Friday, September 06, 2013
How excited was I to receive this freebie download from Ceramic Arts Daily last month?!? I
15 Low-Fire Glaze Recipes from the Pros: Recipe Cards for Low Fire Pottery Glazes
From Linda Arbuckle's Majolica Glaze to Gail Kendall's White Slip to Darren Emenau's MNO Lichen glaze, I just couldn't resist passing this amazing resource along.
If you haven't already signed up to receive email tips, techniques, inspiration and information from Ceramics Arts Daily, you should! It's a fantastic resource!
An opaque glaze that has a more glossy than matte appearance, despite the name. (See the glare on these test tiles without a camera flash?) What I love about this glaze are the little variations, or specks of color that add depth and dimension to the surface.
Semi Matte Glaze - Cone 04
For Color add -
Blue: + 2% Copper carbonate and 0.5% Cobalt carbonate
Jade green: 3% Copper carbonate
These test tiles had 2-3 even coats of medium-thick glaze applied by brush.
When I found and tested this glaze a few years ago, it was called "Bubble." Well, this glaze never did bubble for me, but instead created this amazing, old-wrinkled-skin look. If you're a figurative sculptor and need a textured glaze, this is the one for you!
Bubble Glaze - Cone 04
And like most of my texture glazes, it needs to be applied, super, SUPER thick!
I'm often asked how I get the dark, carved lines in a lot of my work.
This simple recipe is an old stand by! It's just a 50/50 mix by volume of stain/oxide and Frit 3124. (ie 1 spoonful of each ingredient.)
Red Iron Oxide Wash
1 Tablespoon Red Iron Oxide
1 Tablespoon Frit 3124
How much water? Well, that depends. When I want the carved lines to stay dark, I only add enough water to be able to mix the ingredients and still be able to brush them on. I typically like to apply this wash to bone dry greenware and then bisque fire it to cone 06.
This simple recipe also has endless variations. Red iron oxide isn't the only oxide that can be used. Experiment with chrome oxide for a green wash, cobalt carbonate for a blue, etc. Or, like we used in the Arrowmont Official Birthday Mug, a black mason stain. Yep, this recipe works with mason stains too.
Or, you could substitute another frit. I've chosen Frit 3124 because it doesn't run too much during a cone 04 glaze fire, and is pretty opaque. Depending on your needs, you could try Frit 3195 if you want a more transparent wash with just a little bit of flow. Check out this cone 04 Frit Melt Test. I made this handy reference years ago, and it has been extremely helpful in determining the differences between frits.
Well, folks, that's it for this segment of Low Fire Friday. Anyone out there using a colored wash they are happy with and willing to share? What other applications are available?
If you were starting from scratch and needed to buy raw materials and chemicals for low fire glaze mixing, what would you need?
But wait, let me back up...
It started in January. My annual studio clean up. But this year, I did a seriously over-due, deep cleaning. Top to bottom - reorganized, threw away junk, recycled, sold unused equipment/supplies, and built a new glazing area. The new glazing area brings me to today's edition of Low Fire Friday.
And here's my before and after...
It's a dream! Compulsively organized, just like I like it. All that cleaning up, throwing, away, and organizing all those chemicals got me thinking, which raw materials do I use most often? And what would qualify as "must-haves" so that I could mix all my favorite glazes.
Without further ado, here's the grocery list I came up with
The materials I listed above are definitely enough to get you started with a few low fire glazes. But if you're looking for more, I like to have the materials listed below readily available so that when I come across an irresistible glaze recipe, I have what I need to do the testing. The 50lbs of Red Art and XX Sagger are for terra sigillata. I buy most of my raw materials from Highwater Clays
, so the prices quoted are from their website.
Some other materials I have on hand are:
What about you? What raw materials do you use the most? What did I overlook?
Thanks for checking in and happy glazing!
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.
Want this low fire crawl glaze recipe? Click here.
Hello and Happy New Year! Hope your holidays were filled with lots of family, friends, and good times.
I'm back with a another edition of of Low Fire Fridays. Starting the year off by featuring the stunning glazes of Emma Williams Ceramics
. Emma emailed me last month asking for help troubleshooting some issues she was having with my favorite low fire crawl glaze
. She is graciously sharing two of her favorite recipes with us today.
Emma graduated from the Nottingham Trent University in 1999 with a BA (Hons)
in Decorative Arts, specializing in ceramics. Since
then she's taught ceramics, apprenticed with other potters, and still found time to create her own work! For the past ten years, she has been selling her pottery through galleries and events in the
U.K and in her Nottingham City Centre studio (at Nottingham Artists' Group).
Here's what Emma has to say about her work and the glazes she uses...
for my work comes from a myriad of influences from the natural world. In
particular, the textures and colours that can be found there. For several
years I made a range of hand-built work glazed by dipping and pouring
on an Emily Myers barium recipe (see below) in combination with another dry textured
barium low-fire glaze (Aqua Blue, also listed below) and inlaid copper oxide, to produce a
range of vibrant blue, turquoise and purple shades with metallic hints
Urchin Form - 2011. Coil built onto a press-moulded base, white
stoneware clay. Copper oxide inlaid into texture, barium and copper
glaze. Fired in an electric kiln at 1050ºC. 13 cm H
In 2012 I
began to experiment with a new range of work, and have now extended my
glaze palette on new decorative white earthenware and black stoneware
clay vessel forms to include new colours and textures, including some of
Meagan's beautiful crawl glaze recipes! I still use my original dry
barium glazes on some pieces, though now often in combination with other
glaze textures and colours
Small Round Bowls - 2012. Press-moulded. Black stoneware clay,
Aqua Blue copper and Blue cobalt barium glazes over white slip, toasted
brown and white crawl glazes. Fired in an electric kiln to 1050ºC. 5.5cm
Emily Myers Blue
F or a hot cone 04
Nepheline Syenite............ ...19
For Vibrant Purple: +Copper Carbonate.................3.5
For Deep Blue: +Cobalt Carbonate...................3
had some problems with this glaze a few years back, it seemed to lose
it's mattness. Removing the lithium seemed to remedy the problem, but
meant that the surface was a little 'flatter', so I now often use in
combination with copper oxide speckles to liven it up!
Aqua Blue Dry Glaze* - (I fire this to approx. 1050ºC) - 1050ºC/1922oF or a hot cone 04 (*Here "Dry Glaze" is referring to the matte quality of the surface of the glaze after firing.)
Black Copper Oxide.............4
To see more of Emma's beautiful work, check out the following links:
Emma, thank you again for taking the time to share these glazes with us. If anyone else has any low fire recipes, tips, or techniques you'd like to share, shoot me an email.
On another note, I wish I could guarantee that Low Fire Friday will be Monthly Feature for all of 2013. However, with a 2 year old and a 4 month old, my time at the computer is
a bit sporadic these days. I'll do my best to keep the recipes coming though!
Friday, November 02, 2012
The following was originally posted March 12, 2009. I'm taking this
opportunity to edit and update the info for this month's edition of Low
A few years ago I started incorporating clay slip trailing into my work
and have been having lots of fun with it. Here's the recipe for you to
Pete Pinnell's White Slip
10 Nepheline Syenite
+10 Frit 3124
can also add a few drops of sodium silicate - a deflocculant that helps
reduce viscosity and makes the slip easier to apply with a slip
There are a variety of slip trailing bottles out there
in many shapes and sizes. You'll want to experiment with a few until you
find the style that you enjoy most. Some things to think about 1) the
size of the tip opening can have an effect on line thickness it creates
2) how hard is the plastic? You're could be squeezing for awhile, so you
want a bottle that's softer and easier to work with. 3) how much slip
do you want it to hold?
drawing a practice line first to check thickness and to make sure the
bottle isn't clogged. A sewing needle can be used to unclog the tip if
and draw away! It's a lot like decorating a cake. I like to wait until
the clay is leather hard because the clay forms are easier to hold and
work with at this stage.
A sample of slip stippling.
A group of unfired, slip decorated Minis.
A few glaze fired sample of how glazes will "break" and pool over the slip giving the surface added depth and dimension.
More glaze fired samples.
The glossy glaze used in the above samples is the Base 4 that was shared in August's edition of Low Fire Friday.
Here's a more recent Tile Plaque also incorporating this same slip, but with a different finished look.
What a treat to have Martina Lantin as this month's Low Fire Friday Guest Artist. And Martina is sharing not 1, but 2 recipes with us! Whoohoo!
I had the pleasure of meeting Martina while we were teaching at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts this
past August. Though I've know her work for awhile, it's always great to
meet the maker behind the handmade. Instantly, I was won over by her
easy going, but professional nature and enjoyed conversations we had in
and out of the studio all week.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Martina Lantin received her Bachelor of Art from Earlham College (1996) and her Master of Fine Art from NSCAD University (2009). She has been an artist in residence at Baltimore Clayworks in Baltimore, MD and Arrowmont School of Art and Craft in Gatlinburg,TN. Currently, Martina is a professor at Marlboro College in Marlboro, VT.
Selected as an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly (2002), her work has been recognized in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions. In 2010 Martina was award an Individual Artist Grant by the Tennessee Arts Commission. She has also published articles in both Studio Potter and Pottery Making Illustrated.
Committed to the joys of working in earthenware, which she describes as chocolate porcelain, Martina
creates functional ceramics through thrown and altered forms. The thin
layer of white slip serves to accentuate the construction methods and
to invite an exploration of the making process.
Here are the low fire glazes and application technique Martina is sharing with us today:
WOODY HUGHES BASE GLAZE – CONE 04 – good with colorants
Colorants can be metallic oxides or carbonates or mason stains, singly or in combination.
Colors in the image:
Blue green: 2% copper carbonate and 3% deep orchid stain
Violet: 5% orchid stain and 1.5% rutile
OPAQUE GLOSS: (rated for cone 015 – as an over-glaze enamel)
Colorants – stains or oxides. Do your own tests to develop your palette – start with 2 – 10 %
the Opaque Gloss is slip trailed onto the piece (in the example photo -
the colors you see are from the slip decoration applied prior to
bisquing). Spaces in the design motif can be filled in with colored
versions of the Woody Hughes base (brush application works best for
filling in areas with color). Woody Hughes base glaze is applied to
cone 05 bisqueware, ideally poured or dipped.
can also play with waxing over the colored Woody's glazes or not before
you cover with the clear glaze – depending on the fluidity desired.
The clear Woody's Base glaze can be very thin for dipping, however when
the stains or oxides are added for the colored glazes, thicker is
better for brushing purposes.
then fires to cone 03 using a kiln sitter or cone 04 when using a
computer program with cone 04 on the program and 25 minute hold at the
So, there you have it! Martina let us in on some of the secrets of how she gets such beautiful, fluid results in her work!
Hope you're having a wonderful Friday!
|Pemco ‘P-25’ (frit 3269)
Friday, September 07, 2012
During the Arrowmont Residency Reunion this past May, we (the 50 former Resident Artists that attended) were encouraged to collaborate on various projects that would be donated to Arrowmont for display, auction, or the permanent collection.
In the ceramic studio we tackled making 100+ mugs that would be left in the dining hall for student use during the course of Arrowmont's one-week workshops. Most of the mugs that resulted from this exciting project were touched by multiple hands. Someone would throw/trim the mug, someone else would add a handle, then it would get passed along for decoration/surface design. After it was bisque fired, someone else would apply the final glaze and then it was off to get fired again.
During the course of this process, I found myself as a "decorator" and discovered a new obsession - Amaco Velvet Underglazes!
Here is the finished Arrowmont Official Birthday Mug. I wish I could report who made the mug and who added the handle, but Brian Hiveley did the carving and illustration and I worked on the underglazes.
The underglazes were applied to greenware. After bisque firing, a black mason stain wash was applied and then a clear glaze was applied over the entire surface.
Look at the amazing color range available from Amaco!
The color palette in my work has been getting brighter and brighter over the years. (Possibly coinciding with living in Florida?) And I'm now finding that these underglazes are just what I was looking for to add that extra pop of color and still allow me to get a smooth gradation I've been wanting.
Invigorate, earthenware and kiln cast glass, 16" x 13" x 7"
The piece above had 2 coats of Amaco's
Hunter Green, Blue Green, Teal Blue, Royal Blue, and Purple mixed and blended on greenware and then fired to cone 04.
I doubt I've given up my crunchy, crawly glazes
, but this new direction excites me! And for those reading who may not be into mixing their own glazes, I thought it would be helpful to know some great commercial glaze options.