March 29, 2011

Clay and Glaze Experiments

 I wrote on Saturday about my Clay Crisis and how I wasn't able to get my regular clay from my supplier so I had to pick an alternate.  I have been fighting with this clay.  The main problem with switching clay is shown below.  Both pieces were glazed with the same glaze and fired to the same temperature.  It is one of my most consistent glazes, it almost always looks the same on my regular clay no matter how thin/thick or hot/cold it fires.  But on the new clay, it has a dramatically different color. That just isn't acceptable to me, so I am searching for another replacement clay.  I am optimistic about one that I have been working with, but I still need to run more tests.

So, to make lemonade out of lemons, I made the little pendants above.  All I can really do with this clay is roll out slabs and cookie-cutter them out after adding a bit of texture somehow (not with rubber stamps though... it sticks like crazy, even though I have tried multiple forms of release agent).  I used some white porcelain slip as a trailing slip to make textures and I really love the way it looks. Also, since I am using a clay that I can't use for my regular line of beads, I decided to use some glazes that I can't use with my regular line, too.  I have collected many bottles of really great glazes that are beautiful, but too inconsistent to provide the regular results that I need.  I have been looking for some quick and easy beads to add into production that I can use to make kits and sell at shows without needing to catalog them, so this is a fun start.

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. so glad you are able to turn this into a positive... gaining the freedom to play without having to be as structured... good luck in finding the clay you really want...

  2. Clever idea!! They still look great. :) Hope you figure something out soon. That can be so frustrating.

  3. Hi Melanie, you would never know you were having a problem they look great! ttfn L:)

  4. I love all of them! That is a rockin' batch of lemonade, ma'am ;)