Saturday, March 14, 2009

More felt, more glaze tests, more frustrations...

Okay. So this has been a rather long and somewhat frustrating week. I managed to get a glaze firing in, along with some of those tests that I am working on. You'll recall from my last post, the problems I was having with my glaze running too much

I mixed up a couple more tests. Both tests are an altered version of the original matte glaze recipe, G1214Z from Digitalfire. I changed the glaze with my Insight Glaze Calculation Program to allow for a 5% increase in Silica. I thought I'd start with this alteration in my tests because it would help to stiffen the glaze and keep if from running, by slightly bumping up its firing temperature. I'm not very happy with the results. The tile on the left has no opacifier, the tile on the right does. You'll notice that I managed to correct the problem of the glaze running too much, but I think I prefer the matter surface of the original glaze recipe. So back to the testing... I think the next round, I'll work on the levels of EPK. If I increase the EPK and the silica at the same time, I may be able to both fix the running, and push the surface more matte. If I simply remove the extra silica and increase the alumina (EPK), then I'll make the glaze more matte than the original, which I don't think is what I want to do. I have to be careful adding too much more EPK, because that can cause the glaze to crawl. Here's an article about this glaze recipe, for further reading.

Back to my felting, I've started decorating some of the tiles I was working on last week:

The small piece on the right is a test piece I tried. The red stripe was wet-felted in place. This creates a very soft and fuzzy line. For the tile on the left, the red lines were added by needle felting. The two colours of wool do not blend the same and the red is much crisper. Personally, I'm leaning towards the look on the right. So I guess I'm testing more of this as well. (I see lots of testing in my future...)

I found some craftspeople online who are willing to answer my questions about felting so now I've got some brains to pick. The RagingWool has offered to help me (I know! Great name!) and so has LaLaFelt who has some amazing roving in stock!

So I'm off for another week of testing: glazes and felting. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. My wife bought a felting needle for our sewing machine, it's like 6 needles in one and makes it easy to paint with felt... just lay bits of wool over the felt, tack it down with the felting needle (no thread, just up and down motion from the sewing machine), and it's attached. It's pretty cool and very easy.