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Cone 6 Glaze: Georgies Interactive Pigments: Part 1

This is the 2nd Installment of my monthly blog about Cone 6 Glazes.

There are 12 Interactive Pigments ("IP") that came in the sample pack and tons of potential tests to run.
Sometimes the hardest part of glaze testing is where to start. Georgies had created a PDF with some samples and general directions. And why recreate what they have done? Yes, what they did, as what I am doing, will be different than what you do, but at least there will be all kinds of fun starting points for us all...

Ok, so here goes my setup for running the tests (things with my tests change as I work, so I make lots of notes). You may want to be able to redo something from these tests...

Each "IP" has two test tiles. One with a smaller texture and one more open. Each labeled on back with codes.

Beginning notes...
My plan: is to brush a clear glaze over the vertical half of the test tile which has half of the one coat of IP wiped off, the other untouched. Click on the picture to see the details...

Necessary items pictured above: Gloves, paper towel, brushes (one for each IP), labeled test tiles (amaco underglaze pencil used), water, etc...

A quick note about my choice of brushes. Buy quality brushes. Not super expensive, but good ones that will hold the bristles. You will need to soak brushes, so avoid wooden painted handled brushes because they will hold water in handle, bacteria may grow, and painted parts will fleck off.

The particles in the IP's fall out of suspension very fast. You can see, even after an initial shaking of each one, by the time I opened this one, it needed to be mixed again (brush mixed before every use).

Above: One brushed coat per piece. But really, as I am brushing it on to get an even coat, it could be considered 2-3 coats...
Fired as is = 1 variation per test tile.

Bottom half gently wiped off. Clean sponge in between colors to avoid color contamination...
Fired as is = 2 variations per tile.

Clear Matte Glaze Applied (why test just the shiny clear - see, test change already). And notice the small cup of glaze used for testing?
Fired as is = 4 variations per test tile.

Wipe brush clean after each stroke on test tiles to avoid contaminating the matte glaze. Messy but necessary. Save rest of glaze in cup with lid and label or just put into Cone 6 "waste liner glaze" container. Don't dump it back into your original container of glaze because it will contaminate it with the colored pigments from the IP!

Fired as is = 6 variations per tile.

Thought to myself... Why not try the Amaco Soft Arroya White glaze on these too (applied over the IP and the matte and clear glazes). Yet another test change...
Fired as is = 12 variations per tile.

So the final notes for the test tiles before the firing (12 variations per tile).
Click on photo for detailed notes...

The results from my Cone 6 electric kiln, computerized (preset slow glaze firing)...

A good start... Lots of potential!

I wanted a bit more gnarly and interaction though... So I tried some of my normal glazes on just 5 of the IP's (lightly wiped off prior to glazing):

Now this was a bit more of what I was looking for. It came from using four glazes brushed perpendicular across the IP piece (brushed on glazes pictured above in horizontal stripes):
1st row: Spectrum Hot Chowder
2nd row: Amaco True Celadon
3rd row: Laguna Atlantis Aqua
4th row: Coyote Green Crawl "lichen" glaze

Here are some detail shots of what I can see me using...
Above IP204: will apply the Coyote Green Crawl even thicker next time (maybe try the blue or brown crawl too!) Yum - gnarly lichen texture!!!

Above IP205: The Green Crawl looks almost black this time...

Above IP207: I like the way the IP picked up the scratchy detail in when combined with the Amaco True Celadon Glaze.

Above IP211: I am interested to see if I can get a bit more of this brown to stay on the piece and not wipe off so easily... I like that old rustic, pulled from out of the ground look...

Above IP212: the blue has some potential. Oceanic colors really...

I hope this helps peak a little interest in you to try out these Interactive Pigments with your clay and glazes to see what you are coming up with...

My next post (3rd installment) on Cone 6 glaze testing will be June 18, 2010.

Information in this blog post is the intellectual property of Marsha Neal Studio, LLC. Posted here on the Beads of Clay blog for educational use... If you choose to use any of the items listed in this blog, it is your responsibility to read all labels on the products and work safely and responsibly.

Click HERE to go to my first blog posting on Cone 6 Glazes.

Photos taken with my iPhone and posted from my iPhone and are property of Marsha Neal Studio, LLC.


  1. Sweet. I plan on migrating down to the Clay Cave for the Summer. I will be doing Raku for the first time. Let's hope I don't blow my self up! Love your blog. Very pretty work!
    Until We Bead Again, Beth Murr

  2. I'm just curious, what do you end up doing with all of those ceramic "test" pieces??

  3. Ah yes, the cave... Where us "cellar dwellers" as my friend Kelly Russell calls us. Into the cellar we go...

    I keep all my test tiles for reference. I have small containers scattered throughout the studio (will eventually get into one area). It's cool to go back and look at them for inspiration and information for ideas on using them on various pieces.

  4. Very interesting! I didn't realize there were so many steps to the process.

  5. Hey Marsha,

    Those test tiles are beautiful! Where can these interactive pigments be purchased. Do you recommend a specific supplier? Thanks!

  6. You can get them through Georgies.com directly. I believe they are running a sale right now on the set of them...

  7. Great post Marsha. It is so interesting to see how you do your test tiles. Your record keeping system is so impressive. All the tips on how to apply the glazes and how much to apply is very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this process in such detail. This is invaluable information.

  8. Great post Marsha! Lots of information on a product that is fairly new. Now that you have done your testing, do you think the process to use these is too intensive when one is in a fast production mode?
    Thanks again. (sorry for the mess up above)

  9. Just received my shipment of IP's....excited to get into them...great post! A lot of time and work here...Appreciate it so much~

  10. What kind of brushes are those if you don't mind?

    Leigh Ann

  11. They are 1/2" wide duncan shader brushes (I think if you click on that 4th photo it enlarges and you can see the actual brush number). Once I found a brush that worked for me, I bought them in bulk… :)


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