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Ceramic glazes and underglazes are varied and wondrous concoctions. Because they can be complex, as well as for ease of use and time savings, most of us use commercial ceramic glazes to some extent. Chances are, even if you are a ceramic glaze mixing master, you have a  few commercial ceramic glazes or underglazes around the studio for specific pottery applications. Maybe you want to rely on commercial glazes for your liner glaze, so you’re sure it will be food safe, or perhaps a commercial ceramic glaze provides that hard-to-formulate color you need for details in your surface decoration. Getting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes: Using Commercial Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes to Achieve Color, Depth, and Complexity provides several approaches and techniques to successfully identifying, applying and firing commercial ceramic glazes. 

 

Here is a sampling of what you’ll find in Getting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes: Using Commercial Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes to Achieve Color, Depth, and Complexity:

 

 

Adding Depth to Your Ceramic Surfaces with Commercial Glazes

by Lisa Bare Culp

 

As a potter and in-home instructor for ten years, I’ve always mixed my own glaze, or relied on other professionals who mix dry glazes to my specifications. Recently, an idea for a single pot challenged me to experiment with commercially made glazes. What changed my thinking on commercially prepared glazes was my desire to introduce bold new colors into my work. I envisioned a piece with contrasting matt black-and-white slip surfaces offset against a single area glazed in vibrant red. My local supplier recommended a food-safe, nontoxic red glaze: Mayco’s Stroke & Coat Cone 06. Below, I will demonstrate one project that you can try to experiment with commercially prepared glazes. Wednesday show you a couple more. Have fun experimenting with this great tool!

 

Early Experiments

Early tests resulted in pieces with dramatic and beautiful contrasts between my porcelain slips and the red glaze. In one test, I used Stroke & Coat SC-73 Candy Apple Red, to highlight areas of bisqueware. In another, I used SC-74 Hot Tamale. Sometimes I applied the glaze with a big brush in a single, expressive stroke. Other times, I squeezed the colors from a slip trailer and a turkey baster.

 

After these loose applications, I dipped the entire piece in my usual Cone 6 glazes. Because of their gum content, the commercial glazes resisted my glazes slightly, making the bold strokes of color come through vividly. Where edges of glazes met, they blended and the colors were softly striking against the Cone 6 palette. I was satisfied with the melt (Stroke & Coat is a glaze, not an underglaze), the color and the absence of pin holing or other major flaws at Cone 6.

 

Project 1: Carving

Apply a thick coat of Mayco Stroke & Coat SC-71 Purple-Licious and SC-74 Hot Tamale with a large brush to the interior surface of a leather-hard bowl. Once the colors are slightly dry, the design is carved through the glaze with a loop tool, then bisque fired to Cone 08. Dip the entire piece twice in a Cone 6 matt white glaze and fire to Cone 6 in oxidation. The commercial colors show well through the white matt.

 

Note: If the carved lines are too fine they may fill in when the glaze melts.

 

To see the rest of this article and the others below, download your free copy of Getting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes: Using Commercial Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes to Achieve Color, Depth, and Complexity…

 

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Getting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes: Using Commercial Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes to Achieve Color, Depth, and Complexity also includes the following articles:

 

 

 

A World of Color

by David L. Gamble

 

Underglazes are one of the most popular ways to add color to clay surfaces. They’re easy to use, and underglaze colors are pretty much a “what you see is what you get” kind of proposition—blue fires blue and orange fires orange. The best part is that underglazes come in all forms like underglaze pens, underglaze pencils, underglaze crayons, and more.

 

 

 
 

Homemade Underglazes

by Holly Goring

 

Using underglazes is one way to achieve a full palette of colors for decorating your pottery. Underglazes are widely avaialble but if you’re adventurous, you may want to try to mix your own. Holly provides a basic recipe and instructions for creating your own underglazes and the special instructions required for success.

   
 

Creating a Weathered Look

by Jeffrey Nichols

 

Jeffery explains how he discovered a weathered surface effect using underglazes on his precision made teapots. Discover how he does it using underglazes and sandpaper and give it a try on your next pot.

   
 

Using Ceramic Underglazes

by David L. Gamble

 

Commercial underglazes are a great way to add color to your work using a variety of application methods. 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.

   
 

Low-Fire Red Glazes

by David L. Gamble

 

If you have ever tried to formulate a red glaze, you know how difficult it can be. But 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. This article will help you understand and keep track of all the variable when applying and firing red ceramic glazes.

 

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About Ceramic Arts Daily:

Ceramic Arts Daily is a free online resource and newsletter written and produced for the benefit of potters and ceramic artists worldwide. The newsletter features both renowned and emerging artists, their work, techniques and artistic perspectives. Regular features include tips and techniques designed to help every artist expand their skill set and widen their artistic horizons. Ceramic Arts Daily also delivers video tips, in which potters and ceramic artists demonstrate various projects and processes. Think of them as e-workshops!

 

Ceramic Arts Daily is designed to be interactive, inviting your comments and fostering a community in which each person can contribute to the growth of their own and others’ skills. You may be surprised at what you learn!

 

Ceramic artists on Ceramic Arts Daily know what ceramic art is all about – from functional pottery to abstract ceramic sculpture. This is about community. You’ll be drawn in by artists’ stories, inspired by their work and find confidence to try some of their techniques. With Ceramic Arts Daily, you’ll learn a little bit of everything. Then you can choose the techniques you enjoy the most to create something new!

 

So start today by downloading our free Getting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes: Using Commercial Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes to Achieve Color, Depth, and Complexity. Then, get ready for Ceramic Arts Daily to introduce you to new artists and show you new techniques!

 


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