I’ve taken ALL my green-ware down to the kiln room and am getting excited about firing next week (fingers crossed for no power-outage longer than 30 minutes…).   I’ve got lots of test tiles going into this firing, as I’ve mixed up a bunch of new test glazes for my next glaze firing.

Though the traditional vertical test-tiles are great for basic information they can be somewhat limiting, especially as I’m often going after horizontal glaze effects.   Also, I do A LOT of testing, which translates into way too many containers of tiles that are pretty much good for nothing.  So, I’m now using a wider range of surfaces, to better test how my glazes behave (over textures, on flat surfaces when overlapped, with slips/oxides).

I try to keep the forms small enough to allow dipping in typical  test-glaze quantities (200 grams for me) but large enough to be “functional”.   Perhaps most importantly,  the forms should be quick and easy to produce.   Though my favorite form for testing is a small square plate (textured or not, depending on what I’m testing),  I’m also making petroglyph magnets and key-chains  which are easy to keep nice and small.    I’ve also made some molds out of local shells which are nicely textured and are excellent test items (and make pretty magnets too!).  Even if the items end up on the “seconds” or even “freebie” shelf, they have a better chance of  serving a functional purpose other than landfill…

What you’re favorite shape/form for testing new glazes?

Test “Tiles:  Plates (with or without stamps), shell and petroglyph ‘magnets’.  Some have colored slip recessed in the patterns.  And yes, gotta have the traditional test tiles too (but just one per glaze)…