Ceramics and Architecture
Glaze is a magical fluid made from incredibly poisonous materials. It’s a suspension of glass particles [for toughness, transparency and hygiene], flux materials [so they can become ‘molten’ at relatively low temperatures], and colouring agents such as oxides [so they’re pretty]. Prior to this year I had only used commercial glazes, that were made for school use, so pretty foolproof and you can’t really go wrong in the application of them. Oh how I have learned. I took this glaze recipe from The Potter’s Book of Glaze Recipes, which was pretty ambitious of me. The other potters at the workshop use Cone 6 glazes exclusively – which refers to the temp. of the kiln – which are easier to mix than lower temp. glazes, therefore perfect for a dunce like me.
The ‘magic’ is how a thick, gloopy batter-like rust coloured liquid like this;
… with bisqued clay dipped into it like this;
… then fired to 1220 degrees C can turn into THIS;
… a bit closer;
Look here, you can see every single teeny tiny detail in the lace! I am INORDINATELY EXCITED about this glaze, it is a triumph! If you had any idea how much time i have put into getting a result like this… well you’d pat me on the back and ask if I’d like a cup of tea. Of course, this glaze only gives a result like this on this particular clay, when applied using this particular method, so i have to make sure I note carefully all my methods, clays, glazes etc. For example, I nearly mixed up this glze with a totally rubbish one I made, because the label on this one said ‘FROSTY’. Yes, this blue, transparent glaze is described as ‘frosty’. Does that look frosty to you?! Luckily I checked over my photos and ran in to wash off and reglaze everything the next day!
There’s a top secret group of items about to be fired this weekend – I will need every ounce of good luck so they come out like the tile above, and not like… well let’s just say I haven’t photographed everything lately!