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clayart gallery /glazing methods

updated sun 24 apr 05


Judy Musicant on sat 23 apr 05

Well Dori, thanks for the very kind words. I must say I'm flattered by =
your praise, especially given the truly magnificent work that appears in =
Chris's gallery of forms. =20

There are so many glaze application methods out there. I must say that =
some of the best potters I know just dip their pots in one glaze. If =
the form is strong, using one glaze isn't necessarily boring, especially =
if there is some sort of surface decoration on the pot, such as carving =
or faceting, or simply strong throwing lines and the glaze breaks over =
it in an interesting way. I recommend you get a good book or two about =
decorating techniques to get some good ideas.

Having said that, I glaze most of my pieces with one glaze on most of =
the body and another on the rim, overlapping the first glaze. I dip all =
my pieces as opposed to spraying or brushing. It's simply a matter of =
finding glazes that work well together. For instance, for the round =
purple pitcher with the multi-colored glaze dripping down the sides in =
the forms gallery I used only two glazes on the outside (there's a =
third liner glaze on the inside). The rim glaze (Val Cushing's satin =
matte in Rusty Bronze, below) interacts with the purple glaze to make =
all those colors. Pretty amazing. The blue egg shaped pitcher with the =
beige rim is good old floating blue with the Rusty Bronze on the rim. =
By the way, I always take 2 days to glaze a bunch of pots. On the first =
day, I glaze the insides only. This gives the pots a chance to dry =
thoroughly so that the outside will take on a sufficient amount of glaze =
on the second day. I haven't yet developed any glazes of my own. =
They've all been published so I'm listing them below, except for =
floating blue which has been dicussed ad nauseum and is in the archives =
in several different versions. However, with any glazes you have to do =
a lot of testing to determine the thickness of application and firing =
temperature and schedule that works for you. Even though I have a =
controller on my kiln, I always use witness cones to determine when to =
turn off the kiln for consistent results. I fire to where the cone five =
is flat and the cone six is bending to about 10 o'clock. Good luck.

Judy Musicant

Amy's Blue Violet

% =20

Barium 20 =20

Dolomite 12.37 =20

Ger. Borate 2.06 =20

Whiting 5.15 =20

Neph. Sy. 31.96 =20

EPK 8.25 =

Silica 19.59=20


Tin Ox. 3.09 =20

Zinc Ox. 3.08 =20

Cobalt Carb. .26 =20

Copper Carb 1.03 =20

Mason Stain 6005 8.25=20

Since this glaze contains barium, I don't use it for food surfaces, even =
though I had it tested at the Alfred lab and the barium leach seems to =
be within acceptable norms. The test results are on John Hesselberth's =

Val Cushing Satin Matte Glaze


Nepheline Syenite 40 =20

Gerstley Borate 10 =20

Whiting 10 =20

Lithium Carbonate 6 =20

EP Kaolin 12 =20

Silica 12 =20

Titanium Dioxide 6 =20




Light Green - 1-2% Copper Carbonate =20

Light Blue/Green - 1% Cobalt =20

Rusty Bronze - 2-3% Iron Oxide =20

Yellow - 5% 6404 Vanadium Mason Stain =


This glaze is very touchy, with a narrow firing range. A little too =
thick and/or a little too hot, and it will run off the pot. It has a =
lot of texture, and tends to form small crystals. It looks good on =
white clay as well as manganese speckled clay. I use the Rusty Bronze =
version on the rim of almost all my pots. It looks gorgeous with almost =
every other glaze I've tried. The test results for this are also on =
John's website. I also used the freeze/boil and vinegar tests on it, =
and it's held up fine. I've had some bowls with the green version on =
the inside and they have held up to years of use. However, I don't use =
it as a liner glaze for anything meant to hold liquids, such as mugs, =
pitchers and vases since the liquids tend to seep through on just about =
every type of cone 6 clay I've tried.