January starts my exploration of pottery glazes. Up to now, glazing has been my least favorite thing to do in the studio. Apparently I am not alone in this! I belong to a Facebook Group of Potters and someone asked if everyone hated glazing as much as she did. And boy do they!

Glazing is tough for a control freak like me, because you can never trust the way the piece will look coming out of the kiln. I often here references to the kiln gods for a successful firing. I totally get it.

Take this mug….it was glazed with a maroon underglaze which I use often. But it came out of the kiln purple. I have no earthly idea why, except the kiln gods have a weird sense of humor.

To start my “year of experimentation” off on the right foot I am taking an online course on glaze development by John Post.his course will focus on glaze development using a clay grid. I really have no idea what this means yet but yesterday I made a plaster cast so I can make the clay grids.

Currie Grid

I made a plaster form to easily make the clay grids for the Currie Grids

Next on my list is making test tiles to test all the new glazes I will be experimenting with. I hope to find some good ones,

Currie grid

This test grid and the test tiles will show me 35 different versions on the same ingredient. Perhaps I will find a keeper!

What I am doing is called “Currie Grids”. I choose one glaze that I want to test and systematically make 35 small test batches of the glaze each one with different amounts of the chemicals but the same amount of colorants. I have yet to wrap my head around the science, or even the math but I can follow directions and that is what I am doing when making these batches.

Hopefully the science and math will eventually come.

Snug as a bug in the kiln already to be fired.

My test tiles and grid take up one entire shelf of my kiln. Can’t wait to see the results.

My teachers were right all those years ago in chemistry class. Someday I would need to know this stuff. The problem is I have forgotten everything.

More to come!

 

 

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