Mixing up a new batch of glaze

Mixing up a new batch of glaze is always that little bit nerve wrecking. I don’t know about my other potter friends, but for me, I’m just that little bit on edge when mixing up a new batch of glaze.

Earlier this week, I made a decent amount of my base clear as I’m keen to get some new colours on my wares. I had a couple 9.6L buckets spare and got busy with the numbers to make a 5kg batch as they don’t hold much more once you take into account the final volume after combining the dry materials and water.

It's like baking a cake but don't dream of licking the bowl!
It’s like baking a cake but don’t dream of licking the bowl!

Got myself all organised – had my dry materials to one side, my metal scoop, bowl atop (new) electronic scale, bucket to hold measured materials and trusty notebook to cross off ingredients as I went.

Servant_Ceramics Weighing up glaze
Every ingredient got a tick – here’s hoping I got my maths right!

This particular glaze is one I developed in TAFE last year from a quad blend. Its proved to be a stable glaze, working well with underglaze, tissue-transfers, stains and oxides across Cones 8, 9 & 10 on a number of clay bodies. I love it!!

So when mixing glazes, I tend to give my dry ingredients a good stir before adding them to the water – especially if I’ve included Bentonite (which helps the glaze stay suspended). Otherwise I’ve found the Bentonite swells up and just gets in the way when adding the ingredients and stirring up a storm.

Servant Ceramics_Mixing up stoneware glaze
Gotta love the high tech metal rulers that prop up the sieve over the bucket

Sieved it twice and got a test of the glaze in my next stoneware firing which should get fired on Monday I reckon πŸ™‚

I was chatting to a friend over lunch today and was explaining how much I enjoy making my own glazes up. I love the testing and retesting, opening the kiln door to elation and also despair. I know that it might not be the most cost or time effective studio practice (so many US potters recommend bulk buying their glazes) and I’m not saying that I’ll never go down that route but I am aware that I experience a higher level of satisfaction when I’ve made both the vessel and developed the glaze – a little insight into my head. With that said, I have no desire to source my own clay to make my vessels from. Yet.

I do have a desire to catch up with the Mud ColonyΒ crew though. With 9 posts already linked, looks like I better get another cup of tea before checking them all out πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend and thanks for checking in with Servant Ceramics!!

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4 thoughts on “Mixing up a new batch of glaze

  1. Loving your posts! Keeps me inspired and makes me feel good knowing that ceramicists are all working away on their own little projects all over the world – chasing down their own little paths – changing direction as required – getting excited at opening their kiln – tempted to open it too hot ‘cos they just can’t wait – be it in their laundry, backyard or a whizz bang studio – we are all the same πŸ™‚

  2. I had my own glaze mixing today – check my post πŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing your results.. on Mud Colony (I certainly ‘get’ the madness – being there myself!)

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