Friday, August 24, 2012

Glazing Techniques

While I was glazing I thought I'd take a few photos to share with you some of the techniques I use in my glazing. For those of you who aren't potters, the glaze color isn't necessarily the color the pieces will be after firing. I just finished up a two day marathon glazing and started the kiln. I had to hurry because I have a small window of opportunity between storms. With Isaac looming in the distance I didn't have any time to waste.

I decided not to use wax resist on the birds because I was afraid I'd drop some on the pot below, which would resist the glaze. I poured glaze on the interior and let it run out on the opposite side of the birds. This worked quite well. After glazing these handled baskets I carefully hand brushed a different glaze on the birds with a very small brush and used an even smaller brush for their eyes. At one point Gary came in the garage and said I needed to put some bird droppings on the pots. Gary has a strange sense of humor.

I had two sculptural pieces with narrow openings at the top and not enough room to pour the glaze inside without it splattering all over the place. I do have a small funnel somewhere but couldn't find it. So I made a funnel out of slick paper and inserted it through the narrow opening and poured the glaze in, then I removed the paper funnel, rotated the piece around to coat the inside, then poured the remaining glaze out. That worked quite well.

I had several sculptural pieces with windows or openings in this kiln load. For those I used the technique Judy Shreve told me about. I took moist clay, wet it on one side and stuck the clay to the outside, pressing firmly around the edges and covering all the openings.

This is what it looks like after attaching the temporary moist clay coverings for the openings. I kind of like the look of those patches, like an animal pattern. The lumpiness of it appeals to me. I might have to make a piece like that. Next I poured the glaze inside, rotated it around, and poured it out.

Then I removed the temporary moist clay coverings from the openings. Next I wiped the outside of the piece to remove any moist clay and hand brushed the exterior with glaze. Hopefully the weather will hold for half a day till the glaze load is fired. Almost up to temperature now, then a slow cool down. Stay tuned to see these pieces and others after they're fired. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Lovely pieces - looking forward to seeing them after firing. Hope Isaac isn't too much of a hassle!

  2. Really learned a lot, Linda! I'd wondered how interiors were sealed. And I'd thought the color of the clay in the beginning was how it ended up. It was really interesting how you sealed the openings with lumps of clay you could chip off. I also like the lumpy look -- there's a certain character I can't describe that really appeals.

    Thanks for dropping by. It was heart-wrenching to read about what the banks and insurance companies you've dealt with have done. What I don't get is this mentality Out There that because it's capitalism making money, it's okay to screw the consumer. Sometimes it's all so bizarre I'm at a loss for words!

  3. Lovely work. I like when you have all the spots on it *smile*.


  4. Very interesting!!! Thanks for the lesson, Linda.

  5. I hope that Isaac stays far away from you!
    Using wax always makes me nervous... one stray drop can spell catastrophe.
    Your sculptures a looking cool, can't wait to see them fired.

  6. I may have asked before, but what cone number do you fire your glazes to? Good job sealing up those openings to pour in the glaze...I'm sure it will be beautiful when it comes out...but I want to see!

  7. Hi Judy, thanks, we're hoping we don't get much wind and the rain has time to soak in.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, if it is sculptural the interior wouldn't necessarily need to be sealed. Some of these might be used as a vase, even for one flower, so I'm trying to seal them. Yeah the banks and insurance companies are unbelievable. We learned on our hurricane insurance we have a $5000 deductible which is the standard, Laws protect big business rather than individuals.

    Hi Elna, thanks, I hope I remember the spots when I'm working in the studio.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I was worried about the wax after I thought about it, I just have to keep a steady hand.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I use a slow cool and fire between 5 and 6. Five is all the way down and 6 is barely tipped. If you want my firing program, please email me and I'll send it along to you.

  8. Hi Gigi, thanks, I learned a lot on blogs about pottery so I like to share the techniques which may help someone out.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment