I’ve been down in my glaze/kiln room mixing up glazes. For those of you unfamiliar with the process, glazes are made by combining together chemicals that, when fired, create glass (silica), stiffen the glaze so it doesn’t slide off the clay (alumina) and cause the glaze to melt at a low enough temperature to be used in ceramics (flux). Glazes may also include other additives such as opacifiers, suspenders (so the glaze doesn’t harden into a lump in your bucket) and colorants (such as cobalt, copper).

The actual mixing involves following a recipe that outlines the exact components of the glaze, with specific quantiatities. Some glazes serve as a base glaze, to which can then add various materials (done mostly to change the color of the glaze). Such glazes offer plenty of room for experimentation to come up with unique colors and surfaces. Yes, you could just buy pre-mixed glazes, but then you could also buy tv dinners! šŸ˜‰

I was planning to mix up about 6 glazes but ended up with…11 (ranging in quantity from 200 grams to 1000 grams depending on degree of experimentation…). Regardless of batch size, the process is the same: measure out the dry materials, mix, add the dry materials into water, mix, then run through a sieve (80 mesh) twice! After spending all day hard at work, I’ve finished two glazes, with 9 more to sieve. Once all the glazes are sieved, I finally get to glaze some stuff! But now, this is where I am heading, at least until its gardening time…