Thursday, November 27, 2014

Testing, testing...

I’d like to start off today’s post by wishing all our U.S. readers a Happy Thanksgiving day! I hope you have a wonderful celebration!

I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks with not much time for making, but I have slowly been working on some new ideas here and there in-between jobs. I hope it won’t be too boring to share some of what I’ve been doing with you today! 

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about my tests with masking glazes in raku firings and have been continuing with these as well as trying to introduce some colour in to my work. I’d read somewhere that you can use just about any glaze for raku firing, so I started off with some of my earthenware glazes. I glazed, fired and cooled them and eagerly scrubbed the muck off them to see what wonders I’d created… they all looked dreadful! Different colours seemed to work at different temperatures, although they all fire together in a standard earthenware glaze firing. There is no sense to ceramic work sometimes! 

So undeterred, I decided to try another approach. Using underglazes. These are by Chrysanthos and fire to a matt finish. The colours are stable from cone 06 to cone 6, so have a wide range with good consistency. I had an idea that I might be able to use these for the colour and cover them with a clear crackle varnish which would make them glossy, and more importantly produce a uniform finish that could be controlled with mixed firings.

With my various tests in masking, I found that wax resist worked really well, the only down side was that the smoke wouldn’t penetrate where the resist had burned out to colour the clay. So I mixed some black underglaze into the resist and painted my lines with that. 

As the wax is waterproof you can paint right over the top of it with your glazes which will be repelled, (good if you're a messy painter like me!) but as the wax burns away, you will still be left with a nice dark line from the underglaze after firing and the same recess and edge between the glazes.

The different areas were painted

The whole thing was given a coat of clear crackle glaze.

And fired…

My favourite of the batch...

I’m fairly pleased with how these have turned out, I think the colours need a little more blending to tone them down a touch. I added a colour reference in to this firing, so in principle, I should be able to mix any colour I want!

I also decided to have a try at colouring one of my new design of figures… Mr Fox.

I’m really pleased with how he turned out, so today, I’ll be making him some friends!

Thanks for reading,

Enjoy the rest of your day!



  1. Wow lovely work!!! I like your blog!!!
    I follow you by Bloglovin now! and my like in bloglovin for your post too!!!
    would you like to follow each other with GFC? let me know. I always follow back.
    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  2. Mr. Fox came out beautifully and so did that last firing. I often use Mayco Stoke and Coat for raku firings and I love the way they come out.

    1. Thanks Mary! I think I have a few S&C glazes, I'll give them a try, I love the way your raku comes out too! :)

  3. Very clever! And I love your results. The fox is too cute!


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