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| If you’d like a bigger selection of glaze colors, but don’t have the time or money it takes to mix and test new ones, don’t fret. Working with what you have on hand can yield some interesting results. Today, we’ll show you a couple of simple ways to get more from your studio glazes. Whether you mix your own glazes, use commercial glazes or both, it’s easy to get comfortable using the same glazes the same way on the same pieces. That’s not necessarily bad, because being comfortable with your methods builds confidence and consistency. However, it’s also wise to experiment and stretch a little bit to discover new territory. The methods below show that new territory might not be that far away. Wednesday, we’ll follow up with another method.—Sherman Hall, Ceramic Arts Daily
|Method 1 The quickest way to get more colors is to make half-and-half mixes of your current glazes. Combining 1/4 cup each of any two glazes will give you enough glaze to cover a test tile, small plate or bowl. The results can be surprising. Just one example: Mixing a dark glaze half-and-half with a white one gives you a lighter version.|
|Now, try it yourself. Six- or eight-ounce yogurt cups make handy containers. Mark the glaze combinations on both the cup and the lid. You can speed up labeling by numbering your glazes so you don’t have to write out the full name. After firing, you’ll discover some combinations you like. This not only works for colors, using the same base glaze, but also for different base glazes. When the materials in the glaze interact, you can get some very interesting new results in texture and surface. You can also get some duds, but the advantage here is that you don’t have a lot of time and energy invested in trying out new glazes from scratch.|
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|Method 2 Doing a line blend is a good way to see how intermediate colors will look (see image below). Combine two glazes together in two different amounts. Incrementally increasing the amount of one glaze and decreasing the amount of the other for each segment can produce many variations. Note that most of the change takes place on the right side of the plate. This indicates that after a point the darker color overtook the lighter one. A light version of this combination could be used on the body of a bowl with a darker version on the rim to add interest. Now, try mixing equal parts of three different glazes to discover even more glaze possibilities.|