A Glaze Testing Adventure
When I started making ceramics, I used only ready-made glazes. I was afraid to experiment because I fired all my pieces in someone else’s kiln, I was a beginner, and so on.
But when I finally got my own kiln, my interest was aroused and I dared to experiment with glazes – I wanted to get shades of colors that are unique and cannot be bought. So I embarked on a glaze testing adventure.
When I test each new glaze recipe, I use small clay tiles that I made specifically for that use. It is always exciting to see how different types of glazes will react with different types of clay, and how the color shade on a particular ceramic piece will ultimately look like.
I learned that there is nothing more satisfying than glazing my own ceramic pieces
with the glazes that I made all by myself.
If you decide to make your own glaze, the most important thing is to be patient. Testing can take a month or even a year. You may not achieve the desired result at first; but you could very well achieve it later, when you least expect it. Examine each glaze test in detail: follow the play of natural and artificial light refracting on the glaze, look at the thicker and thinner layers of glaze and how they react with certain types of clay – you might suddenly be enchanted by the color shades you see. Display your glaze test tiles on a visible spot – a desk, a shelf, a windowsill – anywhere, where you will constantly see them. In this way, you will be able to study them, use them regularly, and get a certain impression of the glaze colors you created.
"For potters, opening kiln is like witnessing magic. There's a moment when you can do no more than bask in the glittering, gleaming light of the pots on the top shelf, reflective with amazing glaze. After a good firing, we reveal the pieces in the kiln one by one, slowly, contemplating the subtleties and calling our friends over to take a look. As ceramic artists, we live for this moment. As humans, we're filled with joy when we create something beautiful." Gabriel Kline, Amazing Glaze