Glazing has always been one of my least favorites steps in pottery making. It can really make or break a piece, and its so unpredictable that I generally only use specific glazes that I know will turn out a certain way. When I do try out new glazes its with the knowledge that it could very well ruin the piece, so when I tried out this new glaze combination on this vase, I just had my fingers crossed that it would turn out ok!
This was a decent pot before glazing, its fairly large and has a nice shape, and I thought the smooth surface would take this new glaze I’m trying out nicely. The glaze I wanted to use is called variegated blue, and though I had never used it before, the test tiles and student work using it all looked very nice. The color changes from a lovely yellow-y light green to deep blue when layered over a red glaze, and I thought i’d give it a try!
SO BEAUTIFUL! This is probably one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done based solely on the way the glaze came out. I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful, although the colors are pretty much what I had hoped for. I love the way the red transitions into the green around the neck, and that deep, dark blue on the bottom is just perfect. Also the fact that the green transitions into the blue in such a smooth line- just gorgeous!
I know many potters keep detailed records of their glaze choices so that they can reproduce them later, and even though I know its a good idea, I have never been able to be so meticulous in my record keeping. I know what glazes I like and I somewhat recklessly throw the glazes onto my pots… I’ve never forgotten what glaze was used on what, and I can repeat my colors with reasonable certainty once I’ve tried the glaze a few times, but the beautiful outcome of this glaze makes me want to get more involved with the glazing process. I am somewhat limited in my glazing choices by the glazes we have available in the studio, although to be fair we do have TONS of colors. What I’d really like to try is painting with underglazes or wax to achieve different textures and patterns. My lack of interest with the glazing process has stopped me from trying too much with it but I’m really pushing myself to go out of my comfort zone.
One other glaze change that I’ve been playing around with recently is “the snot sucker”- I’m sure they have a more medical name but thats why we call it at the studio! It truly is the little rubber sucker ball used on babies to clean out their noses. You can suck up glaze into it, like a turkey baster, and squeeze it out onto your pieces to make lines and decorations with the glaze.
These mugs are one of my favorite examples of the snot sucker in action. Those deep purple lines are made by swiping it back and forth around the piece and overlapping the purple over itself. That light blue/pale purple backdrop is the same exact glaze quickly dipped! It really is just amazing to me how cool the glaze interactions are when layered differently.
Side note, these are one of my first mug sets that really match! There is a fourth one still in the kiln that will be paired up with them shortly. The mug forms are almost all exactly the same size, and the glaze really unifies them beautifully. I’m very happy with the results!!
Thanks for reading, this got much longer than I expected but I’m just so excited about all my new work!