Glazes are what gives color, pattern and surface texture to the pieces. They are an aqueous suspension of clay, silica, and metals, that are then applied to the surface of the bisque fired pieces. After the pieces have been completely glazed, they are fired at very high temperatures in the kiln in a reduction fire. When exposed to this extreme heat, the glazes chemically interact and shift, forming the ultimate colors and textures of the piece, essentially creating a thin layer of glass over the surface of the porcelain.
I create colors and patterns for each piece through the meticulous application of layers of multiple glazes which I have developed. While the composition of the glaze is the underlying basis of their color, the thickness of the glaze and the application method, the interaction of glazes, and the firing process all play a pivotal role in the final look of the piece. If glazes are too thickly applied, they can run down and off the piece during the firing, ruining the final piece; however, if they are not thick enough, the desired colors may not appear.
Glaze creation for me has been a careful and methodical process — tracking factors from the thickness of glazes, to the interactions of differing layers, to the method of application — so with each new firing I am able to make subtle changes to keep striving towards “finished” glazes. All of these glazes are works in progress – I have not stopped making changes to any glazes yet.