Saturday 13 April 2013

Leopard spots

I have fairly been making up for lost time in January and February. I had a batch of finished work out just in time for Easter and right now seem to have more work underway than I can handle. There are enough bisc fired pots for at least three glaze firings, with a further batch of throwing slipped and stashed away waiting patiently in the damp cupboards. Hopefully I will manage to get back to these on Monday.

This leopard dish is for a commission. After it had been bisc fired I brushed the outlines with wax and oxide and filled in with glaze using a slip trailer.  The spots seemed to go on for ages. I kept thinking of the Rudyard Kipling story 'How the Leopard got its' spots'. Certainly not this way. 

I was a bit unsure of my glaze colours, this was going to be a new combination, so I did some overnight tests in the tiny test kiln to reassure myself. The test tiles came out fine but it I know that it will look  very different on a large scale. 

I had two days of wax and oxide painting, and I still have half of the dishes to fill with glaze. After that I wax over the glazed areas and dip the whole dish in transparent glaze.  What a palaver of a method - I must be mad. But it seems to work and give me a result that I like and am in reasonable control of. Well - I hope so anyway.

Today was a marathon of mixing, dipping, pouring, wiping and eventually packing. That's it - the kiln is on tonight. I will know how things turn out on Tuesday.

 I am dying to experiment with our new extruder but I am having to be patient. Soon I should have enough essential stock made and commissions completed to be able to get started with it.


  1. You'll be wishing that someone will genetically engineer spot-free Leopards!

    It was fascinating to see how you have gone about the glazing. Over the last few months I have been thinking about a similar process, but haven't tried yet, so it was helpful to see how you have gone about it. Out of interest, are you using a cold wax emulsion of some kind, I suspect that hot wax would not give the fine line control that you clearly have?

    Anyway, good luck with the firing.
    Best Wishes, P.

  2. Hi Peter, Good to hear from you. Yes it's (cold) wax emulsion I use. I mix it with spatula end of cobalt, iron and manganese. I have to regularly wash out the brush end as it does clog up and the right brush is important too as it can be a bit blobby if you're not careful. Worth trying though.

  3. Thanks for the information Christine, I'll give it a try. P