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lili and others on the quest--was stephanie: slips and glazes

updated thu 10 mar 05


Kate Johnson on wed 9 mar 05

>What I am trying for at c.6 and also (mainly for Kate's use)

Bless you.

> c.04 is the lead-look. I have tried a number of things, and now have
> reached a few conclusions--all temporary no doubt.

>For one: I may need to use a slip over the earthenware body.

I've forgotten to ask--what claybody are you using? I've found that
occasionally the clear, slightly golden-tinted RIO glaze that I sometimes
get looks GORGEOUS over red earthenware. A few of my pieces just make me
want to jump up and down with delight! The tinting in the clear glaze makes
the red earthenware color go a dark, rich red-brown, _yum_. When the white
slip decoration takes on just a bit of the warmth of the glaze, I'm really
fairly happy with the results. (Just not always GETTING them, bloody
alchemy! The kiln gods are playing with me!)

Also, I've found that if I'm after the look of the 18th C. in the claybody
itself, I need to use a grogged clay rather than a very smooth one, so the
terra cotta Flint Hills works well for platters and plates. As we've
discussed offlist (I believe), "they" probably didn't have such pure clay
choices as we do today, at least in the folk potteries.

Unfortunately since I handbuild rather than throw, I can get an uneven
surface with the grogged body unless I am VERY careful to sponge it all
evenly. Looks weird, sometimes.

Occasionally, I've used a rib, which catches on bits of grog and makes tiny
crevices--which also adds to the look of the early folk ware. Very

> I am thinking a couple of Mason stains, peach, orangy things--as probably
> being more reliable than rutile. I also am thinking of spraying a thin
> wash of same over the slip decorated plates before bisquing and then
> glazing.

Just don't use the yellow Mason stain I did--and now I can't remember which
it was. (Vanadium, zirconium? One of the two...) It was highly
refractory, anyway, and just SOAKED the glaze up. I had feathered a batch
of pieces with the tinted slip and with a dark brown made with an
Albany-substitute (Arroyo), which looked great bisque fired.

When it was glazed, however, the yellowish background soaked up the glaze,
the dark brown went shiny, and though the effect was interesting and rather
decorative, it was lousy for functional ware. But then I'm sure you know
all that part, just added it for any newbies that may also be exploring...

>The slight opalescence from the boron, if very slight indeed, could help, I
>think, or do I mean hope?

Can't wait to hear of your hopes were realized.

Best Regards,
Kate Johnson

Art, History, Nature and More--
Graphics/Fine Arts Press--