Today I made ceramic high-fire paint, called engobe, to paint the bowls I made this week. I made 7 different paints: a soft turquoise, a stronger turquoise, a soft blue, a stronger blue, a rust brown, a soft green, and a white. This paint is made by mixing grog (fired clay which has been milled to a fine powder) and clay powder. To this mixture we add oxides -- chrome, cobalt, iron and copper -- and carbonates (copper and cobalt --- these are the softer colors) and dilute the mixtures with water. In the picture above, the bowl to the left was painted with cobalt oxide engobe, the next with iron oxide, the third with chrome oxide, and the fourth with copper oxide.
I know, too much information.
I then carved into the semi hard clay and made some designs. Each of these bowls requires a different glaze, and these are basically tests. They first now need to be bisque fired, then glazed, then high fired.
I am particularly excited about the iron oxide bowl, the orange-brown one. If this one comes out as I think it might, I will make a series in this design.
I will keep you posted!