Studio Day - Glazing 101
I have now got four glazes mixed. Today, I liquified one of the glazes which I made in last week's post and glazed a series of müsli bowls, platters, cups and a large bowl.
First step was to add water to the glaze mixture, and force it through a glaze sieve with a spoon.
The result is a viscous liquid which has to have just the right consistency in order to adhere to the greenware.
The next step is to pour the glaze into a pouring cup, and to grasp the greenware piece to be glazed with a glazing tong.
The next step is to evenly pour the glaze all over the pot, inside of it, and cover it completely without any drips if possible. This takes a very long time to master -- months if not longer. I could not photograph it because I was alone in the studio and needed my two hands to glaze. The glazed piece then looks like this.
The base ring needs to be wiped free of glaze without damaging the glazing around the bottom edge of the pot. The pot is then set upright to dry. Here are some other pieces which got glazed today:
It is then very important to clean everything thoroughly, since the glaze to be sieved tomorrow is has a totally different chemical composition, and would be ruined by the remnants of this glaze. I will hopefully finish up the glazing tomorrow. Everything can then sit and dry for at least 24 hours before being placed in the kiln. This glaze was the most work because it is very viscous, tough to work with, and it is the main glaze I use for plates and bowls, so I had a lot of pieces to do. I had enough glaze to do 8 large bowls, 8 small bowls, two platters (one large, one medium), two vases and 4 coffee cups. It took me about two hours to glaze these pieces. That, along with the 45 minutes to mix the glaze. You can start to see why studio pottery pieces cost more than industry pieces. And, if it is a studio potter who makes his or her own glazes, the process is all the more time consuming and exacting. But that is what makes studio pieces so different -- you see the hand in the work.
By the way, it is also possible to spray glazes on to pieces using a compressor. I have one but I do not use it for the glazes I have going on right now because these glazes are too viscous and the spray head gets too jammed up.