|Monthly Tech-Tip |
Left is Plainsman M340. Right is M390. Each mug has been white-engobed inside, using L3954B, and half-way down the outside. The insides have been glazed using G2926B clear. The inside surface has more depth and has a richer appearance than could be achieved using a white glaze (especially over the dark burning body). The outside of the left one is Alberta Slip base GA6-B. The outside glaze on the right is the clear plus 4% iron oxide. This technique of using the engobe enables porcelain-like functional surfaces on the insides and striking visual contrast and character on the outside of the dark body mug.
The body is buff burning Plainsman M340 (cone 6). The amber colored glaze is 80% Alberta Slip (raw:calcine mix) with 20% of each frit. The white engobe on the inside of mug 1 is L3954A (also glazed inside using transparent G2926B). These frits are producing an amber gloss glaze of high quality. On the outside of mug 1 we see the 3195 version on the white slip until midway down, then on the bare buff clay (the other has the 3249 version). These mugs are fired using a drop-and-soak firing schedule. A couple of caveats: Frit 3249 has a very low thermal expansion, use it on bodies that craze other glazes (like Plainsman P300), it could shiver on stonewares like this. Both of these frits prevent the formation of bloating blues (with additions of rutile or titanium).
This is a white engobe (L3954B) drying on two dark burning cone 6 stoneware leather-hard mugs (Plainsman M390). Those lumps are on the left cannot be screened out, they are agglomerates. That slip has excessive flocculant (powdered Epsom salts are added to gel it so that it stays put on the piece after dipping). About 4 drops of Darvan were added to one gallon of the slurry, this immediately made it smooth and a perfect consistency for application. It remains stable on ware (without runs). Engobes require tight control to have the right viscosity and thixotropy (which can be achieved over a range of specific gravities (about 1.45-1.6). When they are right they are a joy to use, when they are not ware is ruined.
The clay is Plainsman M390. The inside glaze is G2926B cone 6 base transparent. The outside glaze is the same recipe but with 4% added red iron oxide (screened to 80 mesh). A white engobe (L3954B) has been applied inside and outside down to the midway point (done by pour-filling the leather-hard piece, then pouring it out and pressing it lip-down into the engobe). The incised design was done after the piece had stiffened (after the engobe application). The inside clear glaze was poured in and out, then the lip dipped. Wax resist was applied to the top inch inside an up over the lip. A sharp knife was then used to cut away the glaze from the outside of the lip (at a 45 degree angle) and remaining glaze from there down the outside was scraped off with a fettling knife. The mug lip was then dipped into the outside glaze, the mug quickly turn over and pressing down into the same glaze. Finally, any drips of the glaze on the wax were sponged off and the foot ring cleaned off.
L3954B - Cone 6 Engobe (for M340)
Dry and firing shrinkage fitted to Plainsman M390, M340
GA6-A - Alberta Slip Cone 6 transparent honey glaze
An amber-colored glaze that produces a clean, micro bubble free transparent glass on brown and red burning stonewares.
Engobes are high-clay slurries that are applied to leather hard or dry ceramics. They fire opaque and are used for functional or decorative purposes. They are formulated to match the firing shrinkage and thermal expansion of the body.