Sunday, May 29, 2011

Standardized testing

Selecting good reliable glazes and developing them for use on pots can be quite a task. It takes many trials of different recipes, underlying clay bodies and varying application techniques to get closer to the color and texture being sought.  In making these test tiles, I am hoping to not only learn about the color and texture of each new glaze, but also seek to find interesting nuances within the overlay of other glazes on top of one another. Long gone are the days when I would look for a particular color out of a catalog or brochure and buy a pint and apply three brush coats to dry 06 bisque...

For this round of testing I decided to mix up some medium large batches of MC6 glazes in the 4,000 gram size.  I also mixed up 12 small 100 gram test batches from other sources.  Pancioli and Selsor both have some beautiful reduction glazes that I have long wanted to try.  I also tested an engobe recipe with 6 different variations. Three of those six have xircopax plus, an opacifier, while the other three do not. The variants for color that I used were red iron oxide, black iron oxide, and manganese oxide. I would like to see how the engobe reacts with the glaze above it and the clay body below it.

Ash was used both as stand alone recipes and as dust sprinkled over wet glazes. Not to take any chances I washed my shelves thoroughly.

Here is just one page from my notebook, as I identified each tile, glaze used, and the application of each. These notes are the first draft and I will go back to them and see which tiles warrant further testing. If you look by my mask you can see an old tiles that warranted another test.  My hope is that all this testing will make me a better potter, if not who at least has more choices when choosing just the right color and texture for a particular bonsai tree or companion planting.

I am hoping these guys are not packed too tightly. Only time will tell....

Finished photos coming soon. Please stay tuned!

Check out this technique!