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A Low-Fire Glazing Tip

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     I make low-fire hand built clay sculpture.  I use a commercial clay slip (engobe) for color and apply it directly on the piece during the making process.  The advantage of applying the color on green ware is that I can apply it in difficult areas before I join one part to another.  While the piece is still semi-moist the color is exactly as I want it.  However, after becoming bone dry, the colors tend to fade a bit.  Here is the remedy.  After the bisque firing to cone 05, I apply a thin coating of commercial clear glaze to the entire piece.  I water down the glaze to about 4 or 5 parts water to one part glaze.  Where that thin glaze is applied I will get a matte finish.  In places I want to shine, I apply a normal application of the clear glaze.  I then glaze fire the piece to cone 05 and the outcome is perfect.  The color comes back to its original vibrancy.

     Of course, there are additional aspects to the glazing process.  If the glaze is watered down to about 2 or 3 parts water to one part glaze, the end result will be a semi-gloss surface.  Where parts of the glaze run into crevasses there will be a bit of more glisten which I happily accept.  I can also spatter some glaze on certain surfaces with a toothbrush in order to get a bit of sparkle.

     Please let me know if your try this glazing tip and how it works for you.  You can see examples of my work on my website at www.tomsupensky.com




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