The last two days I've spent glazing a kiln load. I decided to take a few photos of my process. This is how I glaze my work; you may find your glazing process is better for you. I mix my glazes in small batches and hand brush the glaze on the work. This time I actually made a list of the glazes I use. I highly recommend keeping a log because if an experiment turns out beautifully you'll want to remember which glazes you used and how many coats you applied and in what order.
If your glaze is too thick add water to thin it to about the consistency of cream. I don't use my household water because we have city water with chlorine; I use spring water. Many folks use distilled water. I haven't noticed a difference in the two. I keep a drinking size bottle of water and I add a capful of water to a bowl full of glaze at a time. I know a capful seems so little but you'd be surprised just have much difference even that small amount makes. Also when you measure the water into the capful don't hold the cap over the bowl or bucket of glaze; you never know when more pours out than you intend (this has happened to me) and then your glaze will be too thin.
I use these chip brushes for brushing. I've found the best ones say natural bristle and I like the goat hair ones the best. I've found the ones made in Indonesia are better than the ones from China. The spatula you see is one I purchased at a dollar store. The small size comes in handy for me since I mix my small batches of glazes in a small glass bowl. If there are lumps I can use the spatula to smooth out the lumps. If the glaze is very lumpy I use a small sieve to pour the glaze through before using it. Here is a small soap or appetizer tray. The spatula also works to push the glaze through the sieve. It looks ready to glaze, right? But it's not.
Here is the sponge I just used on the dish. See all that red, that was dust on the dish. That dust I couldn't feel or see but it was there. Always wipe your bisque ware before glazing. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. When glazing don't use any hand lotion on your hands, the lotion can leave a residue on your bisque ware and the ware may resist the glaze.
Here I'm glazing a leaf plate. I start glazing on the bottom edge. No I don't use any wax. When I was in college another student said he didn't use wax and his work turned out just fine so I adopted that process from him. Every potter you come into contact with has a tip to refine your own process. Ask them why and try their process and see if it works for you.
After I have brushed on three coats of glaze. I look very closely to see if there are any pinholes that resisted glaze. Here you can see I have dabbed on a few places with a bit more glaze. There is nothing worse for a piece of work to have a bare spot without glaze after firing.
Here is a cheap little brush I use for the edges of ornaments. It holds just the right amount of glaze. I hope this brush never wears out. I've had it for years. I had a ton of ornaments and pendants to glaze this time. I was getting so tired of glazing them. Glazing these takes longer than a large piece but their selling amount is much less. While I was glazing I was thinking why couldn't I paint these. I'm still thinking about that to help reduce the amount of time it takes me to glaze.
If you have any questions about my process don't hesitate to ask. If you have any suggestions or tips for me, please let me know. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.
I mostly dip or spray my glazes but your tip about the small spatula is very useful thank youReplyDelete
Hi Anna, thanks and the sieve I usually use is one that fits over a bowl and purchased in the kitchen section, I have a finer one but the kitchen one usually works just fine and the small spatula helps push the glaze through the sieve.Delete
Good tutorial Linda. And it is so hard to do small things which people think should cost less, like small is cheaper. But they aren't any easier to make!ReplyDelete
Hi Barbara, thanks, I just unloaded and the ornaments are so much nicer with glaze, I may just have to keep doing that since acrylic paint would be so flat unlike like a beautiful glaze.Delete
Hi Linda, good post. Sometimes I wish I could afford all my glazes to be ones that I can dip everything.... a little unrealistic lol. I like the spatula tip, I currently use a very small kitchen whisk that I found at a flea market for fifty cents... best purchase. It's perfect to mix small amounts of glaze. I swear by sponging off items before glaze some other people don't feel the need, I just play it safe I guess. Take care :)ReplyDelete
Hi Yolanda, thanks, the wiping off is so important because that dust can cause crawling and unglazed spots.Delete
I hope the firing goes really, really well.ReplyDelete
Hi Sue, thanks, all went very well, more photos to come.Delete