Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Testing, testing 1, 2, 3

I have this love/hate relationship with making my own glazes.
At the academy of fine arts, we used to make lots and lots of samples and while all I wanted to do was clay, we were 'forced' to make test tiles. Ugh!
I know it's a learning process that we had to go through but it is so time consuming that it kind of turned me off to make my own glaze. I never really intended to be an Alchemist and get to know the secret world of ingredients so it was more of a pest then a pleasure...
But when I set up my studio, I decided to buy all the ingredients so that I could experiment if I ever got the urge or need...

The urge is kind of a statement so lets just say that it's the need that calls for experimenting right now. I made these porcelain plates and glazed 'em with transparant glaze from the brand 'Welte'. Since I don't own a spraying room, I apply all of my glazes by hand which is rather time consuming but it also adds to the charm of the profession.
To cut a long story short: I really, really, really dislike the glaze I use. I have never managed to apply it evenly as it just sucks itself into the poreus bisquefired piece so quickly that I'm hardly ever satisfied with the result. No matter how thin I make it, it's horror!

So here is where the bare ingredients come in handy so that I can test and make my own transparant and more fluid glaze. I got out my glaze recipes from art school and sweet Anne also send me a few to try out. Thank you, Anne!

I need to be really organised and write down each and every recipe and number all the samples so that I know which recipe to use after they are fired. It's a chore but hopefully one with satisfaction in the end. *sigh*

The hardest part of making your own glaze is waiting for the fired results...
Even though I know they will all be transparant, it is still exciting as there are so many different kinds of transparant.
Besides, with one of the glazes, I used my gut feeling and changed the original recipe by replacing some ingredients and that is really triggering my curiousity.
I'll have to wait until thursday when I unload the kiln. The patience a ceramicist needs to have...