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Coming soon to a Pot Near You

The kiln is cooling and I couldn’t wait any longer to check out the tests that were on the top shelf.  So I put on the big heavy elbow-length leather gloves, grabbed the kitchen tongs and quickly opened the lid, reached in and grabbed out a tile.  Wait 10 minutes and repeat.  You can’t leave the kiln open for very long or the temperature differential from the cold air flowing in hitting the hot pieces could crack the pots.  (It’s a dumb thing to do, but I couldn’t help myself!)

These tiles are from two base glazes with two colorants added in different amounts.  I love the gray on the texture!

These tiles are from two base glazes with two colorants added in different amounts. I love the gray on the texture!

I’m really excited about the gray tests.  I’ve had a picture in my head for a while about a beautiful soft, dove/pigeon gray glaze and I can’t get it out of my head.  I find that when this happens, I get stuck and until I start to explore it, new ideas get clogged up behind it.  I need to try those new ideas or else my creative process gets clogged up!

These tiles aren’t exactly what I had in my head, but they’re just beautiful and I can see some of them on my pieces.  Time to make a larger batch of a couple of them and see what happens.

A test of one of my favorite glazes over another one.  This is on porcelain - glaze combinations can look quite different on stoneware!

A test of one of my favorite glazes over another one.

This tile is a test of two of my current glazes.  You can get radically different results if you layer glaze A over glaze B and vice versa.  I’ve got a spreadsheet set up with hundreds of combinations on it and I’m working to try them all!  Of course, glaze A over glaze B might look different if you try it on porcelain versus stoneware.  And what happens if you do glaze A over glaze B over glaze A?  How does it look on texture?  On vertical surfaces?  On horizontal ones?  Does it stay put, or does it drip down the pot as it melts?

Sometimes what you get on a test tile doesn’t give you a great idea of what it will look like on a full pot.  Part of the challenge is imagining what it’s going to look like on a larger piece – and of course, managing the anxiety as a kiln full of tests slowly cools!

Most of them will be ugly, but knowing that is just as important as knowing what turns out beautiful.  And there are enough tests to make that I’ll probably never run out of combinations!

What do you think?  Do any of these tests look like winners to you?

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  1. Lovely glazes! I especially like the second one from the left. I’m looking to make a similar grey glaze. Do you mind me asking for your base glaze recipe and what you used for the grey colorant?

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