Glaze Tests, Lino-Cut Update and EZ Screen Print
Working at the ceramic studio at the Art Student’s League of Denver allowed me extensive use of their bucket and commercial glazes which was fabulous. I had a great deal of options available to me. Now that I am going to be working from my home studio, I am faced with the daunting task of making my own glazes or purchasing commercial glazes. Stocking and furnishing my studio has proved to be expensive and I have a wish list a mile long. I knew it would be like this in the beginning so I make do where I can. I have the basics and it’s amazing how many common every day things can substitute for the “real” equipment.
For example, I’d like a slab roller but a good one cost $1,000+. So, I use a humble rolling pin, 2 wooden slats as guides to get an even thickness and regular old canvas. It works but not with the same ease as a slab roller. One of my first tasks is deciding which glazes I want to use in my studio. For functional ware, it’s much more economical to make my own glazes. For the time being, I’ve decided on a clear, white, pale blue, blue/green and celadon. I, know they’re all related colorwise. I do think I could have some versatility with the clear and white by adding mason stains for the colorant.
I decided to make 3,000 gram batches of each glaze for my studio to start. I already know that this isn’t enough. I made these in 5 gallon buckets – and initially added too much water to the raw materials when I made the glaze. I won’t be able to dip my work, but will have to brush on the glaze. I’m lazy in that regard and want to dip my work. I don’t mind brushing on the glaze, but it’s difficult to get an even application of glaze. So, I’ll most likely be making larger batches in the future. After making the glaze and then firing these test tiles, I decanted a lot of water from the buckets. They’re a-ok right now.
I had a glaze fire in my mini Aim 88T Test Kiln yesterday and just peeked in the kiln this morning. I’m so pleased with the outcome of the firing and my new work! One of the items that went into the kiln were these little stoneware canvases above. I’ll share the glaze fired results in my next post. I brushed on black underglaze and then wiped off a good bit of that so that the black would sink into the recessed areas of the relief prints. Twitters about…
Last week, I ordered the EZ Screen Print Kit. On Saturday, the kit arrived in the mail and I’m excited to try it out. I think I’m going to start by screening underglaze onto a couple of test pieces and see how that works, because I still have to order the decal paper and the overglaze. Mile Hi Ceramics doesn’t carry overglazes, and Stone Leaf Pottery is closed on Mondays, so I might have to place an online order for someAmaco Water Based Versa Color Overglazes. This would be awesome if these worked because they’re water based vs. oil based and they’re lead free. China paint and overglaze traditionally include lead as an ingredient which would not make this type of work suitable for functional work – nor is lead something I want to expose myself to.
Meanwhile, today, I’m going to go to Meiningers or Jerry’s Art-O-rama to pick up some Lazertran to do some cold surface image transfers onto a glazed surface that is already prepared!