Sunday, January 15, 2012

Glaze Tests

Fresh from the kiln! I am working on new glazes for the new year and am very happy to share the first round of tests. These tiles range from a soft warm-toned white to a lovely lavender infused gray. All seven samples are made from the same base glaze differing in appearance only as a result of varying levels of added colorant.

These tests have a buttery, satin finish that is amazing to touch. I was literally rubbing the samples on my face last night right after I unloaded them. Silky, silky smooth, they brought out a little crazy. Seriously though, these glazes feel incredible. I wish I could pass around a little sample right through the computer screen as you read this.

I completely expected to have problems with these samples as I substituted nearly half of the chemicals in the formula for materials with very similar chemical properties. Similar.. but not exact. And that was enough to worry me, after I changed like four ingredients. But all ended well, another little bit of encouragement for me to be more spontaneous than a truly good chemist would ever allow. I like the roller-coaster ride of complete and certain unpredictability. Often this working method leaves me near tears, but this time I was ecstatic and well, rubbing the soft, smooth tiles against my cheek in celebration.

I love the entire range I pulled from the kiln but will be making small batches of the above four samples to use on a few new projects I have in the works. I will also be pairing this same base up with other colorants, stains and oxides in my future firings. I hope that my aqua glaze which is a favorite in my current translucent, high glossy base will be just as magnificent in this new satin base. My pinks and purples will not work in this base as it contains Zinc, which is a minor bummer, but I can deal with that tiny bit of disappointment until I find a way to work around it.

The tiles above are as follows:
#1: Base
#2: 0.25% stain
#3: 0.5% stain
#4: 1% stain
#5: 2% stain
#6: 4% stain
#7: 6% stain

**This base was adapted from a formula found in Colour In Glazes by Linda Bloomfield with ingredients I had available. If you are looking for a glaze chemistry book that is very easy to understand at any skill level this is a must have book for your collection! I love it!