Friday, August 8, 2014

Cookie Mugs and Other Mugs

I decided to throw some mugs with low temp clay and test out some glazes. I bought three commercial glazes a year ago with plans to make some functional work. Actually, I had plans to make some cookie mugs. 

me want cookie (in the bottom, see)
I made a few cookie mugs last year but took on a complicated glazing process that had mixed results. I used shapes cut out of tape as a resist for contrasting layers of underglaze or naked ceramic. Some of these pieces worked well, others were less impressive.

impressive: my favorite resist tape bowl. I actually spent a lot of time on it

The problems mostly stemmed from trying to get too tricky. On a few pieces I painted underglaze on the whole piece, then used some car detailing tape (thin tape) to cover over the first layer of underglaze. applied a second layer over the top of the first underglaze, but when I used light underglaze over dark, four or five coats of the light color weren't sufficient to block out the dark color underneath. 

not impressive: kids, always remember not to put yellow over blue or red

This year I tried a few touch ups on the streaky yellow coats, but even after another firing or two, the yellow still looks a mess. This time around, I decided to test out the new glazes without messing around too much with underglaze layers.

the lazy girl's answer to the carefully resisted bowl above

Besides my standby clear glaze, I used three different Amaco glazes designed for low temperatures, Camel, Green Float and Burnt Orange.  I tried Camel and Green Float on on two of the mugs without any tape resist. The Camel was mixed up better--the other two had settled badly during the year they sat in the studio--and therefore sprayed on thicker.

Resisted Burnt Orange with Green Float overspray; Resisted Green Float with something? over it; plain Camel with Camel drips from rim

I also tried all the glazes with various tape resists patterns. To save time, and because I was mostly experimenting, I mostly used the detailing tape to make my resist designs. On some I sprayed the glaze, then removed the tape and added a little spray of clear to seal the surface and make it smooth. On others, I sprayed a second color on once I had removed the tape.

Resisted Camel with clear spray over it and the other side of the resist Green Float and ? from above

As it turned out, I preferred all the glazes where they reacted with the clear glaze or the second colored glaze sprayed over the top but I also kind of like the resist patterns, especially on the straight walled cookie mugs. 

Green Float with clear and Camel with clear (back of cookie mugs)

One thing I neglected to do was take a picture of the cookie mugs with cookies in the bottom. They make more sense in winter, but they're for cocoa (or tea or coffee) in the top and you can take your cookie (or madeline or biscotti) with you into the other room without a plate. I haven't actually tried them for real as of this writing, but once this post is published, they might be up in Michigan for a field test.

mmm, that looks like space for three cookies

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