Saturday, August 17, 2013
What I Learned This Summer
A dissatisfaction with shiny or inconsistent clear glazes lead to a little exploration of cold finishes, and to other options. My friend, Liz, had a wide assortment of clay bodies. So, she made tiles for each clay body. I only use two different clay bodies, so I made tiles for those. Then, we fired and glazed and experimented. Here are some things that I learned:
- I don't like the lack of porosity of the clay, when it is bisque fired to Cone 3. The underglaze
doesn't readily absorb into the work.
- I will now be firing my first bisque at Cone 04, then the second at Cone 3, and the finishing
firing back at Cone 04.
- I like what Cone 3 does to the clay, so it is essential to fire at this higher temp. It makes the colors
more vivid, and the clay vitrifies more fully.
- I learned that the matte stoneware clear glaze looks kind of cool, when it is fired way too low at
Cone 04. It has a snowy, ashy look and feel. It might be interesting to try it out on a piece.
- I learned that I can melt wax and spill it! I'd like to try using furniture paste wax on some
smoother, textureless pieces.
- I learned that tile sealant gives a nice finish.
- I like the finish that a coating of Delta Matte Varnish gives after a piece has been fired.
- I'm going to try a couple of clays that Liz made tiles for, just to see if I like how they feel.
- I learned that using cafeteria trays helps to transport work.
- This was a no brainer: I learned that Liz has an awesome studio, and that she is an amazing
person to have in my clay community!