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Apr 17

Four of Swords

four of swords

A little about the process of glazing these tiles.  To do this series of twelve tiles took me about two weeks.  Each glaze needs three (at least!) layers on it, and each tile has several colors.  Some tiles have as few as seven (like this) and others have twelve colors or more.  It’s actually easier to do more than one at the same time, because I can find three or four spaces on other tiles that have the same color.  I can really only do two colors at a time (max) because otherwise I forget how many coats each has had. The first two coats go on fairly quickly, but then it takes a few minutes (twenty, perhaps) to let the second coat dry before it admits a third.  Sometimes I decided that two was sufficient. I wish I hadn’t.  All of these could stand thicker glazes, especially on the translucent glazes.

Another thing that makes glazing tricky is that the glazes look completely different when they’re fired from when they’re in the jar.  I use my test tiles as reference, but the test tiles aren’t always accurate, because each firing has its own quirks.  When I’m more experienced at firing my own kiln, I hope to eliminate some of the surprises–but not all of them!  Some of the fun of ceramics comes from the unpredictability of the chemical and physical reactions of the materials.

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