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Low Fire Friday - Thick is the Trick

Meagan Chaney Gumpert - Friday, March 01, 2013

I often get emails with questions about the crawl glazes that I have posted previously for Low Fire Friday

  • "How do you apply your glazes?" 

There are several ways of applying glaze. Dipping the piece into a large bucket of glaze. Pouring a thin, liquid glaze onto a piece. Spraying on a glaze. Or Brushing on the glaze. 

I almost exclusively use the brush method. Whether it is a glaze, slip, underglaze, or oxide, I prefer to use a brush. Since I apply multiple colors in specific areas, brushes give me the ability to control placement and composition. 

  • "I brushed my glazes, but they didn't crawl like yours? What happened?"

Well, one of the biggest "secrets" is to mix and apply these type of glazes THICK. And by thick, I mean like cake frosting. It isn't a matter of "How many coats?". Usually, just one "frosting" will to the trick. They end up being about 1/16" - 1/8" thick.  (Another reason brush application is preferred over other methods.) 

When the glaze has dried on the bisque ware you should see the crackle or crawl pattern. This is also when the glaze is the most fragile, and tends to chip when over-handled. (Right photo below.) When using crawl glazes in combination with non-crawl glazes, I apply the crawl glaze last, and then immediately load it in the kiln if possible.

Another tip: Be mindful of the direction you apply the glaze. This crawl glaze will tend to pick up brush strokes. Where the glaze is the thickest, the crawl beads will be larger. Thinner glaze = smaller beads. 

Happy Glazing!

Want this low fire crawl glaze recipe? Click here




Comments
Anonymous commented on 27-Apr-2015 12:15 AM
Any ideas as to what would happen if tin or rutile were added to this glaze? Or what happens when it's not brushed on but dipped?
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 06-Jul-2015 12:11 PM
Hi,

I apologize for my delayed reply!

You'd have to do some tests, but my guess is that the tin could make the glaze whiter and more opaque. Rutile could make the glaze color come out more honey-yellow, depending on the amounts.

In my experience, it has been difficult to get this glaze thick enough when dipping. Try it out, though!
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