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ZAN Ceramics

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About ZAN Ceramics

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  • Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
  • Interests
    I'm a long time ceramic artist and potter maintaining my own studio. I'm always interested in learning more about interesting textured glaze recipes. Currently I'm struggling in trying to formulate a good crater glaze with big crater holes!
  1. Great tests! Love #20 what is the black clay you use and at what cone fired? I'm just starting to play around with some commercial black cone 6 clay, will show you results when I get them. One thing that is fun and easy to do with a good base glaze you like is to start with a test cup of base glaze (V1) paint it onto a test tile, then add in 2% of a mason stain for color into the same cup, paint it onto a test tile. The add in 4% (V-3) etc..... quick and dirty but it's a fast way to take one glaze cup (of a base glaze you have already tested and like) and test it in a variety of color intensities. I have done this with Mason stains a lot when I'm trying to push a color. It doesn't work so well with oxides or ingredients that have several properties in addition to color.
  2. Hi Curt, I read Joseph's post about using the tiles in other ways besides the intended method that Ian developed them for. I have used the volumetric blending in the past, but now I'm just testing new glazes and using the tiles as a type of palette to test and record results in an organized way. I went a little overboard after taking Ian's workshop and made hundreds of tiles so I have a lot laying around and I use them for many kinds of tests now. The process I outlined is working well for me, and I mix the powdered test cups with water and brush them onto the tiles. I don't use glaze software, I test versions starting with a base glaze and mixing a few versions from that to give me the alterations I'm looking for. Ian's way is better to get a real understanding of what the different elements do in the glaze. But now that I'm more familiar I find I can skip some steps and just play around, still getting good results. Except for the blasted crater glaze I'm searching for. I can't get big crater holes...yet! I get interesting frothy surfaces, but I want crater holes! I fire in an electric kiln at cone 6, and I'm finally mostly happy now with my glaze palette of primarily matte, satin matte and textural glazes.
  3. By repurposing the grids, I mean that I am using the Ian Currie grid tiles I have already made, but I am not using his glaze test system that the grid was originally intended for. I have used that in the past but at this point I'm just using them as a test tile and have created that system I detailed to track it all. Works great for many purposes I guess. If I were to make new tiles, I'd make each gird box larger with a deeper recessed area for the glaze to pool in as well as a high textured area to test how the glaze "breaks" when thin or going over texture.
  4. Thanks Joseph! I'm also repurposing my old Ian Currie style test grids now too. You inspired me to detail out my process in case it's helpful to anyone to see the nitty-gritty details and images. I posted it today here in case you're interested: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/16233-my-glaze-process-using-ian-currie-grids/
  5. My glaze testing process: I was fortunate enough to have taken an in-person glaze workshop with Ian Currie when he was alive. It was an incredible eye-opener for me back then. I then proceeded to make a zillion of his style glaze tile grids. I still I use the my old Ian Currie glaze tile grids in another way now to test all my glazes on both white and buff colored clay. I think it’s just as important to create a log or record to cross-reference it all. I use an underglaze pencil to write the firing date and the tile number directly on the clay tile grid, believe me, it comes in handy years later! I wish I had done this years ago instead of having to retest the older ones now! I test a lot. Last year I did my own version of a “glaze workshopâ€, (with myself, in my studio) – using tons of recipes I liked and collected from my favorites like: Virginia Scotchie, John Britt, James Lovera, Lana Wilson, etc. I’m STILL trying to get a good crater glaze with big crater homes, so some of these tests pics are those. From the 90 glaze tests, I ended up with 8 new final glazes. I’m picky, what can I say. Here’s my process (with pics) in case the little details are helpful to anyone: 1) I make the small test amounts in labeled (w/ Sharpie pen) plastic cups Label with: — Glaze reference number cup #83 V5 — Glaze name (this refers to the glaze recipe origins) — Cone ^ #6 2) On the Ian Currie style glaze grid tile I write: — May 2017 ^6 Tile #7 (important when you have a lot - and over the years you will!) 3) Then in my cross-reference notebook I write: — May 2017 ^6 Tile #7 — Grid space numbers 13-14 — Glaze cup #83 V5 ( — Glaze name (this refers to the glaze recipe origins) (the actual glaze recipe is in another part of the notebook or in a book, in which case I ref the book and page number) 4) After the firing tests yield the results: — I take a photo of the glaze tile — I write all my notes for that glaze test — I add these print-outs to a physical notebook that I keep in the studio (I have digital files too but don’t usually feel like referencing digital when my hands are in clay) — even the glazes that I do not like are important to carefully note, because years later I may use it and test in a different direction, these are sometime the most valuable ones! — If it’s a good test, I make it one of “my†glazes and name it how I want — add the recipe to my card file/digital files (with reference of where the recipe originated from) — make a big bucket of my new glaze! 5) I continue to test versions, V2, V3 etc… on smaller test tile pieces until I get the result I like or interesting combo results over other glazes and underglazes. 3a)Glaze.test.ref.notes.pdf
  6. Thanks! I saw that, but it is too far to ship I think. I probably will have to just make the darn thing after all!
  7. Thanks, guess I'll have to "add it to the TO-DO list" and make one!
  8. Thanks Marcia! I was trying to not have to make my equipment as well as my collection! Running out of time between making, sales and social...guess that's all part of it thought. Thanks for looking that up for me.
  9. Hi all, Anyone know of a used spray booth I can buy? Also, what do suggest for the best spray gun nozzle? Mine is always clogging! Thanks! -- Susanne susanne.scher@gmail.com
  10. No I haven't, but it would be fun to try, problem is we don't have birch trees here in the SF Bay area! We are too south I guess. I'm mostly influenced by the native trees around me I guess.
  11. Thanks! Yes, they are cone 6 glazes that I've been testing for awhile. I finally got some poppy colors with these new Chartreuse and Turquoise mattes. I started playing with glazes from John Britt's book (The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes: Glazing and Firing at Cones 4-7, Lark Ceramics Books) I altered and tested my way to these final colors in a matte finish.
  12. No I haven't seen that artist with the Aspen bark glazes, but would love to see if you have a ref or link? I've been at glaze formulating for quite a few years now, but this last batch was a result of a glaze marathon I had with myself, testing 85 different glazes, which resulted in about 8 that I like. lots of nerdy work organizing all that!
  13. I do love it, small but intimate, perfect for throwing and it stays cool and wet under the redwoods, like natural air conditioning!
  14. Yes you are right, the bark outer glaze is "Ball" Crawl (from Lana) layered on slips, but I want to work on getting a good crater glaze, don't have it yet....
  15. Thanks all! These are part of my new collection and I'm still working to perfect it. Who knew it would take 35 years and counting! All of my forms start out on a potter’s wheel and then I sculpt and alter the shapes to be asymmetrical. The textures come from multiple firings and layering of slips and glazes, and then a LOT of testing in various firing schedules…much trial and error. I'm trying to get organic textures like pebbles, stones and tree bark. I uploaded my latest tree bark example, I think it’s almost there. But the real evasive glaze that I can’t quite nail is a crater glaze with big crater holes. James Lovera had beautiful crater glazes but I think they are not so easy to find. So that one still eludes me, maybe another 20 years of testing?
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