Saturday, August 5, 2017

Under Glazing Text Bulbs

text bulbs with underglaze applied and wiped, before firing

I've been glazing and underglazing quite a bit this summer. The process is necessary, but not what I enjoy doing with my time.

text bulbs with underglaze applied
One of the simpler processes this summer was preparing my text bulbs. I want the text to be highlighted with color and a glossy texture, so I painted on red, white, and blue underglaze and then clear glaze.
text bulbs with underglaze applied and wiped, before firing

I tried two methods for application. On some of the bulbs I painted on the colored underglaze and then used a sponge to wipe it away from the surface of the bulb, leaving color in the impressed text. After the color was removed from the raised surface, I applied and wiped the clear glaze in the same way.

text bulbs with underglaze and glaze applied
I also tried applying both the underglaze and glaze before wiping them away. This requires less wiping and less total time, but I ended up with underglaze on top of glaze in the text indents.

wiping off underglaze and glaze
I was going to triumphantly post pictures of the finished pieces, but the results out of the last firing are not great. The in-text color is fine, but the red clay surfaces of many of the bulbs have one side with white or light blushed clay and the other size with dark clay as I expected. Based on previous firings, I think the issue has to do with either the atmosphere or temperature in the kiln, so perhaps I can retired these pieces.

fired text bulbs out of the kiln

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