There’s the old Chinese wheeze - something about “Every problem has a gift in it’s hands” which I have always filed in the Mental Sour Grapes Junk Drawer, but recently that very thing happened to me. I made an 8-piece set of “Cat Plates” drawing the cats and the trim with black underglaze. They were porcelain and finished with a cone 6 clear glaze. In the final firing, the clear glaze reacted with the black underglaze in the banding resulting in a small area of a sort of wispy grey on the black. In another area, there was a tiny bit of black ‘creep’of fine lines into the white ground.
It didn’t bother me, but it did bother the lady who bought a whole set. A request was made to replace that particular plate, which I was glad to do. (I want my customers to be satisfied. Besides, the gallery that sells my work has a reputation to uphold as well.)
So, I tried to duplicate the plate. That didn’t work. Too many variables: Clay density, throwing variation, glaze and underglaze consistencies, my memory...... I usually do extras when I do a whole series of one thing, but you guessed it. This time I didn’t. Okay. Lesson learned.
I asked that the plate be returned to me in order to get it right. Previously, I had used an overglaze on clear-glazed ray guns that had been underglazed in bright colors. I thought I’d try using a black overglaze to correct the banding. I tested it first on a similar plate and not only did it work, but it worked seamlessly.
New revelation! It is extremely workable, it is also extremely tinker-able. I can erase what I don’t like quickly with a damp sponge or Q-tip. If it’s dried, I can alter or etch lines into solid areas using a needle tool. I can write script using a fine liner brush. There’s much to be explored here.