Saturday, December 5, 2009

Great Glaze Mystery


Hard to believe, but I think I’m caught up and happy. Sorry but I had to Blog about it and I know with Holiday shopping and art making for all the upcoming shows, most of you are a bit envious. Without a heap of work needing to be welded up I was able to enjoy Art Coffee yesterday a bit longer than normal –the pictures are of some of the artists who attended our gathering at Middle Way Café. We had a record turnout and a few new faces. Art Coffee is an informal gathering of independent artists who meet to share, Grinch or crow about all topics relating to life & art. A few of the highlights were announcing all the First Friday openings last night including the new Upstairs Studio grand opening. Spearheaded by my friend and painter, Katie Sevigny (who has endless energy and is also a partner in Fiddlehead Gallery) the new Upstairs Studio is a large upstairs space at 416 G Street featuring the work of 10 local artists who have their working studio spaces with a large common gallery area that is totally HIP and has Katie’s touch written all over it! The GAGA’s (Garage Art Girls Alliance) Linda Warford passed around beautiful post card mailers and announced her group had an art opening and reception at Snow City Café. Half Moon Creek Gallery –my Gallery of choice, celebrated their 7th anniversary last night with plenty of new works and a celebration at 510 W. Tudor. Another friend, Mary Hertert shared her new location for Color Creek Fiber Art at the corner of 36th and Arctic. I congratulated her on her “Wasp Bride” being accepted in the Earth Fire & Fiber Exhibit at the Museum! My footloose and fancy-free schedule yesterday allowed me to visit her in her new space and get fired up about doing some felting –which is all Marjorie’s fault. All pretty cool and I’ll Blog about that next week after I take some pictures and get my laptop back…


With the studio table cleared of metal sculptures, I’ve finally had some brain space for clay. There’s been too long of a break since my last firing and my supplies are low. I did pull out these buckets of glaze I bought off of Cr@igs list for only $30. Short story long is that the person who was selling the glaze was a friend of a friend who was being transferred and the selling friend had no idea what cone temp the glazes were and needed the buckets out of her garage. She didn’t really even know what the glazes were used for… the other problem was I felt I had to purchase the buckets of glaze after the friend of a friend’s, DAD actually drove them off of the Air Force base and met me at the fron
t gate (after Daddy-O and I had an hour wait) to show them to me because I couldn’t get on Base to take a look at them… Sooooo, not to have them go to waste, my thought was to just use some of my test tiles (in the photo above) I made and fire the glazes at maybe a ^04?? Some of the names on the buckets are Satin White, Smokey Mt. Mist, Sea Spray, Galaxy, Autumn Frost, Antique Iron, Blue Monday, Eggshell, Calico and Paprika -any of these sound familiar to anyone? I hate to NOT use them if I can figure out what cone they are as I’m currently glaze poor. BTW, I should admit that I really dislike glazing! My larger clay goal is to settle on ONE type of stoneware(?) clay, maybe something tan/gold/brownish with a bit of grog for my slab work and sculptures -any suggestions? I don't do any wheel throwing and I have two large electric kilns that have an electronic controller. I need to start fireing higher than ^04-05 and also know that I need to start using larger quantities of glaze so I can DIP and start mixing my own instead of the high priced commercial quart sizes I've been buying. What do my potter friends think?

12 comments:

Linda Starr said...

I am no help, I've never heard of those glaze names. I brush most of my glazes, although I got the moon craters after pouring the glaze so maybe I should experiment more. What a fun group that seems to be, can't wait till I am in an area where I can commune in person with more artists.

cookingwithgas said...

Boy is that a big bite or a big old fat can of worms!
Let's see.
I always start with Clay body first and what you want that clay body to do.
Will the work be inside or outside- weather permitting or not.
Or Is this an issue?
Then with that decided we can talk about glaze.
I always feel that with an electric kiln your options are up to a cone 8.
But there are some really good books out there on cone 6.
And I know you don't want to hear this- but test, test, test!
I bought a little test kiln 3 years ago and I love the fact that I can do a quick test of glaze before I jump in.
We mix all out cone 10 gas glazes, but I use some ( dirty secert) premixed glazes for the cone 5.
I just don't do big work at that range and don't want to work but so hard on new glazes.
But for big work- it would be another story.
How about spraying instead of brushing?
Can we go on?
My first thought would still be what clay body do you want to use?

cindy shake said...

Hi Linda- Yes, the Art (therapy!) Coffee group has been really fun. I started it by just e-mailing two other artists and now we send out an e-mail about every 3-5 weeks and ask that it be forwarded to other artists. I've been most surprised by how excited artists are to put a face with a name they have read in the paper or new of certain artist's work and finally get to visit! We also get to find out about each others mediums should we want to try new stuff. Everyone has been so willing and happy to meet.I think the best part is it is different people each time with a core group of about 4 of us :o)

cindy shake said...

You are right Meredith on the testing... arrggh. Yes, the work would go outside sometimes. The idea is to create some clay work (not functional) to incorporate with my steel sculptures. Ideally I'd be doing Raku but I'm in too much of a downtown/residential area and not able to get set-up for an outdoor kiln... :o( I LOVE the work Tracey Broome is doing...

cindy shake said...

*knew of certain artists... not "new"

Cowgirl Goods said...

I can't help you with the glazes but do keep us posted on your felting;) Marilyn had an amazing show, you couldn't even get to her table last night. Thank goodness her daughter showed up to help her today.

cindy shake said...

Hi Marjorie- so glad the Show went well for Marilyn -hope you did well too! I have already wrapped up the you-know-what for you-know-who, but I'm going to unwrap them to post pictures because everyone at Art Coffee wanted to see them!! I love to try new things and was so inspired by Marilyn's work I'd like to give felting a try.

ang said...

mmm they could be anything...any triangle symbols on buckets with a number after them?? you'd best start around earthen ware 1100deg C then 1180deg C and see what the finish response is if the glaze come up a dry finish at earthenware then its prob the next step up in to mid fire..after that you have highfire starting at 1220deg C which in cone6 then up to 1280 deg C which is stoneware highfire... outside though you prob should be looking at stoneware as lower temps tend to breakdown over time ever seen terracotta pots flaking and crumbly outside they're really low fired sometimes not even 1100 and they wont last outside espec. not in your climate...well get testing or pass them onto someone else!! then get your glaze book out and look for stoneware glazes that grab ya and start testing those....no short way around it really...sorry, happy glazing!!!

cindy shake said...

OK, good advice Ang! I'm going to try it. Yes, you are right about the terracotta pots. I'm so lazy about wanting to test -arrggh. But all of the other potter's Blogs I read I see it's really key. thanks. :o)

jimgottuso said...

the only thing i can think to suggest is to search in google some of the names and see if a recipe comes up and that might give you an idea what temp to test for but i really don't know if it's worth it to test them. then again if you found out one was a certain temp, it's probably a good bet that they are all the same temp. as far as making your own glazes, i think it's more economical in the long run but it takes quite a bit of testing.

cindy shake said...

oooo good idea to Goodle Jim! arrrgh "testing" seems to be my word of the day/month :o)

cindy shake said...

*Google ;o)