October 20, 2017


October is starting and we have had a great fall in Bozeman. Our garden is still producing. The colors in the foliage of the trees and bushes are starting to turn brilliant colors. The Virginia Creeper is a crimson red and the maple trees across the street are turning a light green on the bottom and then moving up the tree we see yellow then a brilliant orange to the intense flaming orange at the top. We have about a week to enjoy these colors before the annual disrobing when the leaves will fall off the trees in preparation for winter.

Colors are such a vivid part of our lives, and as a potter, one of the measures of each potter is the colors they work with. One of Jennie’s contributions to the pottery business is her keeping up with current trends in color and home decor. She saw a muted orangey red that she really liked, and as we were associated with as potter who was using that glaze, he allowed us to purchase that formula. We named the new glaze Copper.

Then came the months of experimentation to learn how to apply that glaze to obtain the right thickness and to fire to the right temperature and in our particular kiln atmosphere. Once we have learned how to apply the glaze correctly and the firing schedule down to get the desired color, we begin to experiment with adding a second color to the pot. We can now see what the combinations look like. Glazing is peculiar in that if you put glaze "A" over the top of Glaze "B", it turns out totally different from doing the reverse, so that piece also needs to be determined.

We wanted to use two of our own glazes, Tenmoku which is a shiny black and another glaze that we developed called Midnight Blue. When we apply the Tenmoku with the over dip on top of the Copper, we get some real vibrant colors that have turned out to be very popular with our customers.

The Midnight Blue was a mistake and when the sample glaze was fired, it was definitely not the glaze we expected but we really liked the new color, so the search was on to determine how to get it to be consistent. It was obvious that the glaze had been mixed wrong, so Bob, who has a lot of experience working with glazes, tried to figure out what had been mixed incorrectly. He felt that one of the glaze components was probably doubled so he mixed up a sample using the calculated mistake and he got the Midnight Blue formula.

We have now added these two new glazes to our website and we have carried them in the Mountain Arts Store for some time. They have proven to be very popular and have added a new dimension to the look of our pottery.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.