Over the past few weeks I have been exclusively working on the wheel. I love throwing, especially this new form that I’m working on. As a result it has left me with a shelf full of bisq fired pots that need glazing.
The way I have always glazed in the past has been by dipping the form in a bucket of glaze. This gives a nice even coating and is fairly straight forward and quick. This would be my preferred method to glaze my new forms however as my throwing has improved the pots have become larger ( and I still want to produce even larger forms) therefore I would require a large quantity of glaze in a container big enough to dip. I am still at the experimental stage of developing my glazes so mixing up large quantities could be wasteful.
Another alternative method to glaze would be to spray the glaze on. This also requires a lot of glaze to be made (but not as much as dipping) as there is a lot of spray off. It is also a long process as the glaze needs to be sprayed to a decent thickness to get a good coating. Therefore there is the danger of under glazing. However spray glazing does give a uniformed, even (if sprayed correctly) covering and can give a professional look which is something that I do want to achieve.
During this time the MA Ceramic graduates had organised an exhibition to show case their work and had invited the second years to exhibit a ‘work in progress’ display to go along side. I therefore wanted to have some larger glazed work to be displayed along die my test pieces. However when I came to glaze I had intended to spray them but could not as the extraction system was broken leaving the spray booth unusable.
I therefore had to come up with an alternative method to glazing, one that I had not tried before.
I wanted to use the autumnal glazes that I had previously mixed a 1k batch of each of the 4 colours. I then used a pouring technique. To glaze the inside I poured the glaze into the pot then whilst turning I tipped the glaze out leaving a nice even coating. Then to glaze the outside I used a banding wheel with a bowl to collect the excess glaze and a wire frame to rest the upturned pot on. Then I slowing poured and turning the wheel to get an even coating of glaze on the outside. This technique does work well but does leave the rim on the pot lumpy with excess glaze from where it had touch the wire rack. This I am not too concerned with as the excess glaze runs and bleeds together which is what I want.
I then wanted to have the rim a different colour by adding the peachy coloured glaze as this blends well. This is where the problem arose as ideally I would dip the rim into the glaze but because of the shape I couldn’t get a good grip on the pot, there was also a layer of glaze on it that could be ruined by touching it. The only alternative I could do (especially with not spray booth) was to paint it on with a slip brush. As I painted it on the glaze dripped down the pot so I thought I would emphasise the drips and added more glaze to the drippy effect and hoped that it would blend and bleed well together.
I have realised that when I am gazing I need a lot of space as I tend to spread out especially with having lots of different glazes that are put on in different ways.
The glaze effect that I want to have is multiple glazes blending together. I don’t want to have just one glaze on its own so with these pots I glazes them with some having different glazes on the outside to the inside then with a different glaze painted on the rim. I tried to have different combinations to see which worked the best. For reference I used the smaller test pots I did a few weeks back as a guide to see which works the best. I knew not to have the peach coloured glaze on its own but to mainly use that to paint the rim.
These are the pots before firing. They were fired in Dave kiln at his cone 10 setting.
It still amazes me that even after testing and planning that I am still surprised every time a kiln is opened after firing!
The firing was a success in that they reached temperature however I do not like the dipping effect that I did on them, they look too contrived! Luckily I only did the dripped effect on the inside and the outside blend of glazes worked well.
I also need to take extra care of glazing the base of the pot. The glaze around the foot has not been glazed well as they are all uneven. Glazing pouring and turning simultaneously can be tricky, something I need to work on!