Friday, June 12, 2015

Glaze Day With A Natural

In my last blog post I wrote about creating stoneware pendants with my sister in law.  I shared the process for forming the pendants and today I'll be sharing her glaze process and the outcome.
 Ceramic work involves 2 (or more) kiln firings.  The first firing is called the bisque fire. Bisque refers to ware which has been fired once and has no chemically bonded water left in the clay. Bisque is a true ceramic material, although the clay body has not yet reached maturity.  It still has a bit of porosity left, which is needed to help bond the glaze to the ceramic ware.  The picture above shows the bisqueware which my sister-in-law, Heike, made.
We were working under a bit of a time pressure. We had to get the bisqueware glazed, dried, fired and cooled all in one evening and the next day, because my sister and brother-in-law were flying home to Germany the next morning. After dinner that evening, I covered the dining room table with a big sheet of plastic that had once covered a large item that we had ordered.  I decided that Mayco Stroke & Coat would be an easy glaze to begin with.  The picture below shows my Stroke & Coat glazes lined up on the plastic covered table.
Heike got right to work.  She was a natural and needed no guidance with regard to ideas for glazing.
 (By the way, the necklace she is wearing is one that I had made her several years ago.)
 I took the picture below when she was part way through her glazing.  Glazed stoneware has a kind of chalky look to it before it is fired, as you can see here.
When Heike was done painting on her glazes, we placed the bisqueware on an old cookie sheet, to bring it out to the garage, where my kiln resides.
The next morning we arranged the bisqueware in the kiln. The pieces that are lying on the bottom shelf are unglazed on the back. The glazed parts cannot touch anything else or the pieces will fuse together in the heat of the kiln. The five items on the rod were mine and had glaze on all sides.  The rod keeps them from touching anything else.
Its always hard to wait until the kiln is finished firing and starts to cool down.  Heike could hardly wait to see how her pendants had turned out.  When the kiln had finally cooled to about 300F, we cracked open the top, just bit, to speed the cooling a bit.  Heike peeked in, as excited as a little kid at Christmas!
 After what seemed like forever, the stoneware was finally cool enough to handle. Unfortunately this next picture is out of focus, but I've included it anyway, because you can still see the look of pure delight on Heike's face as she unloads her creations!
 Heike placed her pendants on the old cookie sheet and brought them into the house to show her husband the results.
And here's how it all turned out!
 Heike plans to mount some textiles behind the 3 pendants shown below.
 Heike has reason to be proud, these turned out nicely for a first time experience.  I feel especially inspired by her ombre colored designs and want to give that a go in my own work.  I hope to be able to share where this has led me when I post here again in two weeks.
Linda Landig  
Linda Landig Jewelry


  1. So much fun, she did a beautiful job for her very first time. It's always wonderful to share time with somebody who enjoys creating!

    1. Yup! And you are next! We'll have so much fun!

  2. Everything turned-out beautifully! I love the ombré!

  3. These are great. I especially like the blue/green/yellow. And I love the idea of adding textiles behind the frames/open work ones.

  4. Very impressive. Thanx for sharing.


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