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August 2010 Third Friday Cone 6 Commercial Glaze Tests by Marsha Neal Studio

Marsha Neal Studio Third Friday Cone 6 Glaze Tests on Beads-of-Clay.blogspot.com
Above is the new picture/logo that I am going to be using to help promote this monthly glaze post. Once I figure out how to create the html that you can copy and paste so the picture just pops up for you, you are welcome to use it too - with photo and copyright credit to Marsha Neal Studio, LLC (got to have that in there).

This month I am going to share with you some of the test results combining Georgies IP207 Steel Black with some glazes, mainly: 

I will go extensively into the other two tiles shown here in the upcoming months...
Marsha Neal Studio Main August 2010 Test Tiles with IP207 as a base.
In the above picture there are three test tiles (yes - you do see 9)…

Georgies Interactive Pigment (IP207) Steel Black is brushed onto each test tile, then glaze applied all the way across and down in a straight line for each color (yet it looks like they are painted in a "V" - it's just the way it looks).

By column they are: Unfired Glazed, After Glaze Firing, Back of Tile (flipped).

By Rows they are:
Top tile is with all twelve of the current Coyote Clay "Frank's Colored Celadons".

Bottom tile is a random mixture of Coyote Glazes that I had picked out at NCECA back in the spring.

Marsha Neal Studio Glaze notebook showing which glazes were used on each test tile.

Marsha Neal Studio's Olympic Baby Doll Test Kiln: pre-glaze firing to Cone  6.
When testing glazes it is important to take notes and pay attention to what you are doing, especially if you want to be able to attempt to duplicate results. 
This means remembering things like:
What kiln you used (I fire in the kiln that is most efficient - not always the "smartest" way to do testing).
What cone temperature (I often use both Cone 5 and 6 - depends on the glaze).
How you fire and cool it (slow, fast, soak, etc).

Trust me - after so many firings, it all gets mixed up in your head and you start second guessing yourself, then guessing about your guessing - it's a mess! Just write it down on paper and the test tiles! Or you may end up with results like this...
Marsha Neal Studio: Georgies IP207 base with Coyote's Franks Colored Celadons applied on top.
Now you may be thinking: Wait, aren't those small round test tiles (shown front and back in the photo above) created in the same way the larger test tile was (IP207 as the base then individually Frank's Colored Celedon's on top?). Well yes, and no. Yes it was the same basic application, but no because on the one larger test tile there was a lot of color overlap. 

This is one reason why I don't have the rich colors. The other is because I was in a rush (for BeadFest Philly!) and I fired them in my larger L&L computer controlled kiln (Cone 6). It's a different atmosphere and temperature, and some glazes are very sensitive to those differences.

Marsha Neal Studi Georgie's IP207 Base with Coyote's Frank's Colored Celadons (and one with Spectrum 1100).
These shapes are some of the fall cookie cutter pieces I made a few years ago. I was not wanting to glaze them with my regular glazes I use for my porcelain pendant line - they just don't work for me like that (not saying they don't work for other people like that… I just wanted them crusty and dark looking). 
So they sat, in their plastic shoebox bin, waiting to be used one day…

Oh yeah, back to my point: I glazed those little round test tiles to fire flat on the kiln shelf (horizontally) and I created these "character ones" to hang vertically. I do this so I can see the difference in puddling and the interaction of the glaze with the textured surface within the same kiln firing.

Yeah… it didn't work that well because they all came out looking almost identical, and I can't tell which vertical (not marked) character ones match the horizontal (marked) round ones.

So that test will be run again - in the small kiln AND with lots of overlapping glaze colors as well…
These tests are going to grow exponentially can't you tell? Glad I do this every month...

And a quick note about Cone Temperatures and my two main kilns used...
According to the Orton Cone Chart:
Small Cone 5 = 2230 F (my baby doll kiln)
Large Cone 5 = 2167 F (my pre-programmed L&L Kiln)

Small Cone 6 = 2291 F (my baby doll kiln)
Large Cone 6 = 2232 F (my pre-programmed L&L Kiln)

So now you can maybe understand the differences and importance in understanding your kilns and firings...
Marsha Neal Studio Georgie's IP207 as a base with Spectrum's 1100 on top.
You sometimes have to look at the test tiles in great depth to see potential combinations that may work for you… 
Above is from one of the very first tests I did with the Georgies Interactive Pigments. This is where I saw a small area on the IP207 tile that really interested me and as a result I decided to see what other somewhat clear/transparent glazes (hence the Coyote Frank's Colored Celadon) looked like over it.

Then to see how the shinos, the crawl glazes, and many, many others will look…
I love all the potentials with these!

And remember: these posts are meant to be inspirational to you for your own creative work. Take the information and run with it! 

The information, images, and pieces in this post are copyrighted by Marsha Neal Studio, LLC.
If you have questions or concerns contact me through my main website or blog.

Have fun doing your own tests and make sure that if you blog about the results, share a link back here (or on the current monthly post if this one in particular is closed)… 

Remember, your tests will be different depending on a lot of factors, most basically the kind of clay you use… Would love to see your results! Thanks for stopping by!!!


  1. Great post Marsha. Love your new logo. Great glaze testing technique. I am testing some stains at cone 5 would that be ok for the links? Love the link back idea and want to use it.

  2. The top tile almost looks like raku! love it. I ordered a sample set of the celadons last week. Im excited to test them out!

  3. Link up ladies (and guys)... If your post is related to glazing using glazed (or finishes related to fired glazing) share it. I can go in and remove any "spam" or inappropriate links. I get emailed when a link is added.
    I think I may just break down and get Coyote's BIG sample pack... I dream of them saying: here, have one on us... But we'll see how sales at Beadfest go this weekend, then I'll order it next week...
    I can't wait to be able to master the firing to get those colors again on that first tile... So in love with those colors!

  4. I'm glad to see Frank's transparent glazes getting some love!

    I'm lucky to have studio space at Coyote Clay and with it, access to the full line of glazes produced there. (The only glaze I purchase outside the studio is Laguna's Chun red.) Martin makes some amazing glazes; I would recommend the full sample pack if you can possibly swing it!

    Here are a few of the blog posts I've done about glaze testing. Nothing as formal as your tests, but there might be something interesting in there!

    Using broken bits of pottery for glaze tests

    Testing More Glazes

    Glazing buttons

  5. I love glaze testing! I do similar methods to you and take copious notes. Problem is I often lose those notes over the years. I've just gotten in sample sets of the coyote shinos and celadons and will be working with those over the next few weeks, months. So far, I love the colours.

    About kiln atmospheres. All of my kilns are either programable or recently converted to. I'm using cones to figure out what's really going on in there. I keep kiln logs of firing times and when they creep up because of the aging of the elements, I test with cones. Recently, I found that what was happening was my cone 5 programs were more like cone 6. I'm a little old school and think nothing beats finding out what your heat work is like than using an old fashioned orton cone pack.

  6. I have started to take pictures with my iPhone of all the notes I make because I end up with a bunch of notebooks in many places (I'm a sucker for a notebook on sale - LOVE the "newness" of them!)…

    Rosa, if you read this, could you do me a favor and add those links you added here to the actual post. I think they are great! Lots of lovely tests…


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