Clay plants never need water

pineappleflower

spottedflower

I couldn’t wait for the kiln to cool off yesterday. There were two bowls in it that I had spent hours painting. To give you an idea of how long it took me, one had a small checkerboard pattern around the rim. They were glazed with cone 5 majolica and painted with underglazes. I have been getting great results with that combination, so I was excited to see how they had turned out, but the Terra Cotta color in the checkerboard burned out to a pale yellow.

I love the unglazed color of the Terra Cotta (Amaco Velvet Series) but it never stays that rich red-brown even if it is fired at cone 05. I was hoping it would stay reddish over the majolica, but I would have been happy enough with the dark brown in the checkerboard that I usually get. But pale yellow? That surprised me. Goes to show how important those glaze tests are. If only I wasn’t so impatient. Any advice about majolica or underglazes?

I guess the majolica on the other bowl I had spent so long painting wasn’t applied thickly enough so the colors were dull and spotty. In fact, nothing came out completly great in this firing – a kiln full of refires or seconds. Bah

So, I moped around for awhile and then started making a clay flower, just to lighten my mood. I like clay flowers in my garden. No watering, no pests, no pruning, no weeding. I like to place them so that you don’t notice them unless you are really looking at the garden.

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2 responses to “Clay plants never need water

  1. I can’t give advice on majolica or underglaze, but I just found an old book of mine in the garage, “Clay and Glazes for the Potter” — it’s very thick, and might have helpful information. You’re welcome to the book if you want it.

  2. Yes, Jana, I would like the book. It will remind me of the old days when you set up the studio and kiln and threw wonderful bowls, pitchers, etc. – including colorful, personalized cups for each of my kids that they used for years and that we still have.

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