Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Three Clays; Two Glazes

I picked up three different clays from the supplier when I got the kiln. They're all Laguna clays. One is porcelain, the other two a red and a very dark, nearly black clay. It will be interesting to see how they handle and fire.

I also got a couple of fairly neutral glazes to experiment with. And I'll include some underglazes into the mix to test how they perform.

Sounds fairly simple? I began brainstorming about how I can find out the most with just these elements.

I think best with a pen in my hand and a piece of paper. And this is what I came up with and this is what I came up with. I make test tiles that are curved on the bottom so I can see how the glaze pools. I use a bamboo skewer to impress two lines to see how the glaze breaks. Later I'll make a hanging board so I can see all the glazes at a glance.

I'll bisque 3 samples for clay reference: On to remain bisqued, one to fire to cone 5 and one burnished.

Three will be a sample of one glaze: All three dipped two times with one dipped a third time and held as an example of just that glaze. The other two will be held in reserve for further tests of that glaze.

These test tiles are 4 inches long and two inches wide. The clay and cone are incised on the backside of the clay.

The same applies for the other glaze. With the third set of tiles, I'll dip an over/under test with one glaze, then reverse the test for the other glaze. The 2nd and 3rd tiles will be held in reserve to use with a third glaze in the future.

And I'll make sure I label the backs of these tiles, take notes and photograph the results.

I will also make one 6" square tile of each clay and do an underglaze test plus an over/under glaze test.

I toyed with the idea of making a square vessel that could show the two glazes and how they reacted on a vertical surface with indentations and with relief elements, yet integrated enough to make an inti grated piece. After I roll out all that I need for test pieces, I'll see if I have enough room.

Always nice to have two references for any glaze.

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