Glaze testing #2

Updated: Jan 24

The glazes I previously trialled didn't come out the colour I had intended. This is common within glaze testing and is simply a process of trial and error.

I wanted to create a honey-brown colour to reflect the natural materials employed to make the Mayan woven baskets that inspired this form. I found some more recipes to experiment with, along with some pre-made glazes ready to use. I was much happier with the results of these and chose my favourite 3 from this batch, as well as one from my previous tests, to decide from for my final outcome. I fired each glaze to 1220º and 1260º to see if there was any reactionary difference at the varying temperatures. There was no noticeable difference, which greatly surprised me. It's possible there was human error at play and the tests were all fired to the same temperature, due to the high volume of work that gets put through the communal kilns.

Second batch of glaze tests:

Favourite four glazes:

I’m happy with the tones achieved and the variations throughout each. The speckle ones work nicely in adding texture to the form, and the two warmer glazes are a lighter colour where the glaze is thicker which I also really like. Although the first two glazes above are what I was striving to create, my favourite surprisingly was the blue/grey speckle.

Blue is an important colour in Mayan culture as it is historically associated with their rain deities. I also love the speckle throughout the glaze, it adds a beautiful textual quality to the ceramic and I like how they bleed into the base colour. This makes the glaze seem more organic and like its crawling across the surface of my pot. I like this because it adds more of a maximalist finish, which I am fond of, as well as appearing like droplets of rain - making reference to the Mayan rain deities.

Although my blue is not as vibrant is traditionally common in Mayan artwork, it combines the neutral base colour I was striving for with the cultural relevance of blue for my overall glaze colour.

Glazing the vessel:

As it was a pre-made glaze, it needed sieving through a (minimum of) 100 mesh to mix it properly and ensure the particles are small enough to fit through the spray gun. I chose to use the spray gun to ensure an even application, as the ceramic is too large to dip and using a brush could possibly leave streaks across the surface.

Out of the kiln:

I’m extremely happy with the outcome of this glaze. The honey- brown speckle I was initially aiming for came through where this glaze was applied, thinner but still maintained the overall blue overtone. The speckle also adds a really nice texture to the pot as well as a more natural 'aged' look.

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