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October Third Friday Cone 6 Commercial Glazes: Revisiting Results

Welcome to the Beads of Clay Third Friday Cone 6 Glaze post…
It's Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio, posting some information about my glazing techniques to help give you an insight on some ways to use commercial Cone 6 glazes to finish your beads.

I had originally wanted to show you some results from tests run with some Cone 6 crawl glazes, but decided to wait until next month for that. This month I wanted to expand a bit on some of the tests I have been doing and directions they are going.
Coyote Cone 6 Glaze Mixtures on Textured Pendants, Textured Donuts & No Texture Donuts, Shards & Shard details.
If you want to go back and review the previous posts to get a clearer picture of the background for this post, click HERE.

Ok, So I've been working a lot with the Coyote Clay Cone 6 glazes. Started with a tile where the glazes were applied across and down to see how they reacted when layered. Had a few that I liked, so I tested those on larger pieces on horizontal and vertical surfaces, and this is where I usually leave the blog posts.
Pre-Glaze Firing and Post Glaze Firing (Small Cone 5)
I wanted to take you into my studio a bit further to see how things turn out and what I do in order to become comfortable using that glaze. I don't want to sound crazy, but it's nice to get to know your glazes - to see what "mood" they are in. Are they going to work today? Do they need a good stirring, more distilled water, more glaze suspender? Does it need a screening to work out the lumps? And working through various test firings and handling pieces is a good way to get to know your glazes and how they might react.
Each picture is the "same" glaze mixture. Cutout Flowers have "layered" glaze application & fired in larger kiln.
Ovals are "mixed" glaze application & fired in smaller kiln.
So this is where my brain goes when it comes to using commercial glazes:
1. Ooh, pretty… That's blah… or Not for my pieces...
2. What did I do (layering, mixing - what ratio, cone temp, which kiln, weather during firing)?
3. How do I repeat it? How do I make it better? What might this work on for later? How much do I have? How expensive is it? Should I get a pint, a gallon, or buy it dry? What other glazes do I need? How will it look on my textured pieces?
Start measuring for mixing to get a new color combination.
Here I have measured out one glaze to the line, and then put it into its own cup. Measure the other glaze out to the same line to get a 50/50 mix (half of each) and mix them together (see the cup with lid in middle picture). Mind you this after a few rounds of testing and when I have decided that I do like the glaze combinations and want to possibly add the color to my "line". Also, mixing dry glaze materials is really the only way to get a true ratio of mixture. With water added to the mix, you don't know how much glaze you have in there.

When you start looking at mixed glaze results such as the picture above with the cutout flower and oval pieces: if your end result is not what you expected after mixing and re-firing, there may be a few things to think about to figure out what happened.
If you are layering the glazes when "testing" is it necessarily a 50/50 mix? Probably not (more like 60/40 or 70/30). Usually the base glaze gets more application because it is absorbed into the bisque faster.
Was it the kiln firing schedule different?
If you have more than one kiln, did you fire the pieces in the other one that caused the difference?

With things costing what they do and money not growing on trees yet, you may want to think about if you want to mix those colors to get another bottle of a color?
Or do you want to leave them separate and layer them for specific effects?
Glazing with a "mixed" glaze. Then detail painting with a base coat then the 2nd color applied with small brush.
These two glazes combined will give that blue glaze color.
I guess it depends on what kind of outcome you want.
You can take your glazes farther by layering but it is much more time consuming and will drive up the cost of your piece (it should by the way - your time is worth money - don't undersell yourself).

Also, layering glazes can put you into the "glaze is too thick" category and may run too much or you may lose detail. You can thin out the glazes, but don't thin them too much or you will have to do many layers, and let them dry in between. It's a balancing act (and getting to know your glazes).

Practice & experiment & take notes…
Or just go for it…
Whatever you are doing - have fun with it and learn from your results!
Oh, and share your results here with all of us!


  1. Ironically I did a post the other day on one of my failures with Cone 6 shinos so I'll add it here.

  2. i tend to layer my glazes but that creates a surprise each time..sometimes great..other times, not so much.

  3. Marsha, those reds are to die for. So deep and yummy. Makes all that work testing worthwhile.

  4. Well I think I did it! I don't know how I finally got here, but I did!


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