A few weeks back I mentioned some clay work I had done – functional work, for a change. I showed it to you as it came out of the kiln.
I’m slowly beginning to work on it. I’m not in any hurry, and so I don’t know when I’ll finish the group. That’s fine, I like to take my time when I am glazing clay.
I decided to do a preliminary step in a few cases – make some simple designs using wax, right on the clay. The wax acts as a resist to anything put over it, vaporizing in the kiln. What will be left, in the way I did things, are marks showing the original clay color.
You can use the wax technique on underglaze colors, too – paint one color, apply the wax, paint another color, and you’ll end up with a design featuring the original color.
Anyway, on some of the pieces, I applied wax (which looks green in this stage of things, don’t be confused) and then put black Velvet underglaze over it.
On the others I simply painted the black underglaze, as you can see here.
Then I started to work on the pieces. I am using various Velvet underglazes, as I do with my tiles, and then scratching through the colors when wet to the black layer to form lines. I have some plates and a couple of sizes of bowls I’m working on.
I can only do a little work at a time. This type of glazing takes a toll on my arthritic hands. I don’t work on it for more than a couple of hours and I don’t do it two days in a row – I’ve learned from my tile work I suffer if I don’t follow this plan. That’s ok. It keeps me from hurrying through the process.
I have done maybe half or so of the inventory I have waiting. I need to finish the “fancy” side and then turn them over to do the outsides – those, I think, will be something simple, maybe spattered. I’m more interested in the top sides.
Once they are ready, I will fire them again and see how things turned out. After that, I’ll make any underglaze adjustments and then glaze them. Yes, I will put “shiny” on these. Since they are functional pieces, I need to make sure that they are food safe, in case someone should decide to use them in that way. Then they will be fired again.
OK, I’ll keep you up to date on this project as things progress.