evening clay kids!
Hope everyone is enjoying the upcoming weekend.. stay safe!
I fired several pieces in my kiln.. red clay and red/black combined clay. I have been experimenting with glazes and I am just not happy. I have made several test tiles.. and could use my old reliable glazes such as Amaco's PEACOCK, Tahitian Blue, Bluebell,.. but I wanted something else. red clay is sometimes harder to glaze becasue of the colors as is red/black or black clay. WHat I impressed were leaves and used bark around the leaf so I like something that will puddle nicely and also make the leaf pop out. Any suggestions?
You say red clay is "sometimes" harder to glaze? Heh... that's a little bit of an understatement. :) I quit using red clay almost as soon as I started, because it's REALLY tough to get pretty colors that pop on red clay. I think that was the whole reason Majolica was invented. Because that's the only way to get pretty colors on red clay. You have to cover the red clay with something white first - which is adding extra work for you, since you can start with white clay to begin with.
If your stuff is already bisqued, you are kinda locked into having to just put a white glaze on first and then whatever other colors you want over the white. Fortunately, you can pick and choose where you put the white glaze - so if you want a leaf to pop - just put the white glaze on the leaf. Which, you obviously know to do...
Or, if you want to continue using red clay, there's a couple of things you can do BEFORE firing to get a white coat...
1. When the object is leatherhard, paint on a coat of white (or colored) engobe or slip.
2. If the object is greenware, spray on a couple coats of terra sigillata.
Terra sigillata is actually very nice for red clay. It's not as thick as engobe or slip so you won't lose details. I have a recipe and easy directions for making it in a couple hours (mostly wait time) ... but it's in my big binder at the studio at the moment, so let me know if you want me to drag it home!
Are there just other colors you want to glaze your stuff? What kind of colors do you want?
I LOVE red clay becasue it seems to show details more then white...but I am limited to the same glazes over and over again... usually Amaco's Peacock, Tahitian Blue, Bluebell, and Turquoise.
I would love to find colors that make the leaves pop.
I never thought of using a white glaze first.. that works well? I don't have any colored engobe or slip... guess I'll need to get some.
If you think red is hard.. try BLACK Clay.
ANy hints and advice is most welcomed! I am going to try using a white glaze then a different colored glaze. THat sounds interesting!
You might be interested in this link to a Ceramic Arts Daily post about slip and engobe decoration, and there's a couple of recipes on the bottom, one of them is for low-fire white. The article seems to indicate that you could apply this particular engobe either at any time, leatherhard, bisque, or greenware.
I love using red clay, too. Sometimes I just leave it unglazed and put an iron oxide wash over the details to bring them out. I also use white low-fire as embellishment, and sometimes carve design into the red, then put white engobe over all and use a steel scraper or sponge on the surface. That leaves the white clay in the carved lines.
Those techniques won't give you the "puddling" you want that you can only get from glaze, but they might send you off in a different direction altogether!
Engobe is just another name for slip, as is terra sigillata. The recipes for them sometimes add a few other ingredients, but you can just make white slip from white clay and water. Typically they're painted on greenware before bisque-firing.
Oxide is a name for the concentrated mineral powders used to color clays and glazes. You can buy them almost anywhere glazes are sold. Iron oxide which is what makes terra-cotta clay red. I use iron oxide and mix it with water to make the a wash. It needs to be fairly thin so it's easy to paint or spray onto slightly damp bisque. After a few minutes, I sponge it after to leave the iron in the detail lines & crevices like antiqueing on wood. Iron oxide fires dark brown, but oxides come in lots of different colors. I use cobalt like water-color paint and put it over unfired white glaze for my blue & white tiles.
You can mix oxides with slip to make colored slips/engobes. It only takes a little bit of oxide to add a lot of color.
There are also colorants called Mason Stains that I haven't used myself, but I think are used the same way.
Clear glaze or semi-transparent glazes can be put over fired engobes, or over bisque-fired pieces that have had a sponged oxide wash put on them.