Welcome to the Clay & Glass blog of Meagan Chaney Gumpert! We hope you enjoy your time here!
Friday, September 06, 2013

Low Fire Friday - 15 recipes from Ceramic Arts Daily

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!

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 24-Feb-2014 03:26 PM
Yes. I do enhance the surface of my glazed work with oil paints, waxes, nail polish and/or shoe polish.

PS - sorry for my delayed reply! Your comment got buried in the long list of spam comments I receive. So glad I caught it. If you have other questions, you can always email me too.
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Friday, August 02, 2013

Low Fire Friday - Semi Matte Glaze

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

Frit 3124...............73

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.

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 14-Aug-2013 02:55 PM
Hi Mary,

I've never had the red iron oxide stick using this application, so stacking your tiles should be fine.

Thanks for the pictures! Glad things are working out for you!

Anonymous commented on 09-Feb-2014 11:04 AM
Do you use paint on your work
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Friday, June 07, 2013

Low Fire Friday - A great glaze for figure sculpture

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

Frit 3124.................30





Rutile                    15

And like most of my texture glazes, it needs to be applied, super, SUPER thick!


Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Bronwyn Simons commented on 04-Mar-2015 02:02 PM
Hello! I'm a new ceramic major at MICA in Baltimore, and this glaze is exactly what I've been looking for! I'm just wondering whether this tile was fired in oxidation or reduction?

Thanks so much for posting all these findings, I am so exited to test them out. I'm just starting to build up my glaze repertoire, and as a largely figurative sculpture it can be very tricky.

Thanks again!--Bronwyn
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 22-Mar-2015 08:27 PM
Hi Bronwyn,

So sorry for my delayed response! Your comment didn't pop up in my inbox so I am just now seeing it.

Yes, I fired this in a cone 04 Oxidation.

Best of luck to you!
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Friday, May 03, 2013

Low Fire Friday - Red Iron Oxide Wash

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.

But this wash can also be used to accentuate texture. A thin coat can be applied to the entire surface of a bisqued form and then sponged off. The raised surfaces will be wiped clean, and the wash will remain in the carved or recessed areas. This technique was used over underglazes in the collaborative Arrowmont Official Birthday Mug project I talked about here.

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?
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Mary commented on 03-May-2013 06:24 PM
Thanks for the post. So you carve out the lines and then add that mix by painting into the curved lines you carved out and then bisque fire? I love those forms.

I was just wondering about doing a piece that has already been bisqued. If I wanted that cool effect of the stain with the colours, could I still do it? And would it work if I painted that stain over the whole piece, washed it off and then painted it with colours?

As always, love to read your posts.
Jonni commented on 04-May-2013 12:08 AM
Nice post! Please tell me what those precious round things are used for...
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 04-May-2013 10:13 AM
Hi Ladies,

Thanks for your questions!

Jonni - I call those little round pieces my Mini Sculptures. They were originally inspired by sea urchins, but that have since taken on a life of their own.

They are slab-built and hollow. Also there is a hole cut in the back so that they can hang on the wall if you want. They are generally sold/installed in groups of 3 or more. Sometimes as many as 100!

Currently, I am only make them for wholesale orders. The ones pictured above will be shipped to a gallery in Wisconsin when they are done. Occasionally, if there are a few remaining after filling an order, I will post these on etsy. Keep an eye out!

Mary - Yes! I carve out the lines and then brush on the red iron oxide mix by painting into the curved lines and then bisque fire.

You can apply the oxide wash to the carved areas after bisque. It will work fine, but is a bit messy. I've found that if I wait to do it on the bisque form, and then continue to brush on the colored glazes into the sections, I end up with red iron oxide all over my hands! (The exception to this is if I'm wanting to sponge off most of the oxide wash anyway, just to accentuate texture.)

It would "work" if you painted that stain over the whole piece, washed it off and then painted it with colors. You would probably get a different look though. More weathered maybe. Or the oxide wash would settle into recessed areas and just accentuate texture. Give it a try. I'd love to hear and see how it came out!

Hope that helps Ladies! If you have any other questions, please just let me know!

Mary commented on 03-Aug-2013 12:37 PM
Hi Meagan,
I've created some pieces and I'm going to be bisque firing them this weekend. I'm just wondering if you can stack pieces that you have put your wash on? I've created "grooves" into the pieces and then painted the red iron oxide wash into the grooves. But they are flat tiles and I want to stack at least two (as I don't have enough kiln shelves!). They won't stick at all, will they? I don't think that frit is glossy, but I'm not entirely sure. I"ll send you pictures when I fire them!
Ellen Zook Osborn commented on 09-Dec-2013 04:56 PM
Hi, Megan -- I have the same question that Mary has...about stacking pieces. I use a small kraft kiln for earthenware nativity figures. I just did an art project today with school kids -- flat tiles from terracotta clay that they stamped with texture. I was thinking it would be nice to try a red iron oxide wash, but wasn't sure about stacking them...

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Low Fire Friday - Raw materials needed for low fire glazes

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. 

The inspiration for my glaze area over-haul came from Emily Murphy Pottery. Here's her space...

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

These materials and the quantities listed would give you enough to make one 500g batch (the size of a large yogurt container) of each of the following: My Favorite Crawl Glaze, Todd's Texture, Bleeding Cake, Lizard Skin, Base 3, Base 4,and Pete Pinnell's white slip. All of which were featured in a Low Fire Friday post.

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!

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Tammy commented on 08-Apr-2013 10:52 AM
Thanks for posting the list of chemicals you feel would get a mixer off to a good start with glaze mixing. I am acquiring chemicals and equipment as I find they are necessary, and will soon have a nice base to build on.
As far as Emily Murph'y workspace, yes, it looks nice, and might be something to aspire to. There's a reason it looks so neat, organized, and desirable. SHE DOESN'T USE IT.
If you look at her blog, she hasn't posted since early December, 2012, and that post isn't about pots.
Her Etsy store remains empty, and has been for a year or two.
She never blogs about her pots in coming shows or exhibits, so what, exactly is she doing with all those chemicals, and that nice space? Nothing.
At least a messy work area that is being used to turn out pots or paintings. or weavings or sculptures is one that indicates artistic expression, life, growth.
A work area that is as neat as a pin is easy to achieve if you never use it.
I'd rather see blog posts, messy work areas, and pots, painting, sculpture,etc. any day, wouldn't you?
Keep at it, and best of luck!
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 08-Apr-2013 03:36 PM
Hi Tammy,

Thanks for your comment. Best of luck setting up your studio and stocking your glazing area! What an exciting adventure.

Yes, a messy area is often the sign that creativity is taking place! Who has time to clean when inspiration strikes!

I follow Emily Murphy more of facebook, than through her blog.

From what I can tell, she was just glazing and unloading a kiln a week or so ago - with her 2 year old daughter attempting to "help." As the mother of two small children myself (2.5 yrs and 7 months), I personally find Emily's studio/life journey/struggle inspirational. It's helpful for me to see other artists/mothers who are trying to balance it all. And I'm guilty of ignoring my Etsy shop and blog from time to time too. Oops. Oh well, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. What can you do?

Thanks again for reading and following along with me! As always, I welcome suggestions and if you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Friday, March 01, 2013

Low Fire Friday - Thick is the Trick

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

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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

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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Friday, February 01, 2013

Low Fire Friday - Roses are Red

 In honor of Valentines Day, I'm featuring my favorite RED glaze. After years of searching and chasing the "perfect red", I stumbled across Spectrum's Fire Engine Red and found the answer I was looking for.

Often I'll use it over slip trailing. (left photo.) But I've also discovered interesting effects when it is layered over this Bleeding Cake Glaze. It becomes this wonderful glossy and crunchy surface that I love. (right photo.)

That's it for now. Happy Glazing.

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Layla commented on 07-Feb-2014 07:43 PM
I've been looking for a mottled red glaze for one of my sculptures for a while, and the layering over Bleeding Cake seems perfect. I fire at cone 6 though, and I was wondering... do you know if the effect will be the same or similar?

Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 24-Feb-2014 03:30 PM
Hi Layla,

I'm not sure. First, I would test the Bleeding Cake glaze at cone 6 to see how it fires. I typically fire it to cone 04.

If that works, the I would look for a cone 6 commercial glaze to layer on top before the first glaze firing.

As an alternative, I'm finding that I can achieve a similar crusty-looking glaze by just adding sand to a glaze I am already familiar with. The sand I use is the hobby sand from the craft stores like Michaels.

Good luck!

PS - sorry for my delayed reply! Your comment got buried in the long list of spam comments I receive. So glad I caught it. If you have other questions, you can always email me too.
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Friday, January 04, 2013

Low Fire Friday - Barium Blues (Guest Artist - Emma Williams)

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...

Inspiration 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 H

Emily Myers Blue - 1050ºC/1922oF or a hot cone 04

Barium Carbonate...............40
China Clay...........................19
Nepheline Syenite............ ...19
Lithium Carbonate.................5

For Vibrant Purple: +Copper Carbonate.................3.5
For Deep Blue: +Cobalt Carbonate...................3

I 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.)

Nepheline Syenite..............40
Barium Carbonate..............30
Ball Clay.............................15
Zinc Oxide............................5
Black Copper Oxide.............4

To see more of Emma's beautiful work, check out the following links:
Emma Williams Ceramics Facebook:

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!

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
jennifer commented on 07-Feb-2013 07:30 PM
these are beautiful! would it possible to find out what black clay body she used for these? i am researching black clays... thanks for the post & the glaze recipes!
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 06-Mar-2013 04:35 PM
Hey Jennifer!

I apologize for my delayed response.I am still learning how to navigate my new website and blog, and just discovered your comment today. Yikes!

I will get in touch with Emma as well as Nigel Rudolph to ask about the black clays they use.

Stay tuned and thanks for your patience!

Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 07-Mar-2013 01:36 PM
Nigel uses Standard Clay #266. I still haven't heard from Emma, but will let you know as soon as I do.

Krishna commented on 23-Sep-2014 05:22 PM
Hi Megan
The barium blue glazes are lovely.
When you say that you use copper oxide speckles what do you mean? Do you mean a granular version of copper oxide?
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 03-Nov-2014 09:19 PM
Hi Krishna,

I'm assuming what Emma is using in these glazes is the granular version of copper oxide, but I'm not 100% positive. You could contact Emma via her website or facebook to confirm:

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, December 07, 2012

Low Fire Friday - Tis the Season

In honor of the holidays, I thought I'd so something a little different for December's issue of Low-Fire Friday. Instead of a recipe or technique this month, I wanted put together a little low-fire shopping list.

The following 9 artists all work with earthenware clay and have some exciting items listed in their Etsy shops! And many are even offering special holiday sales and discounts.


1. Ron Philbeck -mugs, cups, bowls, plates, jars, pitchers, jugs, vases, teapots, and more. $10 - $145

2. Lauren Sandler - cups, mugs, and tumblers. $32- $120.

3. Dawn Ferguson - plates, bowls, ornaments, cake stands. $10 - $65.

4. Brian R. Jones - cups, plates,serving bowls, and more. $35 - $200.

5. Kristin Pavelka -cups, mugs, bowls, plates,utensils, serving pots, flower display and more. $35 - $155.

6. Tom Jaszcak - plates, bowls, cups, vases and more. $35 - $110.

7. Meagan Chaney Gumpert - tile plaques, glass pendants. $20 - $45.

8. Courtney Murphy - mugs, cups, bowls, teapots, cream and sugar sets, and more. $32 - $220

9. Patti McQuillin, owner of Crowfoot Studio - carved ceramic tiles. $9 - $88.

Hope you find something you like - for you or that perfect gift for that special someone. Names above are linked directly to their Etsy shops. Enjoy and Happy Holidays.

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Friday, November 02, 2012

Low Fire Friday - Slip trailing with white slip

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 Fire Friday

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 try.

Pete Pinnell's White Slip
40 OM4
40 Talc
10 Silica
10 Nepheline Syenite

+10 Frit 3124
+7 Zircopax

(You 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 bottle.)

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?

Try 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 needed.

Squeeze 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.


Happy Glazing!

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Sue commented on 02-Nov-2012 07:54 AM
Love the forms and I also love to use slip to decorate pieces. Will have to try the slip recipe you posted. Thanks.
Henry Pope commented on 09-Nov-2012 02:53 PM
Another sure-fire slip that can be put on thick:
neph sy 20
EPK 20
Silica 20
OM-4 40
I was given the recipe by Rob Forbes, long gone from pottery; though I've seen other sources of the recipe. In his clay day, Rob put the slip on really thick with a large house-painter's brush and fired around your temperature.

Anonymous commented on 27-Feb-2013 01:35 PM
Hi Meagan,

Thanxs for you super posts !
I am new at pottery and am totally enamoured with all that is clay. I wish to prepare my first home made slip following your Pete Pinels white slip recipe. how much water would you say you would mix with dry ingredients? Thank you so much

Elise S, from sunny isles Florida and Quebec, Canada
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 06-Mar-2013 04:24 PM
Sue, Henry, and Elise - Thank you for your comments! I apologize for my delayed response. I am still learning how to navigate my new website and blog. Whew!

Elise - I generally add water gradually and mix until the sip consistency is between buttermilk and yogurt. Hope that helps! I'd love to hear how your first homemade slip experience went!

Cheers Everyone!
Ale commented on 09-Apr-2013 02:40 AM
Hi Meagan,

I'm also rather new with pottery and I'm willing to try your recipe. I never done slip decoration. Do you add slip decoration just to unfired pieces? How do you glaze after bisque-fired? I'm wondering how the slip decoration remains white while the rest of your tile is colored. Thanks
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