Discussion of “transparent” Glazes, Slab “Wrapping”, Sprigging
For Week 4
A discussion of glazes and group glazing
2 pitchers made of overlapping slabs
Sprigging a small pinch pot
We went into the glaze area and looked at the glazes that are and are not going to let slipped surface decorations show through.
Here is a list of the best ones (in order somewhat ) that will let the slip show through.
1. Shaner Clear – BUT bare stoneware looks gray. Porcelain looks white. *
2. Celadon– anemic on porcelain but almost as good as clear certainly it will tinge your colors green. A fairly forgiving glaze.
3. The Shinos if they are thin- best is Shino water you can also use Soda Ash water. Stoneware goes Orange-y. You can apply it with a brush or a sponge and you can sponge it off.
4.The Josh’s– I prefer Josh Green as it’s lighter and offers a bit more contrast but every drip and double thickness will show. Josh is fussy that way.
5. Shaner White – colors will look a little pastel-ly or washed out under this.* note that BOTH the Shaner glazes like to “eat” (absorb) iron and if you use red iron, it can disappear completely under a Shaner glaze.
Glazes from the front room: Rutuile Blue – I’ve gotten some nice results from this; and Randy’s Green **which is not food safe.
After this point, The glazes below can let slip show but it will be in a limited capacity and they should be applied thinly:
Aviva Blue and Temoku
We also talked about application. It is possible to thin your glaze coat by rinsing your pot in water briefly just before dipping it- then it absorbs less glaze.
This was inspired by a couple of pieces I have that were made by Robert Yost and I bought at Lill in the mid 1990’s.
I demonstrated by making a couple of vessels that involved overlapping slabs
It’s a nice aesthetic touch to thin the edges with a rolling pin or brayer (thanks Jason!)It’s easier to bond them and they’re less likely to warp up if they are thinner.
Then I took those slabs and just started trying them out until I got a shape I liked. then I attached them to a base and overlapped the thinned out edges.
Now, how to firmly bond these flaps together and keep that “untouched” quality as well as letting the seam show? I used the brayer against the dowel which was on the inside for support. This gave a great surface quality.
after we had a basic container, I decided to fold over the top and enclose the space more.
I ended up inserting the dowel inside the pot (where my hand wouldn’t fit) and rolling the brayer over it. It was exactly what we needed to maintain surface continuity.
Then I folded over the back and did it again
This gave us a pot with tremendous attitude and posture. As its personality emerged, I realized it need some feet.
Then after smoothing it some with the brayer, I tapped the foot on an immobilized dowel to emphasize those legs.
Here is how it looks afterwards.
Now it was time to add a handle. Again, we wanted the handle to be consistent in look and surface quality with the rest of the pot so instead of pulling a handle, I once again used the brayer.
I also wanted to show how to make a hollow handle that would have also suited this method.
I threw out a slab and really rolled the edges thin. then I simply rolled it up-
and curved it. once it was curved, it was strong enough to withstand the brayer treatment to seal down the edge of the overlap.
Then I attached it to a much less successful piece and braced up the handle to dry a little back to back with the other one.
I have since modified the pot on the left as I thought it was proportionally ugly.
Sprigging is a traditional surface decoration and it just takes a little practice to get good at it. With a mold it’s a nice way to get a repeating raised pattern. These look good under breaking glazes like Temoku, Celadon,Josh Green or Shino (there are other too).
I made a couple of very casual sprigging molds last week and they got bisked.
They are pretty shallow.
You make a small coil of clay and smear it down into the mold. It’s key to leave a small part fat so you have something to grasp to pull it out.
as soon as it’s pressed in there, pull it up again- the mold will dry it out if you leave it in there and it needs to be flexible to come out in one piece and also to curve to fit the surface of your pot.
once it’s out you can clean it up a little but the back surface should be thin enough to just blend on to the surface of the pot.
with such fine pieces, you needn’t score- just wet the surface.
I’ll try to insert a photo of this piece when it’s finished.
I also wanted to show Leah’s Jug-in-progress- maybe we can watch it as it develops.
She’s made the base out of coils and is going to let it firm up a bit before adding on top of that. It’s quite difficult to make a large coil pot all at one go. The coils at the bottom need to firm up in order to support the weight of the coils above.
and Roya’s really cool vase! Isn’t that a neat idea? and the flowers can be supported in the various openings.
See how she “faked” it to look like there is a ribbon of clay threading out through the vase wall? I see possibilities for a series here as she explores this idea.