Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Now Where Was I?...Oh yes, transmutating...

So if you'll recall where I left off, I wasn't overly happy with the results of layering my slate matte glaze with the strontium crystal magic. In some random glaze research, I stumbled upon something called transmutation glazes and thought this demanded some more attention. Essentially, these are glazes that pull color up from the clay body underneath, changing the appearance of the glaze. One way to do this is with titanium, which got me to thinking...

In college I took an entire course on slip formulations. We worked with colored slips, and studied their effects under various glazes. It was pretty cool, but I've never done much with this information. Which brings me back around to thinking about those transmutation glazes and whether or not I could do this same thing with slips - have a slip that sucked the color out of the glaze. Couldn't be too hard? Just load up the slip with some titanium and see what happens...


For these little cups, I cut out a small stencil of my damask pattern. And since I had been wanting to try some tissue paper transfers, I figured now was as good a time as any. I laid my stencil on a piece of tissue, and sponged on my slip. Then I laid the tissue on the cup's surface and used a sponge to wet the back of the tissue to release the slip. For the most part it worked. (Though I can tell you not to use tissue that has wax on one side. The slip really wanted to flake off. - And incidentally, I see a post on Ceramics Arts Daily that talks about slip transfers using newsprint. If I were to try this again, this is the route I would take.) But I digress... for the most part, the slip did in fact pull some color out of the glaze.


The effect is very soft and subtle but this technique was not without problems. Aside from the slip not wanting to stick to the tissue, the glaze itself didn't want to stick to the slip. There are a few spots where the glaze crawled, so I'd have to be very careful during application. (This particular slip has 15% titanium in it.) I can see this leading places - perhaps decorating with a simple crest, much smaller than the decoration pictured above, but for now it's still not that oh-so-elusive look that I seem to be chasing.

So back to thinking about those beautiful damask wallpapers. ... Those tone on tone patterns. ... Those flocked, tone on tone patterns. ... Those flocked patterns...

Oh dear. Here we go... Again! ...

2 comments:

  1. Nice post, I love wallpapers too.

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  2. It's an interesting effect. I enjoyed learning about the process. (Susan from Studio Potter Archive and Adele Bee Ann on Etsy)

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