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A friend of mine had me clean out her pottery studio a week ago because she had found out she was extremely sensitive to silica and would not be able to work with clay any longer. She requested that I simply take all of the clays and glazes with me so I did. Since then I've sat looking at these glazes and underglazes wondering what I could do with them. They are low fire Duncan and Mayco and I work in highfire (cone 9-10) stoneware and porcelain. But then I remembered some tests I ran a long time ago on Duncan underglazes. Quite a few of them turned out to be very pretty glazes at high fire temperatures. So I set out to test this lot of low fire glazes and underglazes at high fire temperatures. The first of these test batches have just come out and I thought I might share some of the results with you all.
The glazes I was happiest to see coming out of this test group were the yellows, oranges and reds. Not one of them burnt out! You young 'uns out there don't know how hard won those colors are for a potter, especially a high fire potter like myself. It used to be that the only reds we saw were copper reds from extended reduction. And they were very hard to get! Clear oranges and clear yellows were hard to come by too. And here they all are in little bottles on a shelf. That bright red in there is SC 74, Mayco's Hot Tamale. I had heard rumors of this glaze among other old potters. The brightest, truest orange is a Duncan Neon glaze CN504. The others slip over into peachy pinks and pastel orange sherberts but are still very pretty. Among them are SC22, Mayco's Carrot Top, SC50, Mayco's Orange Ya Happy, (who thinks up these glaze names anyway?), and SC2, Mayco's Melon-Choly. You can also see the yellow circle of underglaze colors which I will forbear from naming here for the sake of not making this post too long.
The big disappointment was that none of the purples came out. This had been my experience in the past as well. Low fire purples usually turn blue or gray when high fired. So I now have a good many more blues than I had counted on. I did find a low fire underglaze of Duncan's once that turned a lovely speckled lavender at cone 9-10. But they discontinued it. (Sigh!) Duncan's Regency Purple CC137, Mayco's Purple-licious SC71, and Plum Crazy SC19 all went various shades of blue. A notable deep, cobalt blue that looks like it might run on a vertical surface is Mayco's SC12 Moody Blue. I'm definitely trying that one on something. Maybe I can combine it with that lovely, glossy, opaque white called Cotton Tail (Mayco's SC16). It's in the middle of the circle of pale pinks and flesh tones. I thought I might also mention that Mayco's Tuxedo SC15 turned a very nice, basic glossy opaque black. But I was expecting that one to do well. Black underglazes usually do what one would expect. The browns did well also. But as a high fire potter I see an awful lot of those.
All in all I am very pleased with these results. Hope you can pick through these and find something useful to you. I'll post these color samples and their corresponding names on my facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150543908100770.371682.207602810769&type=1
My Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/PorcelainJazz?ref=si_shop will be carrying some of the green, aqua and turquoise underglazes on some very small pottery pieces pretty soon if you would like to see some of these underglazes in a larger format. I will also be uploading an album to my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/PorcelainJazz-by-Cecily-Smith-Maples/207602810769 of these items as they were being unloaded.
Til next month,


  1. It is good to be experimenting and creating new designs...what is always done gets boring...the new effect with the high temperature has actually worked out for sure.

  2. I am always disappointed when I go to repurchase a favorite glaze and find it has been discontinued.

    Great post about firing some of those glazes to higher cone temperatures. Thanks!


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