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Third Friday Glazes: Cone 6 Blue and Purples from Coyote Clay

By Marsha Neal Studio
Welcome to my monthly post about testing Cone 6 Commercial Glazes. 
Click HERE to see all the posts I've done on Cone 6 glazes so you can catch up if you need to.

Where I am at right now is two months after I bit the big one and ordered the big sample set of Cone 6 Coyote Glazes
You know the one... the one with all of their 96 glazes in 4oz bottles…
I needed to reorder some pints anyway, a price increase was about to hit, and I was getting 20% off the current price
Which worked out to the same as if I just got "free shipping". 
So in my mind it was justified (can I just say ouch - but YAY!)
So where does one start when looking at testing these?
I decided to start with about 40 of them that have most potential for use with my decal images.
Ones that are duplicates of glazes I regularly use were left for "back stock".

So what am I going to show you this month?...
I am going to space it out and show you what I did with 10 glazes in the blue/purple color palette to get these results:
The three smaller square test tiles are brushed with the glaze by itself:
L to R = 1, 28, 67, 75, 76, 53, 54, 56, 84


The larger square is first brushed with a very thin coat of glaze #74 (Alabaster Satin) then down and across with each glaze. 
I am interested in seeing what happens when you combine one of the glazes with a more white glaze (stemming from the thought of what happens in painting when you mix a color with white paint - it is a lighter version of itself… Glazes react differently - so I am curious to see the results). 
Another thought would be to make it lighter, just thin it out with distilled water. 
But that would give me more of a glaze wash, and I need a somewhat "shiny" surface to have the decal image come out the way I want it to…
After removing these pieces from the kiln, I looked to see if there were any areas that really jumped out at me.


Here are some further tests I completed with layering the glazes.
I think that if any of these glazes have potential, they would have to be mixed in a container together, and not layered. 
The layering is way too much work and touch-ups are a P.I.T.A.
Pain In The Arm… Seriously ;)
And once you look at the pictures below, you will see the "touch up" spots that really just stand out and look bad on this type of glazing anyway.
75 + 54 (back just 54)
74 + 54 + 1 (back just 54 +1)
74 + 54 + 75 (back just 54 + 75)
74 + 54 + 76 (back just 54 +76)
74 + 1 + 53 (back just 1 + 53)
28 Alone (runs when applied thick!)
56 Alone (runs when applied thick)
One thing that I thought about as I was testing out some of these blue/purple colors is how I picked up some beads at Bead Fest last summer from Alice St. Germain (Succulent Beads) and they might just end up going with some of these glaze colors once I test them out a bit more. 
I sure hope so because I LOVE Alice's beads and I want to start to use some of her beauties with my focal pieces...
My tests with Alice's handmade glass beads.
Don't you just love being able to pull beads that you make or buy together with other beads from your stash???
I know I am liking it more and more every day!

Oh, and a quick question?
How would you handle cleaning up something like this:
I sure hope you think in quick simple terms: wet sponge.
I also hope you would consider quick grabbing a pair of disposable gloves to protect your skin.
I know my hands are dry and cracky - especially around my nail areas...
Even though most commercial glazes are labeled as "non-toxic" when fired properly, there are colorants in many glazes, that can cause cancer, liver damage, reproductive harm, etc. 
Why chance putting yourself at extra exposure risk?

I'm not trying to scare you into not using glaze. 
I'm just saying: Be Smart About It.
Wear gloves, and wipe the surfaces down - including the jeans, then rinse the glaze out of the sponge (I rinse mine into my clay sink with a sediment trap as to not clog the pipes). 
Don't let things dry with glaze on them - that is a sure way to create studio dust that contains silica that can permanently damage your lungs.

Not to bring up morbid stuff, but I lost my mom to a very rare form of Leukemia in 2007.
It is the kind of Leukemia from some sort of chemical exposure.
Not from anything associated with ceramics, but still - long enough exposure to certain chemicals over years of working just to pay bills & support her family - eventually caught up to her in a bad way.
Take working with chemicals, colorants, and dusty materials very seriously folks...
Ok - getting off my soapbox.

Now is your time to share with us...
Are you doing any experiments with commercial glazes?
Why don't you share a link to your blog, flickr image, facebook page, etc where you have photos and information about what you are working on here:


5 comments:

  1. I loved seeing your process! The colours you are working with are fun and make interesting combos. Can't wait to see how you incorporate them!!

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  2. Thank you Marsha for such great posts on these glazes. Very pretty results, and I love the effects on textured pieces. Also thanks for posting the safeties of ceramic glazes and their dangers. I see so many people jumping into ceramics and not taking the time to learn all that entails with the dangers of silica. And a great reminder for us too.

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  3. This is a great post Marsha. Makes me so badly want to get back into stoneware!!! Need a new kiln....yikes!!!! THanks for all the wonderful info.

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  4. Hello.I have a questionabout the possible toxicity of the use of cobalt carbonate brush work over a clear glaze and fired to Cone 6. Is there a possibility? A gallery owner asked me. I've been using cobalt carb. and water brushed over a clear glaze for years. Help. Please. Any idea about it?

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  5. All glazes that are being used on functional items should be tested for no leaching and being food safe. This means that the glaze is properly fired to the correct temperature and any of the colorants have become a part of the glaze surface and does not leach out of the glaze.
    I have heard of a simple "home" test is to cut and lay fresh lemons onto the glaze fired piece to see if the acidity of the lemon allows the colorant to leach out after a good while of it setting on there. If the color does leach out, you know you have an issue. If not, then you probably want to look up where you can have your pieces tested, and pay to have a test run. If you are firing the same way each time with the same glaze mixture, you probably won't need to test each piece.
    I quick did a google search for: testing for glaze leaching and found this link:
    http://digitalfire.com/4sight/tests/ceramic_test_glaze_leaching_test.html

    Hope this helps a bit!

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