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Tamas

Whieldon Glaze

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I'm not convinced the glaze is that much like a (Thomas) Whieldon glaze, TBH.

Either way, it's a nice lead glaze, on earthenware, and you'll have difficulty reproducing the effects using anything else, given the limpid, lustrous depth of the finish. In the (UK, antiques) trade it's known as a tortoiseshell finish. Although that term ought more properly be used to describe brown mottled ware, it's often used to describe coloured cloudy effects as well.

In essence, you're looking at a lead glaze with oxides added underneath, most usually copper, manganese, iron and antimony, possibly in slips, depending on the exact look. The Whieldon ware (mid-1700s) used this technique, with the oxides sponged directly onto biscuit, and then glazed with lead.

You could equally use several lead glazes with different oxides, sponged/daubed/splashed/run/double dipped, depending on the precise effect you are looking for. The lead glaze smooths things out, and merges/runs together to give the glory of the glaze. Particularly effective with copper carbonate or oxide, which 'clouds' beautifully in lead.

That's how it's done. I'll leave it to others to be stern about lead glazes, especially in combination with copper...

Edited by Sputty

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Thank you very much for the explanation - it's a fascinating effect. Yes, I know lead is a contentious topic, although as far as I am aware the acceptable limits are higher here in the UK and several distinguished slipware potters still use lead based frits on their ware.

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Yes, plenty of UK potters using lead frit glazes (and even more French ones!), and many large commercial producers still use lead as a matter of course. When I made earthenware, I used nothing else... there really is nothing to compare, and no substitute.

I'm not sure whether acceptable levels are higher in the UK/EU, or whether people are just more even-keeled about these things. Either way, things will probably change soon.

There are several threads here about the use of lead, and food safety issues in general. It's a fascinating area, both technically and legally, and one which is nowhere near as simple as is sometimes made out by those who would 'hang us high'.

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Anybody contemplating the use of lead in their glazes needs to do their due diligence in regards to health and safety and the legal aspects of it's use in their jurisdiction. Total body burden, especially for children, can be devastating with life long effects.  One of the longer discussions on the use of lead and implications thereof on this forum can be found here. This has nothing to do with "hang us high" sentiment, it has everything to do with the multifaceted and extremely negative consequences of cumulative exposure to lead.

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6 minutes ago, Min said:

Anybody contemplating the use of lead in their glazes needs to do their due diligence in regards to health and safety and the legal aspects of it's use in their jurisdiction.

Of course, As with any other material. And those of us who do use lead (or used to) have always been aware of that, and have taken the necessary steps to ensure personal safety and the safety of products, and compliance with statute. It is taken very seriously.

And having done all that, are still told they are wrong to do so.

I've taken part in many threads about lead and food safety in general on this forum, always contributing researched and referenced material (example: European "Food safe" regulation). But there is no winning this argument - the "hang 'em high" sentiment certainly does exist - and I don't like conflict, so I'm outa here.

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As a large public forum that is read by many people with a wide range of knowledge and expertise, the potential dangers of lead use needed to be pointed out as we don't know the knowledge level of all who might be reading this thread now and in the future. It needed to be said that anyone contemplating the use of lead needs to inform themselves fully.

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