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How Did You Choose Your Glaze Pallet?


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#1 clay lover

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 08:15 AM

I have been thinking I might have too many different glazes in my studio, but can't figure out how to choose which ones to eliminate.

How many do you use regularly  If you only have a few, say 3-5, do you only make things that you feel will look good in those glazes ?

 

I am always thinking of something new piece I want to make and then figuring out which glaze to put on it afterwards.  Probably following form first and finished look later. 

I will follow my inspiration through the making of the new piece until I am really happy with the shape, pattern, texture, etc. and sometime it get bisque and sits until I decide which of many glazes it needs.

  Not the most efficient way to make, for sure, and not what I do always, but often enough to be bugging me.  If I narrow my glaze group, It will be harder to finish those pieces, but I have too many variables in each kiln right now.



#2 JBaymore

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:52 AM

My main pallate of glazes has been just about constant for about 35 years now....give or take a raw material change or two. They have been selected to reflect the quiet aesthetic I wish to express in my work, born of a love for the surface of the southwestern desert landscapes of America that I explored as a kid, combined with the influences of the Japanese wabi approach to Chado.

 

I know this following will sound like a bunch of BS to many..... but I feel that I am JUST beginning to master their use. Had I flitted around with continuing to try glaze after glaze after glaze..... I feel it would have restricted my development rather than expand on it. But I have to say that I did do a LOT of glaze testing early on in my studies before I kind of 'settled' on the following listing.

 

Doing this list from memory....... might miss one ('senior moment')........ a tenmoku black, a kaki (persimmon red),a fake nuka (semi-transparent white), a real nuka (very expensive due to imported rice husk ash), an Oribe-type transparent green, an opal-ish chun, a local materials wood ash/granite glaze (varies in color with application/firing), a wood ash gray Karatsu-type glaze, a wood ash runny gray-green glaze, a deep crackle that can be either a icy semi-opaque clear or a celadon, and two main American-style shinos.

 

I'm still experimenting (past two years or so) with adding a very new shino and a black gloss combo..... I still don't "own" it. I have a lease/purchase option on it at the moment ;) .

 

Also still working on developing a Hagi-type glaze that works well....it constantly defeats me. Such a simple glaze... that is SO difficult to get right.

 

I just added a pretty successful hare's fur tenmoku that I think I'll be keeping.

 

HUM........ thinking about that.... maybe I'm having an "old age crisis" with these sudden new changes......... adding in the potter's equivalent of the "little red sports car". I know that I am also toying with adding a small anagama to my kilns.

 

To this above I can also add red, green, yellow, and blue overglaze enamels. And three different types of gold lusters.

 

Because I fire a multi-chamber wood kiln (noborigama), I can vary the atmosphere and end-point cone a lot easily. So the above gives me an unbeliveable range of possibilities. Already too many really. Also add to the above the impacts of kiln placement and fly ash and flashing.

 

Then when I work in Japan....... I have a a whole different set of possibilities.

 

best,

 

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


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#3 Wyndham

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:19 AM

John hit upon one of the key elements of a glaze palette, how are you going to fire.

Wood is different that gas which is different from electric.

Each has it's strong and weak points but you are choosing a partner in the finished work by firing method you choose.

 

From there, the choice of clay will be the next determining factor. I keep moving to light clays and may go to porcelain soon.

Next is the question of runny overlappin or static decorating glazes, I like runny , reduction glazes similar to John, where I use a Mamo or Temoku as a catch glaze for a runny top glaze.

Wyndham



#4 TJR

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:11 PM

My palette is driven by the fact that I do on-glaze decoration on just about everything.

I have a beautiful semi-gloss white that contains bone ash. i have purple pink glaze that I am known for-contains copper and tin.

I have a Shino from the Archie Bray foundation, which I decorate with iron oxide.

I have a Celadon that I am not that crazy about at the moment.

I have a turquoise glaze that i am working on.It sucks the decoration into the surface.

I have a blue ash glaze that runs slightly and pools. Called Killer Ash.

I have a slop glaze that is a Temmoku type.

I have about thirty glazes sitting around my studio. My mind can only handle about 6 at a time. I don't like brown, but people still seem to want it, so I always glaze up a few pieces with brown just to cover the bases.Some people are intimidated by decoration.

I also have worked on these glazes for 35 years, and still feel that I don't own them.

TJR.



#5 Biglou13

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 06:15 PM

Like the guys above, who all have great taste also are what I call "historical glazes". Or historical influenced glazes.
So my answer is my pallete is based on historically influenced glazes. Many of these have been around for hundreds of years if not longer. Since I cannot always wood fire, fire in reduction. I look for cone 6 ox glazes that have historical influences. I use a black that has oil spot, hares fur,tenmoku properties. I use a cone 6 celadon, while not a true celadon it has some of its qualities. I have a cone 6 shino with that is shino-like. My kaki-like glaze is randy red or some close variation. Cone 6 wood ash. Wood fired feel. I use white and black hakeme followed by self made clear. Also use a BOB glaze that is oribe green-like

My second answer is what I like and supports my style of work. For ex ample, Falls creek shino (Randy's oatmeal rust) just made the list. While not like any historical glaze it has "soulful" quality/ and not store bought. I do like the American historical perspective that albany now alberta slip represents.

I'm currently working on a albany slip, brown jug cone 6 glaze. I'm testing a new celadon-ish, and a new wood ash glaze currently.

If I could wood fire weekly I'd say woodfire is my pallete. But that oversimplifying the myriad of effects a wood fired kiln has to offer.

Your question is akin to how did you find your style, My answer to that is .... It kind of found me.....
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#6 clay lover

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:16 AM

What started this question for me is the difficulty in tracking the variables with so many glazes .  I feel I should narrow the list, but use10 or more regularly, depending on the piece and it's need.  I can't get myself to narrow the list. I also use different clays, depending on the outcome I want. 

 

Each kiln I open has beautiful new effects that I want to repeat and some "Don't do THAT again ! " elements to it.  But I'm having difficulty repeating some glaze effects I really like.

Do I make just one thing, out of all the same clay, and many of it and use one glaze, no matter whether it seems the best choice for the piece ? Spray, dip an d pour   It takes a lot of work to fill my kiln and I'm at a loss as to how to go about it.



#7 Chantay

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:42 PM

I feel your pain. I'm still new to pottery and really new to glaze making. But, I have worked in art for 40 years.  Obviously you haven't found your voice yet. You need to make a plan. One for the next week, one for the next month, one for the next year. You need to ask yourself, am I a production potter? Or is work one of a kind? Is work functional or decorative?

 

One thing that helped me greatly was creating an image file of pottery. I would puruse all images of pottery.  When I found something I liked, I save the image. After a couple of months a pattern will emerge. After a year purge your file. You will have more specific likes and dislikes. You will begin to recognize what elements are aesthetically pleasing. This will include shapes, forms, AND glazes. It may be you keep 28 glazes. But you will feel confident they are the right ones. I work in a production mode. I am frequently surprised by the effects of various glazes on certain forms and textures. When making a new form I always try out a glaze or two that I'm not sure about. I'm usually happy with the result. Oh, or you could always just use blue.


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#8 phill

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 04:21 PM

I tend to make pieces as I understand glaze properties. As you begin to learn glazes, you start liking and disliking things about them. You might love glaze A for example, and let's say its a shiny glaze. Well if you put a shiny glaze on a really active surface, it might reflect too much. So then you might decide to put glaze B on, which might be a matte glaze.

 

This is obviously a specific example but it shows what my thought process it. After using glazes and viewing lots of pottery, I have ideas of what I like and dislike, and a lot of times I make pieces with a specific glaze in mind. This begins to happen when you start getting your glaze pallet more concise. 

 

And then you kind of stop thinking and just start making. You begin to understand your materials to the point where you just make, and it isn't necessarily an arduous thought process but is very natural. The pots just tell you what they need. This isn't true for every pot but sometimes if I am in a real good groove it does.

 

So...to answer your question after that ramble, I chose my glaze pallet by glazing lots of pots in lots of glazes. Try not to be afraid and just do things and learn. Then refine and repeat. Refine and repeat. Soon you'll have your favorites for various reasons and your work will be a little more cohesive.



#9 oldlady

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

at some point, the buckets will tell you.  the ones that are pushed aside as you work will gradually fade into the back of the line of buckets.  when you realize that you need to make more of something, you will see that it has become a favorite.

 

anyone want some Randy's Red, Amber or Midnight Blue?


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#10 synj00

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 04:26 PM

at some point, the buckets will tell you.  the ones that are pushed aside as you work will gradually fade into the back of the line of buckets.  when you realize that you need to make more of something, you will see that it has become a favorite.

 

anyone want some Randy's Red, Amber or Midnight Blue?

 

I agree. I'm only really a year into this but I have glazes that I never use that completely are not to my taste. Others I used up. Others I have not used up because I want them to work but cant get the darn pinhole issues under control! I recently decided that I want to reduce the variables down to as few as possible. I found great cream white clay body and an eggshell white glaze and have been dabbling with iron oxide. I think that If I can get a good variety out of this and focus on the forms and the simple techniques I can build from there. You can go off and try glaze after glaze after glaze which is not only expensive but you have to learn the nuances of every aspect of the process. Less is better IMO until you master those and then expand.

 

On the other hand my wife had a wonderful idea that I thought I'd share. She thought that we could produce objects based on the color palates of the master painters. Starry night color palate, Monet water lilly pallet, Van Goh Sunflower pallet. Very interesting and very challenging I'd say! Maybe we'll take it on after 30 years or so :-)


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#11 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 12:31 PM

Very interesting topic - I was just looking at my big pile of commercial glazes and wishing I just had a few that I loved- mixing my own would be wonderful because brushing on is becoming too time consuming,.. I hate doing it.  


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#12 clay lover

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:58 PM

Sorry, but don't think 'mixing my own' will be less time consuming.  And testing after mixing , FOOOOOOREVER. :unsure:



#13 Mark C.

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 11:20 PM

If you are buying glazes then my answer will be of no help.

My pallet comes for 40 years of testing.

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#14 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 12:26 PM

Sorry, but don't think 'mixing my own' will be less time consuming.  And testing after mixing , FOOOOOOREVER. :unsure:

When I say time consuming I am not referring to the testing and tweaking for years to get it right.    When I purchase mixes from glaze mixer I am able to mix it up and dip pots very quickly. What is time consuming about the commercial glazes is the Brushing on of glazes. They seem to come too thick to dip.  Obviously everything about mastering making pots is time consuming but brushing on glazes is starting to feel pointless. It takes the fun out of it.  I think my statement was very misunderstood. I was referring to the actual glazing time, not the years of study. ;)


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#15 oldlady

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:03 PM

rebekah, i spray commercial glazes.  they do not have to be thinned, just adjust the pressure.  

 

 brushing anything is awful................................

 

(i also have a paragon from the 1960s.  i blew it up a few years ago.  it still would work if i would rewire it.  it is an A99, a big one.)


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#16 drmyrtle

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

at some point, the buckets will tell you.  the ones that are pushed aside as you work will gradually fade into the back of the line of buckets.  when you realize that you need to make more of something, you will see that it has become a favorite.


I find I've had the oddest experience with this lately. Odd, because I was in total agreement with this statement, but then things in both my practice and the studio firing circumstances changed.

First, I am in love, love, love with the Standard porcelain 365 suggested by Neil E. Truly vitrified at cone 6.

Second, the studio bought an LL, that actually fires to cone 6, (compared to the previous kiln that never fully fired).

Well, add #1 to #2, and suddenly those buckets that I've been hauling around forever are magical, beautiful glazes. Wow.

Only one of those things were under my control (thank you, Neil), but it's a whole new ball game.

Sometimes serendipity is hiding in an old glaze buckets.

#17 clay lover

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 01:13 PM

I have had that exact experience, get the cooling- firing tweaked and glazes that were on  the back shelf suddenly become new favorites !

I am going back and redoing tests of glazes that I expected to like that didn't test out well, may have lots more happy surprises.  Now I know why I kept all those yogurt cartons of old tests.






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