holiday preparations

Good morning!  Today I am spending a little time glazing small pieces to test two new clear glazes.  I am making the switch from commercial glazes to ones that I make to save a bit of money, and because what used to be my favorite clear glaze is becoming increasingly difficult to find in stock in the quantities that I need (read: gallons and gallons).  And it doesn't play well with my new porcelain.  I have one single box of my old creamy stoneware left and I've now made almost all of my forms in my new porcelain and so far it's worked quite well.  Except for the glazing.  I don't want to ruin pieces that I've spent hours painting, drawing, and adding inlay to with glaze that crackles, pools up in corners, or flakes off.  I have piles of work waiting to be glazed with something that won't ruin it.

The first glaze I made doesn't seem to like how I like to glaze.  Some pieces are brushed, some are dipped or poured.  This glaze gets brick-hard in the bottom of the bucket no matter how much suspender chemicals I add (it bent my drill stirring attachment it was so hard!!), and if it's thin, the coverage feels rough, and if it's thick enough to feel good to me, it crackles.  I made a new batch of it and varied the proportions a tiny bit to see if it would help. 

I made another batch with different ingredients on monday.  All of the particles settled to the bottom of its jar, but it stayed soft.  I remixed it and tested it on a test straight-sided, flat-bottomed tumbler, one of my curvy tumblers and small plates which I dipped.  I also brushed it on a cracked platter to see how it brushed on.  Everything went on smoothly.  Same story with the glaze I modified, but it didn't go on as smoothly as the *new* new glaze did.  It's all firing now, so we'll see how they turn out tomorrow.  I have an underglaze pencil that I wrote on each piece (or stamped a code with my hex stamps on the bottoms of the "real" pieces.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to glaze the ware that's piling up by the weekend.

I have settled my holiday schedule:   I have shows on Nov 15- a small collective sale of creative women at a friend's home in East Memphis (please email me for details), Nov 22 is my open house (email or see my facebook page for details), Dec 7 is the Brooks Museum marketplace, and Dec 15 is Martha Kelly's home sale, and she graciously invited me to participate.