Jump to content
Pres

QotW:At what point in a potter's career does he/she stop searching for and testing new glazes?

Recommended Posts

dhPotter recently posted in the QotW pool: 

At what point in a potter's career does he/she stop searching for and testing new glazes?

When does the potter become satisfied with his/her stable of glazes and says "This is enough"?

I really don't know how to answer that, as I am still keeping notes on new glazes, watching for ingredients and percentages, constantly interested in new glazes and trying out quite a few in 100 g test batches. Over the years, my own work has changed quite a bit as I learned more about glaze. ... I had never had a glaze theory/making/testing class. However, as I had been a math/science major in the early days of my college education and worked as a lab assistant nights glaze chemistry is not too distant a reach for me. I have learned to be more intuitive of late as I understand much more about how things react in a glaze than I have before. I was a teacher in a HS, and as my budget was a small for the size of my classes, I turned to mixing my own glazes as a way to get the most bang for my buck. I had around 20 glazes I mixed for classes, and then a few that I used in large powdered lots of commercial glaze. 

In my own work, I started out by saving money with just one white glaze that I sprayed underglazes and stains over top of for color and decoration using dipping and atomizer spraying. Over the years I have changed from that to airbrushing using a series of blue, brown and green glazes over a creamy tan white that reacts well over texture as now my decoration comes in stamped and carved decoration put in before shaping.

I really don't think potters say. . . enough, especially with the way the technology and understanding increases as we keep exploring the medium. Maybe I'm wrong, and after all it is only my personal opinion.  Thanks for the question dhPotter.

 

best,

Pres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure thats a ever for me. That said I seem to get about 12-15 glazes going at any one time.-over time I experiment anbd bring is a new one to the fold and usuallt take one out.

Thats happend a few years ago with an iron saturated glaze I now make with synthectic iron and am phasing out the old iron glaze. The new one is much brighter and almost red in certain situations.

I have a few glazes that I have used my whole career  and my costomers still crave them.

Test for me works in cycles of how bored I get with my glazes and how much spare time I have to adress the testing period.

I know for example I have big (last remodel of house) on our bedroom this late spring/summer and thats will take up all testing time so its now or fall for me for new colors.

as to the remodel its a full gut interior-raising the floor 11 inches to match rest of house as one level. Raising the ceiling at least 1 foot-That means collar ties and adding 2x6 to ceiling,making walls 2x6 over 2x4 as is currently by adding furring strips to studs.

Adding a very small 1/2 bath with wall monted Toto Toilet and a small corner sink. maple hardwood floor-moving closet into two closets. Moveing entry door 6 inchs over to fit closets .New  windows(3 -3x6s) perment color outside wood interior. Maple trim throughout. New wiring (last room to get this).

Puting in a small mini split AC /heat pump unit for this room .(its about 16x 15 if I recall.)taking out the exterior door and  filling in the 5/8 x 10  old growth redwood siding with cider siding(already have it)

Adding new insulation and 5/8 sheet rock as well.

I'm doing all the mechanical/electrical and helping with some wood work and doing the trim

This room was a add on in 1962 about 10 years before I boughtb the property and its all made from old growth redwood-and is currenty covered with mahogany paneling-the real stuff. Its that only room left thats not 5/8 sheet rock.

And as you may have guessed I'm not going to be making many pots during May 20th and the later part of June-But they are getting made NOW.

Sorry I got a wee bit sidetracked on the glaze question

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with crystalline glaze, and still firing crystalline glaze. I experiment with other glazes from time to time; but mostly to see their reaction to a specific clay body. Now I have been working on a series of "reactive" porcelains, to see how they react to reduction, wood, salt, and raku firings. Thanks to my fellow potters who have helped me in that research.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How could you ever stop looking for new glazes!?!  One of the main things I love about pottery in general is that there is always something to do.  It's throwing, it's trimming, it's decorating and glazing and firing and maintenance and the list goes on forever!  What a joy it all is, and testing new glazes is a huge addition to that joy!  I wish I could do it more often, I have so many great ideas and they only rarely get a chance to be tested!  

I feel like when I test out new glazes everything looks great and I wasted time doing a small batch on tiles.  So the next time I test a new glaze I skip it and just make a few gallons, only to have it look like dookie and ruin 10 mugs.  Oh well, some lessons are never learned, just oscillate back and forth from failure to success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just startin' out here, not likely to run out of glaze questions, ever; ah don' even have the rainbow dialed yet - no yellow, orange or true violet.

Mark, you gonna love your toto.

 

toototo.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at Raspberry/ Cranberry glazes posted on the forum recently, I started copying them into the glaze software. I asked myself "Why am I doing this, I already have 2 very nice recipes." I posed this question to another potter which said "If you are curious you will always be testing glazes".  That's the answer. That and "is the next glaze the Greatest I have ever seen?" I want to know what it will look like on my clay and if the new glaze is "better" than what I have tested before now.

Perhaps Terrim8 has the correct answer, for me anyways, "till death due us part".

Trying to pare down the number of glazes. Threw out 2 more this morning. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hulk said:

Just startin' out here, not likely to run out of glaze questions, ever; ah don' even have the rainbow dialed yet - no yellow, orange or true violet.

Mark, you gonna love your toto.

 

toototo.jpg

Hulk We have a few Totos already -one is the top of the line thats does everything except open the seat lid. Heated and washout -no music

Traveled enough in Asia to appreciate them-we have  regular toto in spare  bath

The 1/2 bath one will hang off wall  with free space under it as water tank is in the wall. Very little space in that small room without a door(no room for door) just a small  glass block visual block wall  about 4 feet tall. That floor will be maple as well.

On a side note I still fish out of Trinadad every summer myself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have two plain ol' Toto units - water savers, easy clean.

Side side note, Gran'ma an' Gran'pa lived cater corner across from Trinity elementary ...looks like 463 Trinity St on google map, was a clothing store last time we were there, ~2005

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hulk said:

We have two plain ol' Toto units - water savers, easy clean.

Side side note, Gran'ma an' Gran'pa lived cater corner across from Trinity elementary ...looks like 463 Trinity St on google map, was a clothing store last time we were there, ~2005

You talking about in Trinidad I assume?No clothing stores there now.I sell and have sold pottery in that town at the Eatery since 1973 myself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oops, cater corner from Trinidad Elementary on Trinity Street, yep. My brother and I spent summer '70 there, an' several weeks every summer thereafter until grandpa passed; I don' remember being there in 60-61 when gramps got hurt - I was little, err, young.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pulled a lot of $$ from that town as its a tourist meca in summer and that shop has sold my wares for 46 years now and also pulled a lot of fish from the sea out front-also a fair amount from underwater there as well. The only marine railway operating  on the west coast to luanch your boat as well. Very unique spot on this Earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2019 at 8:01 PM, Mark C. said:

I'm not sure thats a ever for me. That said I seem to get about 12-15 glazes going at any one time.-over time I experiment anbd bring is a new one to the fold and usuallt take one out.

Thats happend a few years ago with an iron saturated glaze I now make with synthectic iron and am phasing out the old iron glaze. The new one is much brighter and almost red in certain situations.

I have a few glazes that I have used my whole career  and my costomers still crave them.

Test for me works in cycles of how bored I get with my glazes and how much spare time I have to adress the testing period.

I know for example I have big (last remodel of house) on our bedroom this late spring/summer and thats will take up all testing time so its now or fall for me for new colors.

as to the remodel its a full gut interior-raising the floor 11 inches to match rest of house as one level. Raising the ceiling at least 1 foot-That means collar ties and adding 2x6 to ceiling,making walls 2x6 over 2x4 as is currently by adding furring strips to studs.

Adding a very small 1/2 bath with wall monted Toto Toilet and a small corner sink. maple hardwood floor-moving closet into two closets. Moveing entry door 6 inchs over to fit closets .New  windows(3 -3x6s) perment color outside wood interior. Maple trim throughout. New wiring (last room to get this).

Puting in a small mini split AC /heat pump unit for this room .(its about 16x 15 if I recall.)taking out the exterior door and  filling in the 5/8 x 10  old growth redwood siding with cider siding(already have it)

Adding new insulation and 5/8 sheet rock as well.

I'm doing all the mechanical/electrical and helping with some wood work and doing the trim

This room was a add on in 1962 about 10 years before I boughtb the property and its all made from old growth redwood-and is currenty covered with mahogany paneling-the real stuff. Its that only room left thats not 5/8 sheet rock.

And as you may have guessed I'm not going to be making many pots during May 20th and the later part of June-But they are getting made NOW.

Sorry I got a wee bit sidetracked on the glaze question

Sounds like fun, @Mark C.! The old redwood and mahogany are treasures. I love the Toto I got for my tenant - nickname: Big Gulp!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever there is a question with a very dominant answer, I like to ask myself what situation could turn the answer around.

I know that Louise Nevelson was an abstract  sculptor rather than a potter, but her body of sculptural work, at least after her earliest beginnings, was painted black. She made a few all white pieces and a few gold, but she spent her career exploring form in black.

There are creative people who find it intriguing to work under a constraint, though in her case she simply felt that black contained all colors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gabby said:

Whenever there is a question with a very dominant answer, I like to ask myself what situation could turn the answer around.

I know that Louise Nevelson was an abstract  sculptor rather than a potter, but her body of sculptural work, at least after her earliest beginnings, was painted black. She made a few all white pieces and a few gold, but she spent her career exploring form in black.

There are creative people who find it intriguing to work under a constraint, though in her case she simply felt that black contained all colors.

Well, Louise did try other colors :/ 

For potters, though, barring deliberate constraints like glazenerd's or economic/local restrictions, probably very few potters find a favorite glaze and never change it, never look for variety. It would have to be a very successful formula for them. Sometimes even when we don't want to change, we must, as when Kingman Spar was no longer available. Changing locations/kilns can sometimes mess with a glaze too. Even when I still had Kingman, we could never get Stoneware Yellow in my home kiln. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rae Reich said:

probably very few potters find a and never change it, never look for variety. It would have to be a very successful formula for them.

When we were firing in oxidation I was lucky enough to have 3 glazes that I was satisfied with. They fit, played very nicely, behaved on the pot as well as in the bucket. They were complete for the most part. The public liked them and could match pieces from year to year.

They took a few years to develop but they were complete in my eyes. This was a few years ago so a decades worth of perspective might offer some insight but I'll leave them for some other year.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What ??? Kingman Spar was no longer available.?? Rae i this is not quite true for me.

Good thing I loved my Whamo Mamo Matt on stoneware so much back in the day-(kingman was the only sparr that worked well for that glaze) when i caught wind of Kingmans dimise I found the guy who still owned the mine and drove to Kingman  AZ in early 80s  and bought 30 #100 bags-it cost $300 . I still am using kingman in 99% of all my galzes and am down to only 5 bags #100 left.

The funny part of this story is sometine around 2000 I thought I had to much and tried to sell some. A fellow from middle California sent away a sample to be analyzed and it was just off the orginal published thresholds and tuned down buying any. Best thing that happend to me with feldspar really. I started using it in place of custard in all glazes not just a few. Then Custar when sideways but my kingman well shes still here for me.

Within a few years I switched to all porcelain studio and gave up the Mamo Wamo on stoneware.I had a mountain of kingman at that time.

I have lots of albany as well and kona F4 orginal bags-its a material horader problem for me.When I need a material I want to walk a few feet and use it.

I need to start using them again.

I got an e-mail recently of someone who ran accross the old add asking if I had any for sale. Well I said its about 20 years to late. My kingman and me will run out about the same time 

The only thing is now I cannot lift a 100# bag very easy and need help with them. I used to toss them -getting old is not for the weak of heart.

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, C.Banks said:

When we were firing in oxidation I was lucky enough to have 3 glazes that I was satisfied with. They fit, played very nicely, behaved on the pot as well as in the bucket. They were complete for the most part. The public liked them and could match pieces from year to year.

They took a few years to develop but they were complete in my eyes. This was a few years ago so a decades worth of perspective might offer some insight but I'll leave them for some other year.

 

And then you changed the way you fired?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whamo mamo on sandstone buff Quyle clay cone 10 reduction.

I worked on this glaze in glaze cal class way back when-I'll dig out the old formula 

This set is in daily use since 1976-78?

 

mamo.jpg

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a bit like asking at what point in a life do you stop breathing? 

I'm doing less pottery and more glass, spinning, weaving, sewing, especially during the winter, but in all my hobbies there is always a "ooh, wonder what will happen if I........"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whamo Mamo Matt

Kingman feldspar- 49

china clay-21

Dolomite-19

whiting-4

Tin-8

One of my many glaze projects in school was doing a line blend on this glaze to see where it could be made cheaper and maintain color and surface

My new improved glaze was Wham Mamo II-

same formula but

tin is 4 and zircopax is 4 to tall that 8

This is my favorite glad from the 70s

I fired it on a buff to dark stoneware body in solid reduction to soft cone 10s

This glaze is super tough and lasts a lifetime in use. 

I also did all my own bathroom shower wrap around and tiled window and sink and sink top and backsplash in 1982 -still looking sharp today.

we eat off all sizes of plates made with this glaze as well.

I sold a set of dinnerware to my mentor long ago and added to it for his son who inherited it later in life.I made several sets back then and that are all going strong now. I got my mothers set back after my sister was done with it. I gave part of that to my mentors son as I cannot get this effect anymore while firing my porcelain loads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.