Part of the Material Matters project work focuses on glaze development. This means adjusting existing glaze recipes and introducing new ones in order to expand the technical, visual, tactile and emotional vocabulary used within my work. Underpinning this approach is the aim of exploring and expressing my experiences of nature through materials. By paying attention to the innate quality of materials and their reactions with each other when set within certain conditions, I hope to learn more about the materials themselves and how I can work with them to render expressive forms and surfaces.
I have tested nine glazes. Some are created from existing recipes and some are new. The initial outcomes are mixed! Each glaze has been tested on a simple vessel form so I can see what happens to it on vertical interior and exterior surfaces and also on contained horizontal surfaces. The glazes were poured into the bisque fired vessels, swilled around and poured out. The exterior application was by brushwork and the vessels were divided into five sections with different slips brushed onto four, leaving one blank to see the glaze directly on the clay body. The tests were fired in an electric kiln programmed to 1220 degrees centigrade and I used Orton standard cones 6 and 7 to gauge the heatwork.
As with all of my work, I like to take a closer look to see the detail and find the character of the materials. Here are some of the highlights.
The next stage for these glazes is to see how they interact with each other and some of the other glazes that I’ve been using. There is also the major challenge of discovering how these glazes can be best applied to the new asymmetrical forms. Watch this space…