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What I know of underglazes


From: Randy Menninghaus (india99_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 24 2004 - 03:25:38 PST

Over the past five years we have done more ceramics. It is my understanding
that mason stains and under glazes are more like color slip or colored clay
bodies and can be used on leather hard pieces of unfired clay. If the clay
pieces gets too dry it shucks under glaze off. Other glazes contain more
ingredients that are related to glass and by their nature cause the gloss
finish. Clear transparent simple gives a clear gloss finish.
Most low fire clay glazes have you bisque fire first to remove more of the
moisture. Than you apply the glaze with a brush on a clean surface that
has(important! been wiped with a damp sponge : be careful the piece has no
hand lotion on it... My kids are addicted to hand lotion and one time the
fingerprints of the student kept appearing while glazing.... We found out
she was using hand lotion than touching the pot while glazing)

As high school teachers know, not all students pay attention. We have had
some small pieces survive a bisque fire with coatings of glaze that were
not meant for one fire. The clay gods sometimes allow this to happen. :>)
I find I prefer the colors of the two firing processes. This year I have
started buying one color a year in the gallon size , so eventually we can
dip instead of applying glazes with two or more layers with brushes. We
love nautical jade which can be bought through Sax. I hope to continue a
dialog with teachers who are teaching a hand building ceramics part of
their program...Randy in rainy Maine who only had one parent conference to
day, no kids and is done at 11 am...who hoooo