While I was at the library I picked up a book about shells. Leafing through the book, I was amazed at the patterns on many of the shells. Some of the patterns looked like ripples in the ocean, some like ancient writings, some were intricate geometric shapes. Many of the dark patterns were on pale and shimmery surfaces. I wondered if I could reproduce even one of them on a ceramic plate or vase using glaze.
I unloaded a bisque firing this morning and had a glaze load ready to follow right behind it and loaded it afternoon. There's the big shell basket I made on the upper right hand side of the kiln, hope it does OK. The temperature is now at 1950 F. It will be finished this morning but I won’t be able to unload till tomorrow.
I was wondering what I’d do while keeping an eye on the kiln. I didn’t feel like starting to make something this late in the evening. Then I remembered I had five test tiles from the bisque load so I decided to try some glaze experiments. Having been inspired by the shells patterns in the library book, first I brushed a different light colored glaze on each of the tiles. The colors I used are yellow, blue, lavender, green, and tan.
Then using the brush I got from Brandon, I took seven different darker glazes and brushed a pattern with each dark glaze on each of the tiles. Using this natural bristle brush is wonderful. It loads up with glaze and it’s easy to make some nice patterns on the surface. With these five tiles I now have thirty five different tests. Hopefully one or two of them will be promising and I can use them on a future ceramic piece.
Scallop Shell Pinch Bowl by Linda Starr
I think the only way I'll discover a special glaze combination is to do lots of tests. I need to make more tiles. Then when the inspiration strikes me, I’ll have the test tiles ready to use. I also want to make some “L” shaped test tiles; some smooth and some with texture to see what the glazes will look like running down the surface and breaking over the texture. I just know that special glaze combination is right around the corner. Comments and suggestions are welcome.