Musings about glazing
One of the most magical and, on occasion, most frustrating part of the making process for me is glazing. I test, practice and play to know the glazes I use inside and out and yet I still hold my breath when I open the kiln. Will they have worked as I expected and wanted? Or will or some odd reason they not quite be what I thought, although sometimes this could mean better!
I posted a few photographs on my Facebook and Instagram pages to show the before and after the firing process. Three kiln shelves full to the brim of my glazed ceramic pieces that I had made for my jewellery. I was quite surprised with the response, I think I’d become a bit blasé to the process. It IS amazing to see the difference in the pictures. It’s fascinating to witness the chemical changes that have occurred because of heat.
The glazes I decorate my work with are rarely the colour they will end up after firing - in fact, most seem to be tones of grey! The turquoise glaze is a grey tinged with blue, the purple is just dark grey, the green is grey- all very grey! Since posting the photos I’ve been asked how do I keep a track of what glazes I’ve used where, the simple answer is I take lots of notes and record everything. I also have become pretty good at recognising the variations in the shades of grey of the glazes that I use and try my hardest to be methodical when glazing my work.
So, here I am waiting to open the kiln tomorrow and, even though I’m fairly confident everything will come out as I want, I can guarantee that when the kiln is cool enough to open I will be holding my breath. And, I’ll still do a little jig and clap in celebration if everything does come out ok!