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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trying Washes

You'd be surprized at how relatively little info about washes there is in most of the pottery books currently being marketed.
For instance: (1) How does one mix the proportions of water to oxide in a wash? (2) Does one apply thick or thin? (3) Which oxides in a wash will color the overlaying covering glaze what colors? (4) How many washes can be used on top of each other and what will the results be? (5) Can oxides be used in combination in a wash?
Waded through the index's of ten different popular books. No "washes" in the "W's". Tried "Decoration" and Underglaze Colors from the contents. No information on washes. Turned to the "W's" in Frank + Janet Hamer's: Potter's Dictionary. No wash information.
Soooooooo frustrating.
Next turned to the Internet. Which isn't the best source for technical data when it comes to pottery.
However - did find June Perry's site:
And Bless June Perry !!!
Her information helped tremendously.
Before discovering her site, had found tidbits here and there that mentioned when forming washes, use a third each of a frit, a kaolin and an oxide. But they, as is June, are firing to cones 04-10.
Which still left me guessing on how to formulate these for a temperature range of 1750 -1832 degrees F.
No one - but no one - mentions how to use the sulfates and chlorides in washes.

Today mixed up several "washes". Am not sure, mind you, that they are indeed -- washes.
Tomorrow will fire this experiment. See what happens.
Am not optimistic at all but perhaps the kiln elves will surprize me pleasantly.
And if they pull some elfish tricks?
We'll start a new pottery maxim. The old one is: Test. Test. Test.
The new one? Refire. Refire. Refire.

Ah sure now
An' if it isn't the anticipation of colorful wash days ahead


Rositta said...

You must have a small test kiln? I will have to make a lot of pots to fill up my kiln so I'll be watching out for your experiments and maybe try one or two. If I get my kiln full before mid August it'll be a miracle...ciao and hugs

chaetoons said...

Hi Rositta
Yes the kiln is small. It's interior measures 9" circular by 11" high i think. With the kiln shelf taking up space, there's only approx. 7+1/2 inches to play with.
I could use the gas one out in "the kiln room" which is much larger (and probably will as soon as my daughter returns from vacation and retrieves her horse who's corralled in the same area as the kiln room. Skittish horse. It would freak him out if i started the kiln.) Have shelves + shelves of bisqued ware waiting for glaze.
But, it's more than that actually. All the glaze techniques i've been trying are experimental. And i hate to "ruin" more than one piece at a time!!!
Should run test tiles i spoze. But when an unrepeatable "happy accident" occurs - i'd rather have it happen on a saleable bowl/cut/etc. than on a test tile!
Right now am working on perfecting the Kosai fuming technique but need predictable oranges + reds (a lavender wouldn't be amiss either)..... Then, with confidence, i can glaze the larger, more unique pieces of bisque.
The experiments are fun when they work. Frustrating when they don't. But you know how that goes!

cynthia said...

Very cool, I book marked her site. Looking forward to seeing your results.

chaetoons said...

Am looking forward to seeing the results, too!
Just finished fuming today's piece but won't be able to inspect the results in detail for another 20 minutes or so when it's had a chance to cool.
Am curious as a heart attack !!!