Re-glazing worked wonders!

A half a year ago, I made trays for plant pots. They dried very slowly to prevent warping. This is partly what made me feel so lousy when I saw them after they’d been glaze fired. A person takes a long time to work on a piece that might look great before and after bisquing. Glazing is iffy, though, and everything can go down the drain with it, no matter how long someone’s worked on something before that.

I should have taken some before and after shots, but one re-glazed tray looks especially good. The other, I’m going to send back through for another cycle and see what happens.

Following the advice of Joan, a terrific ceramic artist, I heated them up in the oven and, wearing a mask, sprayed them with starch, which dried instantly, then painted on the glaze in areas that needed more coverage while the tray was still hot. I did this to help the glaze adhere, as it is like painting on glass.

Originally, I had dipped this tray in Lake Blue, then spattered it with Oribe Green. It was then fired to Cone 6. The results were sketchy…not enough coverage. So, in re-glazing, I painted on more Lake Blue. These photos show the results. I’m happy with it and will re-glaze the other tray next.

About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
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6 Responses to Re-glazing worked wonders!

  1. Rhonda says:

    I’ve never heard of the spray starch trick, but I’ve wanted to reglaze things that no glaze would adhere to. Does heating the piece make the starch stick better? Also, are we talking plain old household laundry starch?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, and I meant to say the tray looks great!

    • Jan says:

      Heating the piece until it’s really hot makes both the starch and glaze stick, especially if you have to put two coats of glaze on. Wait until the first layer is dry before you add another layer. Work fast. One thing I didn’t mention, is that you have to let glaze sit in a container until it separates. Then, before you use it, pour the water off. Paint it on fairly thickly (depending on the glaze…if it’s a glaze known to crawl, don’t). Afterward, just pour the reserved water back into it. I also heard you could put corn syrup in the glaze to thicken it, but I didn’t do that and it worked well with concentrated glaze. And, yes, just spray starch. It’s kind of hard to find nowadays, but you could probably find it in Fred Meyers down there…

  2. Rhonda says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say the tray looks great! I may copy this idea.

    • Jan says:

      If you do make some trays like this, build a framework inside it that will prevent the tray from warping as it dries. My friend Gary helped me with this…gave me some bamboo skewers to use. I cut them to a length slightly less wide than the box, lined the perimeter wall with corrugated cardboard, then eased the skewers in. Then, I let the trays dry for 5 months. After that, I removed the supports and let them dry to absolutely the bone dry stage.

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