Clay is a fickle lover. Popped the top on the SECOND glaze firing… yes, I tried refiring my sgraffito trays/wall tiles thinking I could smooth out the milky-splotchyness of the matt glaze. I had a bit of varied results on the whole load. Couldn’t pinpoint what exactly the issue may be but I was disappointed in most of the pieces. I was hoping for better results considering I used the utmost patience –for me anyways! I THOUGHT, I mixed enough, brushed on enough and let dry enough, even had the kiln controller set to the correct schedule and cone temp of ^05 and even waited beyond the cool down to open the lid. I’m learning (the hard way) that working with clay, you can’t test enough. I’ve admired all the testing Judy Shreve, of Mountain House Studios, has been doing on her Terra Sig journey. Tracey Broome has taught me a lot with her glazing pinhole issues and I admired her for continuing to forge ahead. Reading each post and seeing her photos I could totally identify with the building frustration with each exhaustive round of troubleshooting. It doesn't seem
fair to have a perfectly beautiful piece be ruined at a final stage of firing on a technicality. Clay artists should be able to have a do-over, or some sort of warning flag or digital message that gets sent to us WAY before you open the kiln to disappointment. I know, I know, then we wouldn’t be working in C L A Y –ha!
Above, the Heart tray/tile (used the Amaco Matte glaze) did come out pleasing enough, as well as the small Leaf w/handle tray (used the Coloramics Soft Matte glaze) but the others were not uniform, and on a couple of pieces the black underglaze was altered (the sunflower and Raven Moon pieces being the worse -below). I used two different glazes, the
most successful glaze used was the Coloramics NM-450 Clear Soft Matte, made by Mayco, the other glaze was a Transparent Matte LM-10 by Amaco. The Coloramics only needed two coats and brushed on much nicer than the Amaco. Really none of the pieces using the Amaco Matt Liquid Matte glaze turned out well. A positive was the brightness and true colors (red, yellow, blue and black) of the Duncan E-Z Strokes Underglazes, I love those. Trust me, I’m not totally blaming the material, this seems to be more artist-operator error.
Either the kiln temp/schedule not being quite right (it did fire quick and under 5 hours), glaze too thick, not thick enough or not properly mixed. The good news is I have more sgraffito trays/wall tiles on the drying rack and the Coloramics glaze that I had success with, I have more of. I used up all of the Amaco Mate, so this next batch I’ll use all Coloramics, Clear Soft Matte. I will admit that even with a bit of disappointment, I still don’t think I’m EVER going to be one of those artists that will make tons of tiny test tiles and fire load after load of test firings. Especially since I have a STACK of those smallish tiles, I made over a year ago sitting on the bisque shelf... I’m one of those artists that will just be giving friends and family all my seconds (and thirds) for every conceivable Holiday. Spoiler Alert; Mom, your birthday is this month!!