Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kicking It Up a Notch!

At our Guild a firing fee for a pot includes bisque, glaze and as many refires as you want. So if I'm unhappy with the results of a firing, I usually try reglazing or refiring- often in electric after a gas firing. Recently I had several pots that just lacked something - were just too boring. What I do with those is that I use an underglaze black pen to kick it up a notch. I find that a fired glazed surface makes using the pen much easier as it does not catch the way it often does on a bisque surface, allowing rapid, flowing marks.
The wall plate below ended up a pretty washed-out shino with some weak carbon trapping in the middle after a cone 10 gas firing. I thought that I would try a design to tie in the carbon trapping pattern and the circle on the upper left using my underglaze pen.

Shino platter cone 10 redux - pretty bland before.
Shino platter after underglaze pen decoration and a refire in electric at cone 6. 
I also took a page from  Nick Joerling and used some blue highlight dots.. 
The refire unfortunately removed the carbon trapping which was pretty weak 
but it warmed up the shino nicely to a more orange colour. 
After cone 10 gas firing - figures do not pop out as much as I would like,
After refire in cone 6 electric and with underglaze pen
outlines, the figures stand out much better.
I feel that this underglaze surface decoration on a glazed surface would probably not be very good on functional surfaces such as inside of bowls and cups. Maybe not even on the outside of pots that would be often used in the dishwasher as I'm not sure how duraable the underglaze pigment is, especially on top of a cone 10 glaze refired at cone 6.. But on non-functional surfaces it can help a pot to kick it up a notch!