In an effort to develop a glaze palette for my new body of work (The Polyps), I did a lot of glaze testing during the past week. I’m very excited by the results. Most of the glazes pictured are from Dry Glazes (Jeremy Jernegan) and Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist’s Guide to Glaze and Color (Brian Taylor and Kate Doody). All of the tiles were fired in a hot Cone 6 electric kiln.
I’m particularly pleased with how the color line blend of Varda’s sculpture glaze came out. This is a glaze that I used during my time at Connecticut College. It is rated as a Cone 04 recipe, but after looking at the ingredients and comparing them to other mid-fire recipes, I decided to try it at Cone 6. At Cone 6, it’s a little less raw looking then at Cone 04, but it is still a very matte glaze. I love how the glaze responds to different levels of thickness. I’m also excited to try using this glaze through multiple glaze firings.
These tiles are tests of several of the Chalke glazes published in Dry Glazes. I really like the mottled nature of the first tile. The second tile is one of my least favorite glazes I tested in this kiln. It was supposed to be a lot drier than it ended up. The next time I do tests, I’d love to reduce the flux in the recipe (talc) to see if that helps any. The third tile is actually the same base recipe as the second tile, but it didn’t melt nearly as much. I suspect that the larger amount of zircopax in the recipe is responsible. When applied thickly, this glaze forms a lovely rough, matte skin. I love how it responds to the black slip. It would be great to try this glaze with other things layered over it.
The glaze on the first test tile is SDSU Crawl with 4% copper carbonate added. It did not come out quite as anticipated (I was expecting a broken, crawly, but still a little glossy finish), but I really like how the pitting/bubbling came out. It is smooth to the touch (no sharp, broken edges!) and looks like it belongs in the sea. The second tile is a test of Fluxing Clay Matte Glaze with Chartruese stain (from Glazes: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist’s Guide…). It has a wonderful surface variation; depending on how thinly or thickly it’s applied, it will be either a nice matte finish or a broken gloss. It would be fun to do a line blend with this glaze. The third tile is a basic lichen base with 10% Mason black stain. It came out a lot grayer than I expected – reminds me of elephant hide. It seems to work well when combined with other glazes and is worth experimenting with a bit more. The last little slice of tile is a test of Kyla Toomey’s Transparent Matte glaze from the Ceramics Monthly June/July/August 2014 issue. It is a very nice, smooth matte glaze that can be used thinly without getting overly cloudy. In addition to the test tile, I also tested it with black underglaze, and unlike the other plain matte glaze that I’ve been using, it does not drag the underglaze or go cobalt blue. It would be a great residual glaze and it would be fun to eventually try it with colorants.
The first tile in this photo is a version of Virginia Scotchie’s Texture glaze (from Glazes: The Ultimate…). It calls for F-4 feldspar – which unfortunately is no longer available. I tested the recipe using Minespar G-200. The resulting glaze is still quite textured, but not in the exact same way as it is pictured in Scotchie’s work……nor is it, for that matter, the same turquoise color. While the glaze didn’t come out as expected, it is still interesting enough to continue experimenting. The final glaze tile is a Chalk glaze with copper and chrome. All in all, this is a really strange glaze recipe (75% zircopax!!) – but it produces amazing results. It is a bit unpredictable – sometimes it melts, sometimes it makes a rough scratchy cryolite skin – but it has this wonderful iridescence about it. I’d love to try this with different colorants (especially with just a good dose of copper…..I’m pretty sure the bit of chrome is making this glaze veer toward brown).