Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clear Glaze Mishap Cheezes me off

I was a little bummed (cheesed off, as my wife says sometimes) at my clear glaze not being a clear glaze. Since I moved to my new location 10 years ago, I have had my glaze table with all my ingredients outdoors under a shed roof and not very well protected from the elements. Some heavy rain blew into the area a while back (five or six years ago) and soaked a couple of bags of what I currently remember was gerstley borate. The bags fell apart and I transferred the ingredients into a several buckets.

Why didn't I write on the buckets what the material was?

A simple cone 6 clear glaze I've used for years is 50/50 gerstley/plastic vitrox clay. Well, I recently mixed 50 percent pv clay with what I thought was 50 percent gerstley from the buckets.

After the firing, the dry white surface of my cups rather dissappointed me. Maybe what I th0ught was gerstley was actually pv clay, and I mixed 50 percent pv clay with 50 percent pv clay. Not much of a glaze.

I did however glaze one cup with a glaze made from gerstley and local clay, I think it was 50/50, or perhaps 60/40. At any rate, the finished product looked nice, and I'm thinking of doing the Uwharrie Mountain Run awards this year with this glaze - if the organizers of the race approve it.

I've sent a picture of the cup to them and I'm waiting to hear back from them. Mary and I are planning to go to Ireland at the end of January, so I've got to get busy on this order. I've got to make 195 medallions, 195 cups, 110 preserve jars and 18 1st, 2nd and 3rd-place finisher pieces.

I hope to make these for the 2009 Uwharrie Mountain Run.

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