Sunday, April 26, 2015

Necessity is the mother of invention as they say

Well my experiment with using my underglazes that I use on my low fire pottery didn't turn out so great, pretty much all the color burned out at cone 6. I just read that you have better luck at cone 6 if you use a zinc free clear glaze.

At least I think it burned out. I'll have to see if the clear glaze I purchased for this project has zinc or not. In many ways it would be easier to make your own glazes, but I don't have the patience or the time to do the testing. Just what I'm working on with these commercial glazes is enough for me.

I will test again and use only two coats on part of it and one coat on part of it and see what happens, maybe that was the issue.

In the meantime I have ordered some new Majolica Glazes from Spectrum, Spectrum is the brand of underglazes I normally use. This is a new glaze I think, or at least new to me. You can use it in the Majolica technique, as an underglaze, or as a glaze by itself, pretty cool. So if I don't like the Majolica technique I can use them in the way I normally work. 

I excited to get them and test them on the new clay. If I use the Majolica technique I could start with red clay if I wished which would add another dimension. The problem with that its hard to keep the red clay contained and I would end up contaminating my equipment that I use for white clay, so for now I'll just stick with white. Even with that I have to keep the low fire from getting contaminated with the high fire white.

What is Majolica? Here is a definition I got from Ceramic Arts Daily - 

In this technique your bisque piece is coated with opaque white glaze and then colored overglaze decoration is applied.

Sounds simple, right?? Well maybe.

I've been searching on the internet and don't see anything like what I have in mind for my bench project using majolica. But for future reference I see lots of pieces of pottery in a style that would be a new look for some of our other pieces. Maybe the reason I don't see anything like what I have in mind is it can't be done??

Here are some old pieces of scenes I found by searching on the internet, done in the majolica technique.

This next one looks more like my style, not what type of a scene I would paint but the "look".

So will post again when I get to the point i have something to show.

In the mean time I Love Linda Arbuckles work. She works in the Majolica technique, teaches workshops, and is a wonderful potter.

Here are a couple of her pieces.

Very nice!  See how rich the white looks? It's because she is working with red clay. The way she applies her colors is how I paint on clay, more so than the top two photos, except my lines are thinner and her shapes are more bold.

I'll continue to post updates on this project as I make progress.

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