This Year I will mostly be

Mixing my own glazes!

Isn’t it always the way that all the lovely colours you see on ceramics are secret recipes, mixed by skilled craftsmen & women with years of testing & experience? Well I’ve decided that this year, I fancy a bit of that, so I’ve just taken my first steps in mixing my own colours.

I’ve been really taken by a particular type of glaze, crystalline. The effects achieved from carefully controlling the heating and cooling process are incredible! Just take a look at some of the beautiful wares I’ve found while researching…

 

 

You have to agree, they’re incredible!

Eventually, my hope is that the pottery wheel that has been gathering dust in the garage will be put to good use in creating items as gorgeous as those above, but for now, I’m going to attempt to put this effect on to some of my beads.

So today, I have started developing my own recipes. I have a huge box full of different raw materials of which I’ve chosen a few to start me off. As I write the kiln is clicking away with my first pieces. Fingers crossed, when they come out, they’ll be cabochons with some of these beautiful crystals grown on them. But that’s the worst thing about ceramics, until you open the kiln on the following day, you never know if something has worked. It’s a long process to get from raw clay to finished item, and although the actual time spent making a bead, button or cabochon may only be a few minutes of shaping, painting and loading into the kiln, the whole process takes at least 4 days… not good for someone with a severe attention problem!

So I’ll go now and check my kiln, for the 15th time in the last hour, just to make sure it hasn’t reached top temperature of 1100 degrees while I wasn’t looking!

Keep everything crossed for me that tomorrow I get at least one crystal and that this is the start of something great!

 

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Caroline I love crystal gazes, I had a conversation about these a couple of years ago with a clayart friend, i believe the process is long and controlled. I hope you let me know how it goes. I’d be up at 6am to open your kiln tomorrow 🙂

  2. Me too, I’ve spent many hours drooling over the different ones I’ve found! From what I understand, most glazes will form crystals, it’s the clay body and firing times that make the difference. The firing is similar to a normal, but you soak at certain temperatures to encourage the crystals to grow. And yes, I’ll be out there early 😉

  3. It’s got about 2 hours to go Laney… think I’ll sit and blow on it when it’s done to make it cool it faster 😀

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