Time to Glaze

What does it mean to glaze? Ceramics isn’t only about hand making artworks, it also includes “coloring” the pieces. When I first started working with ceramics and clay I had an idea about the need to “color” my pieces. “Coloring” my pieces means to glaze them. Glazes are mixtures of liquid chemicals to create colors that dry, clay works are dipped in and later fired to create a colorful, glossy look. One of the first things I learned about glazes is that they do not always look like the color that they will turn out to be in the end. Some reds may look gray or simply not red when it is in a liquid form. Since I have been working on some pieces these past few weeks, it has become time to glaze them.

In total, I glazed three pieces this past week. The first being a mug with leaves on it. For this piece I chose to use two glazes, one for the majority of the mug and another specifically for the leaves. I chose two colors because I wanted to give the mug more character because the leaves are a simple yet important aspect. The second piece of work that I glazed was my serving plate. Similarly to the mug, I chose to use two glazes. A yellow for the base and majority of the work, and white for the balls on the top. As you can see, the yellow glaze does not look yellow before it is fired, it has more of a reddish brown tone. This shows us an example of how the glazes do not always match the outcome color. The third ceramic artwork that I glazed was a mushroom-elephant looking mug/teapot. This piece is more abstract than the others and which is why it has more of an “odd” shape. Originally, I was going to glaze it with multiple colors but when I attempted it I realized how difficult it actually was. So, instead I glazed it with a nice brown.

Since the glaze colors are different from what they look like in the end, I do not remember which color is which for all of the glazes. At the time I did know, however it will now be a surprise to see how they will come out. This is something I would make sure to remember next time I glaze works. Now that these pieces are glazed, all I have to do is wait for them to be fired. Once they are fired their colors will come out slightly differently compared to how they look now and they will have a glossy look to them. I am excited to see how they will turn out when they are finished!

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