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What To Do With Cone 6 Commercial Glazes

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I recently purchased another kiln and the seller gave me over 50 pint bottles of various cone 5/6 commercial glazes. These included Spectrum, Duncan, Laguna Moroccan Sand, Dick Blick, Amaco Potter's Choice and others.  Most jars were full and many still in shrink wrap.  I didn't really think much about it since I never used glazes other than those we make.  When I checked on the prices, I saw that many of these cost $10 or more per bottle.  

 

I don't envision myself painting on glazes, but know that there must be many folks that use these glazes in creative ways based on all the ads I see in my ceramic magazines.

 

I am not looking to generate a debate on commercial vs. self-made glazes, but do want some suggestions how best I can use these glazes. 

 

In all the years I have been involved in ceramics, I never bought the first bottle of a commercial glaze.  It is not that I felt they were inferior, rather they just weren't something I was exposed to, especially since I worked in cone 10 reduction.  Now that I am doing more cone 6 oxidation firings, and these are all cone 5/6 glazes I want to find out what I can do with them, otherwise they are off to Craigslist.

 

 

 

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I would also suggest looking them up, to see if you can find something you like. You could always brush on designs, over your dipped/ poured glazes.

 

Alternately, you could donate them to a school. They'd love to have them, and you could possibly get a tax deduction...

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I agree with Benzine ... Do a quick search for color chips, keep the ones that interest you and sell the rest. Both Florida and NC are full of potters looking for deals and you might enjoy not having to mess with mixing some colors.

 

Commercial glazes currently get dissed in the same way low firing did ten years ago. I heard there is a book underway about using commercial glazes that might elevate its status the same way the Ron/John book did for Cone 6.

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I mix all of my own glazes for cone 6, but sometimes I do buy some commercial glazes to decorate with on top of my other glazes, especially those are are difficult to deal with myself, like reds, oranges and purples. So do some experimenting before you get rid of them.

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It is just like everything else in pottery, you just have to test and keep careful notes as you do it. Test and test some more.

 I finally quit doing kiln loads of test tiles. Now I make my usual stuff and just have a shelf or two of test tiles.

 It helps if you know what you want too. If not that makes it lots harder.

 

 B

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Thanks for encouraging me to test, which I plan to unless I decide to donate them to an Art Center.

 

Perhaps I should rephrase, my question. Do any of you incorporate commercial glazes with your own glazes? What are some of your successes?

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The best way to do sample tiles of layering:  (but not necessarily for 50 different glazes, 10-15 maybe)

 

Draw squares on a large slab of leatherhard clay, bisque fire it.

 

Flow each glaze in a row across ways, then when dry enough, flow each glaze (in the same sequence) in columns down ways.Thus crossing each different glaze.  Leaving the lines you drew earlier free of glaze.

 

That way you get each glaze above and below each glaze, and at the intersection of the same glaze you get two coats.

 

Then you can decide if it's worth trying on a larger scale/vertically/in bowls............

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