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How many glazes in a home studio...?


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Hi Everyone!

Longtime lurker. All the information you post has been SO HELPFUL to me as I start to get my fledgling pottery business off the ground. I'm looking to make the switch from commercial to homemade glazes in the near future and have some picked out that I'd like to replicate. Mostly from Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. I was wondering, for those of you that operate out of a home studio, how many homemade glazes do you keep on hand? Thanks!

Katie Piro

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6 minutes ago, Katie Piro said:

Hi Everyone!

Longtime lurker. All the information you post has been SO HELPFUL to me as I start to get my fledgling pottery business off the ground. I'm looking to make the switch from commercial to homemade glazes in the near future and have some picked out that I'd like to replicate. Mostly from Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. I was wondering, for those of you that operate out of a home studio, how many homemade glazes do you keep on hand? Thanks!

Katie Piro

I have 8 glazes I mix in 5 gallon buckets:

Licorice, variegated slate blue, waterfall brown, June Perry red, behrens satin matte, folk art guild white, clear, and a white liner

I have accent glazes I mix in smaller 2 gallon amounts as well.  Those are strontium crystal magic, Jen's juicy fruit, Lynette's opal, lakeside black matte, lalone blue ash and coffee nuka.

I also have some rarely used 2 gallon buckets around of various shinos etc.  

Once you have a glaze kitchen, it's easy and cheap to whip up some test batches and try new things.

I really like the Roy and hesselberth book, it focuses on durable and safe glaze making, be sure to read the first half of the book and not just skip to the recipes, a lot of good important technical information in there.

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10 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

I have 8 glazes I mix in 5 gallon buckets:

Licorice, variegated slate blue, waterfall brown, June Perry red, behrens satin matte, folk art guild white, clear, and a white liner

I have accent glazes I mix in smaller 2 gallon amounts as well.  Those are strontium crystal magic, Jen's juicy fruit, Lynette's opal, lakeside black matte, lalone blue ash and coffee nuka.

I also have some rarely used 2 gallon buckets around of various shinos etc.  

Once you have a glaze kitchen, it's easy and cheap to whip up some test batches and try new things.

I really like the Roy and hesselberth book, it focuses on durable and safe glaze making, be sure to read the first half of the book and not just skip to the recipes, a lot of good important technical information in there.

Thank you! You just listed many of the glazes I really like from that book. Not only did I read the whole first half, I have it outlined and highlighted! (Can you tell I'm a teacher?) I also purchased John Britt's Mid Range Glazes, as well as Amazing Glaze by Kline. Any others you'd recommend? You've been a great help! Thanks!

Katie

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If you're selling your work, you want to narrow down to a small selection of glazes. It makes for a uniform body of work, and makes your life easier when it comes to custom orders. If you're strictly working with glazes for all of your surface  decoration, then 4-6 glazes/colors will give you a huge pallet once you start overlapping and double dipping. Some satin, some glossy. If you're working with underglazes for your decoration, you could possibly get away with just one or two, depending on what you're doing. I use 6 different underglaze colors to decorate, and have 4 glazes that I put on top of them- glossy clear, glossy blue, glossy cream (all 3 the same base glaze), and satin clear.

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I have 3 in five gallon buckets that are used in large quantities, and 5 that are in 1 gallon buckets that are the more colourful additions. I tend to do more side to side contrasts rather than overlaps, and rely on slip texture and bare clay/glazed area contrasts for visual interest. Picking 5 glazes (give or take 2) and learning everything you can about how they all interact with each other will give you a wide variety of visual effects to work with. 

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Too many!

I'm happy with a clear for red and black clays, which looks ok on buff clay, however, may keep another that I prefer for that clay, hence, two clear "keepers" - Wollastonite Clear and Kitten's Clear, for red and buff, respectively. Am still working on clear for white, café, and light red clays - crazing. Depending on how that comes out, two or three clear glazes.

Part of the question may be how many clays, and how different are they?! Next test will fire this weekend, or next.

In colours, definite keepers are Lakeside Pottery clear blue; Bill Van Gilder's Variegated, Teal Blue and Rutile Green; Selsor's Faux Celedon. On the way out are commercial premix light blue and white. In test is a chrome+tin red that's in use at the local JC - I believe the recipe is also in Britt's book. From there, a low gloss white to replace the commercial premix; after that, idk!

Uhm, that makes nine, including the red and low expansion clear in test.

Although I often question the number of clays and glazes in my studio, am still glad I'm trying different things; down the road, I might narrow down, as many others have.

Tony Hansen's website is a good resource, btw, articles, recipes, projects, etc. His video on adjusting thixotropy, so helpful!

https://digitalfire.com/

Edited by Hulk
me spelt Selsor wrong, sorry
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I'm still new, and playing around a lot. Right now I have

From Gabriel Kline's Amazing Glaze:

  • spearmint
  • fat cat - which i struggle with and may not keep
  • ol' blue
  • strontium crystal magic
  • alberta yellow - which I didn't love at first but I'm find a grove with it
  • chun celadon

From John Britt

  • glossy #2 
  • alabama rain w/rutile

And a local grey that  I LOVE as it is an incredible base (in my profile pic with the chun layered on top)

So I'm at 8... and I want to make at least 1 more that has a bit of a rust/brown profile. So then 9... And while I say I'm going to drop fat cast, I'm going to try out another red because I really want one. So that'll be 10.

I'm a hobbiest. There is no money being made in my world! But I'm having fun, so I think that's what counts.

 

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Wow you guys are AWESOME!

I have right now commercially mixed PC Midnight Blue, Mayco's Sand & Sea, and Mayco's White Gloss. I use Cone 5/6 Stoneware. I have a cream colored, and buff speckled, and hopefully will soon experiment with some darker colored clays. I'm thinking to build up to:

Clear: Odyssey Clear (Amazing Glaze, Kline)

White: Odyssey White (Amazing Glaze, Kline)

Red: Raspberry (Mastering Cone 6 Glazes)

           John's Straw Ash (Mid-Range Glazes)

Blue: Variegated Slate Blue (Mid-Range Glazes)

Green: Spermint (Amazing Glaze, Kline)

                 Broken Celadon (Amazing Glaze, Kline)

Funkies:

Strontium Crystal Magic (Cool) (Mid-range Glazes)

 

 

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Test Tiles!

Run a test tile on every glaze and then do test tiles for combinations.  Find a way to keep them on hand, on display for glazing reference.   References for clays also if you experiment there also.

It's easy to forget a glaze or combination when you're glazing and loading.

How many?     More, more more.

Every glaze fire should have at least one new glaze test, in my opinion.

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I have 3 main glazes. Plus 3 more that are just variations of the two of the main glazes. 

Another benefit to keeping your glaze palette limited is it’s easier and cheaper to buy glaze materials, when you only need a limited number of ingredients. You can buy 50 lb sacks knowing you’e going to use it all up. 

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I have a base white, and cream rust that I use over both of my clay bodies, a SC 630 white, and a SC hazelnut brown. I follow these up with dipping or spraying of variegated blue, rutile green and  the cream rust. I have considered adding more glazes, but presently fine with what I have. Maybe an Iron red down the line.

 

best,

Pres

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 I also have a base white liner that has made 3 other liner colors. On Tony Hansen's website is the chemical analysis of Butterscotch I used to back into the glaze recipe, with the help of glaze software - this is now 1 of my favorites. From MC6 - Licorice, Raw Sienna and Waterfall Brown which pairs very well with Butterscotch. From Britt's ^6 book - Bailey's Red 2 and Val's Turquoise.  From Steven Hill's Spraying glaze workshop - Red Orange, strontium crystal magic cool and warm, Juicy fruit Cool, SH Copper Ash and Hannah's Fake Ash Iron.  From the internet - Hsin Matte Black, Pete's Seafoam, Satin Matte Green, Shatz Blue Matte, Silky Matte Z Blue - this is Tony Hansen's G1214Z, Marcia Selsor's Turquoise Satin Matte.

Actually do use all of these glazes. I go thru stages of using 3-6 in various overlaps and combos.  I spray glaze. Do not have a clear glaze but don't want one either after reading about all the bubbles and other problems here on the forum.

@Hulk you are a brave person with Kitten's Clear - this glaze crazed horribly bad for me. We did use this in school layered with a Floating blue, did some really neat stuff.

Edited by dhPotter
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Kitten's clear - had to start somewhere, just picked out three clears to test, still using two of them; it's got some sodium, but also calcium, strontium, reasonable dose of boron, and comes up shiny. It crazes on the three aforementioned clays, and catches bubbles over the red and black, so buff only, so far.

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Kittens clear has also crazed on everything I've tried it on... I think too much sodium.  It also bubbles really bad on my red clay.  I'll try adjusting it with silica and spodumene or lithium later.  The underglaze looks sharp but the issues are rough.

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2 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Kittens clear has also crazed on everything I've tried it on... I think too much sodium.  It also bubbles really bad on my red clay.  I'll try adjusting it with silica and spodumene or lithium later.  The underglaze looks sharp but the issues are rough.

Kittens clear is the reason I made Bills hard candy clear for porcelain! Funny, same issues I had.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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10 hours ago, liambesaw said:

How does your hard candy do on red stoneware?

Never used it for that, it was designed  to melt over heavy underglaze  and to melt fully and high gloss. Did a matte at the same time for same reason and both were made studio glazes after letting everyone test them for about a year, but I don’t recall anyone using it on red clay. I’ll Pm the recipe to you. Uses Gersetly because we had a bunch, always wanted to try changing to Fritt but it worked so well, never changed it. Kittens clear was great right up to the disappointing crazing which is what made me take the time to create both.

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I'm testing for keepers currently myself, so I appreciate the brainstorming.

It totally depends on your body of work. If you make one form, you can keep a thousand glazes. If you make a thousand forms, you can use one glaze. I believe an efficient Potter uses what they must and no more, and an efficient Potter is a successful Potter.

Speaking of efficiency, when hunting glazy or the like for recipes, look for variations that will fit your application needs. I just found a modified Jun during the firing of one that was flaking off, ugh.

Same firing, I was disappointed in the application (brushing bone-dry) of most of the mixed glazes, while the Mayco went on like butter, but then also ran like butter in the firing. A came away with a fond love for homemade glazes, and a confidence in them you should begin with! So long as you "tick off" your chemicals as you add them to your mix like Simon Says!

You always hear test test test....and I  assumed "firing" test.

It is even more important to test the application, handle the (test) piece glazed, if it flakes or dusts or chips or falls off or lifts or....make adjustments before you fire one! Every problem I had in the firing stemmed from application problems, most of which a little bentonite may have fixed. 

YouTube Washington Street Studios, there is a series on glaze that has been excellently helpful.

Of the 9 tests I've run so far, about 3 are good, 3 need adjustments, and 3 are being ditched.

I slapped a test with a bunch of overlaps of 6 glazes, and realized I had enough to stay busy forever! 

Note.......

I converted a used electric kiln to gas. Yesterday I realized it must have been stored or fired in the same room as the glazes were mixed and such. The dust in the top pores of the lid eat away the lid during firing. It is important to keep your kiln away from the glaze chemicals so you don't ruin it. 

@Bill Kielb I was wondering if the folks that still have Gerstley were in California, didn't realize you were an Iller! Am I the only one that uses Dizzy instead of Gerstley? Or do we call Gillespie, Gerstley still?

Cheers! 

Sorce

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Sorcery said:

I'm testing for keepers currently myself, so I appreciate the brainstorming.

It totally depends on your body of work. If you make one form, you can keep a thousand glazes. If you make a thousand forms, you can use one glaze. I believe an efficient Potter uses what they must and no more, and an efficient Potter is a successful Potter.

Speaking of efficiency, when hunting glazy or the like for recipes, look for variations that will fit your application needs. I just found a modified Jun during the firing of one that was flaking off, ugh.

Same firing, I was disappointed in the application (brushing bone-dry) of most of the mixed glazes, while the Mayco went on like butter, but then also ran like butter in the firing. A came away with a fond love for homemade glazes, and a confidence in them you should begin with! So long as you "tick off" your chemicals as you add them to your mix like Simon Says!

You always hear test test test....and I  assumed "firing" test.

It is even more important to test the application, handle the (test) piece glazed, if it flakes or dusts or chips or falls off or lifts or....make adjustments before you fire one! Every problem I had in the firing stemmed from application problems, most of which a little bentonite may have fixed. 

YouTube Washington Street Studios, there is a series on glaze that has been excellently helpful.

Of the 9 tests I've run so far, about 3 are good, 3 need adjustments, and 3 are being ditched.

I slapped a test with a bunch of overlaps of 6 glazes, and realized I had enough to stay busy forever! 

Note.......

I converted a used electric kiln to gas. Yesterday I realized it must have been stored or fired in the same room as the glazes were mixed and such. The dust in the top pores of the lid eat away the lid during firing. It is important to keep your kiln away from the glaze chemicals so you don't ruin it. 

@Bill Kielb I was wondering if the folks that still have Gerstley were in California, didn't realize you were an Iller! Am I the only one that uses Dizzy instead of Gerstley? Or do we call Gillespie, Gerstley still?

Cheers! 

Sorce

 

 

 

Too much Gerstley available and converting to Gillespie is a bit of a pain. Only conversions I consider are to fritt. Unfortunately have plenty of Gerstley since a Laguna bought the 700 tons sitting on site at the mine. Eventually will just change all to Fritt. Never called it Dizzy, but never really needed to use it.

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Thanks @Bill Kielb I thought maybe Gillespie was mined in the East hence why we have it here. I read it is a pound for pound replacement, but note the chemistry quite different.

Are you ordering Gerstley from Laguna direct? 

Forgive my pestery uneccesary questions!

 

Sorce

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When I set up my own home studio I wanted to try ALL the glaze recipes in the world!  So, I ended up with large and small batches of numerous glazes.  I have used up a lot of those early glazes on Empty Bowl bowls, which  gives a people a lot of choice.  After a few years, I have dialed in what I like, that is color with underglaze and I do have a few glazes that I love for a change.  Selsor Temmoku out of John Britt's book is lovely, Spearmint out of MC6 is a workhorse, John Britt's book has a Panama Blue that is quite nice, but overall I use clear.  Over underglaze.  As everyone has said, test test test.  I have mixed up so many batches of different clears, trying to get one that does not craze, is stable and is clear so as not to yellow the underglaze.  Clear seems to be a fussy glaze, depending on your clay.  I think there is a thread or two on this forum about clear.  Kitten's clear crazed on every clay I had.  But some people have great success with it.  So, test test test!!  

And, listen to those forum friends who are telling you to dial in your glaze choices.  You may need to experiment for awhile, but listen to your heart when it comes to choosing your palette.

And best wishes to you!  It's lot of fun doing the research!

Roberta

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I have the old Van Gilder book from DYI. It had some decent ^6 glazes in it, but over the years have found that a lot of these are reprints of others. Still a good reference and back in the time it was published, it stood out as ^6 color and glaze, along with some good tricks and tutorials.

As to testing, feeling a glaze, seeing it, and seeing how it reacts to color and other glazes, is not really enough. I had a great matt zinc glaze years ago that I glazed everything with, and then atomized/splattered/brushed stains over. It was a beautiful glaze felt nice, and looked good with and without color. Then after about 3-4 years of use I found that the functional ware was doing goofy stuff, weeping, flaking, becoming rough to touch. Had just gotten the M^6 book, and applied the tests mentioned in there. . . failed both the acid and the alkali tests! Not completely scientific, but enough for me to change my glaze recipes all around.

 

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