Commercial underglazes are basically clay slips containing colorants, and they’re a great way to add color to your work using a variety of application methods. And since they’re formulated to have low drying shrinkage, they can be applied to bone-dry greenware or to bisque-fired surfaces. In addition to being able to change the surface color of your clay body, underglazes can also be used to change the texture of the body.
I first saw these pieces in person a while back at David Gamble’s home and studio in Plainfield, Indiana. I thought his idea of making clay portraits from his old kindergarten class photos was fantastic (not to mention very well carried out!). This project also got me thinking about different ways to stretch the potential of commercial glazes. Maybe it will spark a new direction in your work!
This year, after many long years of waiting, I purchased my first brand spanking new electric kiln. I have had a nearly permanent grin on my face since then. While my kiln is beautiful and shiny now, I know the day will eventually come when I will have to replace the elements. I’ve always fired in other people’s kilns so I have never had to do any of this sort of kiln maintenance before. So I was excited to see the article in the latest Pottery Making Illustrated about replacing elements. Today, I am sharing an excerpt from that article. I am definitely going to keep this one handy for that inevitable day when my elements go kaput. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In today’s post, David Gamble discusses a red hot topic for many a ceramic artist: how to achieve reliable red glazes. If you have ever tried to formulate a red glaze, you know how difficult it can be. And even if you buy commercial red glazes, you understand that they need a certain amount of attention and precision paid to them during application and firing.