Spring is on it's way, I can tell because the ground is soggy and there is mud every where. It's gross, and I hate it. However it soon it will be gone, fresh flowers will bloom and spring will happen. So I thought this would be a good time to make some egg trays, especially since eggs were a staple ingredient in my Hamantaschen cookies that I made at the start of the month. Not only are eggs are associated with the spring season, but I have been trying to figure out a set of great cost effective food safe glazes that I can use on a daily basis, and I thought I could throw some test glazes on some egg trays to test out what people like.
Look at those colors! I was wonderfully surprised by how many glazes actually turned out the way I wanted them too. Out of all the test tiles I fired these were my favorite, they are subtle and I think they would work well on many different types of pieces. Maybe some pink cake stands, or some cream pie pans. The only unexpected color was this mysterious purple. My three separate test tiles were grey, and yet somehow, this egg tray came out of the kiln purple. I'm still baffled.
Oh well, message me your thoughts or leave comments. I would love to hear what your favorite color is.
Glaze testing is analytical, precise, and yet, incredibly unpredictable. Basically it's a big pain in the tuckus! You can measure, plan and try to control the glaze, as much as you want. Certain that you know what is going to happen. Everything was done carefully, and well researched, but the second the kiln is opened you realize the glaze did whatever the heck it wanted to do. There is in fact no controlling it, no matter how much you want to, but if you are lucky there is usually something wonderfully unexpected that comes from it.
For this round of testing I had two major glaze recipes, that I wanted to test with varying colorants and oxides added and then 5 separate unique recipes. In total I made 24 100g batches of glaze with three separate test tiles for each batch, two stoneware and one white stoneware. I wanted to try the stoneware in both a slow cool, and fast cool setting. The FC white stoneware was just to see the difference in color over a lighter colored clay.
I ended up with a few gems, and of course quite a few let downs. The key to staying optimistic during glaze testing is to not put too much pressure on the glaze. It is easier to get over the let downs, if you forget your preconceived notions about what you wanted to happen. Being able to see the test tiles with fresh eyes, opens up the possibility of what could be, not what was supposed to be.