile = blue.  Alberta slip + frit = honey gold.  Any suggestions on variations from here?  I did find a recipe that is Alberta slip + frit+ Gert Bort + Dolomite + silica.  It is also a type of blue.  We'll see.  who knows what I will find.  I'm still happy as a lark with my last discovery.  Never thought I would find a glaze mix I had never seen before.

 

 

 

 

post-13967-0-62406600-1446232553_thumb.jpg

post-13967-0-62406600-1446232553_thumb.jpg

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Chilly,

 

where is this thread you speak of?  I can't find it.

 

I was afraid you'd ask this question Chantay :(   

 

Memory is so fickle, I can remember reading something, but not in which thread or who by.  I'l keep looking and re-post when I find it.

 

Edit:  Found it:  http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/12955-do-you-use-cone-packs-in-an-electric-kiln/?hl=shelf

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Chantay, your Alberta Slip glazes are perfect for using as a base glaze. The base is the frit and the slip. If you have colourants like iron, copper, rutile, cobalt, tin or zircopax for opacity, etc. you can do some simple line blends and get a broad range of possible glazes. From there you can do some double dip tests, and you have a pallete. You're closer than you think.

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Hi all,

 

I have been able to consistently mix and use several glazes that I'm very happy with. Now I am trying to find a group of glazes that can be used with each other. Even if it is only two colors on an item. All my work is functional. I feel overwhelmed by the number of choices and am looking for a method to narrow down my search.

 

My glaze chemistry knowledge is limited as I am mostly self taught. I like glazes that run and can be over lapped. I fire cone 6 electric on white stone ware.

 

Thanks for any help offered.

There is a great on line course for glazes.  Look up Matrix on line glaze course.

David

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Hi all,

 

I have been able to consistently mix and use several glazes that I'm very happy with. Now I am trying to find a group of glazes that can be used with each other. Even if it is only two colors on an item. All my work is functional. I feel overwhelmed by the number of choices and am looking for a method to narrow down my search.

 

My glaze chemistry knowledge is limited as I am mostly self taught. I like glazes that run and can be over lapped. I fire cone 6 electric on white stone ware.

 

Thanks for any help offered.

There is a great on line glaze course. Look for Matrix on line glaze course.

David 

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Guest JBaymore

Chantay,

 

There is quite a difference between looking at "glaze chemistry" and "glazing".

 

While I certainly feel that a basic glaze chem understanding is important for most potters in today's world, what it sounds like you are really after at the moment is "glazing".

 

We even offer a course titled "Glaze as a Verb".  It focuses on the act of using glazes to achieve results.... not on the chemical basis for the development of glazes ( we have that one too).

 

Setting up controlled testing is the way that you want to go.  Not testing from a chemical standpoint.... but from an application standpoint.  Lots of "structure" to the work....systems and recordkeeping.

 

Working on controlling variables that affect outcomes.  Looking at the effect of bisque cone on application qualities.  Looking at the impact of specific gravity/viscosity on application.  Looking a the differences between dipping, pouring, and spraying the same glaze.  Accurately working on gauging thicknesses.  Glaze A over glaze B and vice versa.  Wet blending of any two or three glazes.  Changing firing cycles, (not end point cones).  And so on.

 

It takes time... but that is how you really learn to USE the materials for maximum effect.

 

best,

 

.......................john

 

PS:  If you are also interested in glaze CHEMISTRY...see Mike Katz's posting from yesterday in "Ceramic Events" for the Alfred glaze course that is now available online.

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