Monday, October 15, 2012

Mottled Underglaze Woes

After all the work I did making these and hand brushing all the layers of underglaze, these two bargello towers didn't turn out as I wanted. This is the first time this mottled appearance to the underglaze has happened. I think I figured out why.. These were made with a different clay than I normally use. I completely forgot I was using it because I'd run out of my normal white stoneware.

But still I wonder how to avoid the brush marks and mottled appearance of the underglazes on these? Should I use more coats of underglaze? Should I have used a different clear glaze over the top? Maybe these are two more which need to sit in the cabinet for a while. When these were green and after the bisque, these looked so much better to my eye. Disappointments are hard to take.

The sun is lower in the sky and this little butterfly, a cloudless sulphur, was sunning himself in the morning. I went outside to try and photograph him but he flew away. In other news, I have several toothaches, am on antibiotics before a root canal or getting a tooth pulled, hopefully I can find a dentist who'll takes payments. Do you have dental insurance? Which company? Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. What type of clay was it. Clays with higher iron seem to suck the color out of some underglazes while some clear glazes will do the same. If the clay is the only change than I would look there first. Solutions may be to add a layer of white underglaze first. Think of it as painting gesso onto the canvas.
    I'm sorry, these things can be heart breaking.

  2. Oh dear, dental woes. I avoid dentist like the plague, have no insurance, and I guess that's the reason I floss. Too bad about the glazes...I've had lots of brush strokes showing too lately, and I know how thick the glaze was applied...but that's always been what I've thought. At least the blacks do that a lot. So sorry. Hope you don't have to have tooth pulled. May you have easy healing, whatever happens!

  3. I have never had dental insurance. When I was working for someone else it wasn't offered and I have mostly been self-employed. Years ago I looked at the cost of dental insurance and found that it was too expensive for the coverage and better to do the pay you go method.
    There is something called "care credit" - a credit line for medical expenses that is interest free if you pay within so many months. JZ had used it for an implant he had put in after having a tooth pulled.

  4. Hi Lori, thanks, you are right, this clay has some iron in it, I forget the name now, I have another clay I used with iron but it didn't do this but I had gotten this clay as a substitute when they were out of the other. Ugh. The other thing I just thought of is the strips are thicker than normally walls of pieces so would have even more clay (with iron) to suck the color out of the underglaze.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, well some brush strokes are ok, but not what I wanted with these. Yeah no insurance here but a toothache with infection can actually kill a person so have to deal with it.

    Hi Michele, thanks, care credit I will have to check into that because they all said I could pay with master card or visa but those have a higher interest rate so would like to avoid using them.

  5. Great photo of the butterfly! :) And I love your vases. Maybe there is a different brush to use to help with the brush marks?

  6. I think I have weird taste but I think they look so nice and handmade out. It's not fun having a toothache so I hope it resolves soon.


  7. You can add CMC in your underglazes. It can make paint brush move more smoothly on bisque ware so that brush marks can be minimized. You can order CMC gum from most pottery suppliers.

  8. I wish I could help you with the vases, but I am clueless. I'm sorry about your toothaches. The dentist put me on antibiotics last month but I still have to have a root canal. Never had one before. We have dental insurance but it pays such a fraction of the cost it's useless. It's not unusual in the South to work out payment plans. Keep asking around.

  9. Good luck with the dental work. It is vilely expensive over here as well. We have private insurance but the gap between what is charged and what they pay is staggering.

  10. Hi Natasha, thanks, they were fine after bisque, then after glaze not so fine, different clay next time.

    Hi Elna, thanks, well I hope someone else likes them too because they took a long time to make and hand brush the underglazes so I hope to sell them.

    Hi Powen, thanks, I was using commercial underglazes which probably already have cmc in them and this never happened before so I think it was the clay burning out the color.

    Hi Kitty, thanks, well I hope I can last till I can get some insurance so I don't have to pay all out of pocket.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, isn't that the way for all of these insurances and costs of everything is so expensive, ugh.


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