Finding the right glaze can be an important part of finishing a ceramic piece. The chemistry behind a glaze can help to create a great many different surface qualities and colours.
Off the shelf glazes are a good place to begin learning about glazing, but if you want to develop a unique glaze, or adjust an aspect of a recipe you already use, it can be difficult to know where to start.
During this two-day workshop, Elise Johnston will show examples from her ongoing experiments in glaze development, explain the basics of glaze chemistry and introduce a practical technique called line blending - a useful tool for developing or adjusting glazes.
On day one of the workshop each participant will be allocated a glaze recipe, and will explore the role of one particular raw material through the use of a progressive line blend. By adding progressive increments of a material to a glaze recipe, it is possible to get a picture of what effect that one material is having on the appearance of the glaze at various strengths.
Each attendee will make their own line blend with a different material or colourant. These will then be fired, and all the results will be viewed and discussed on day two. This will allow the entire class to see the results of a wide range of glaze experiments.
Glazes will all be in the cone 6 oxidation range, but the techniques used can be applied to glaze development regardless of firing temperature or kiln atmosphere.
Participants who own a respirator should bring it along.
This workshop is suitable for ceramicists and potters who already have experience mixing and applying glazes from recipes, and want to begin developing and adjusting their own glazes.
Elise Johnston (nee O’Neill) is a ceramic artist living in Dunedin with her husband and two children.
After completing a BFA in 2006 at the Dunedin School of Art with a sculpture major, Johnston took a side step into the field of ceramics and has been creating with clay ever since. A co-founder of Three Cups of Tea Ceramics, Elise’s work has been included in the Portage Ceramic Awards, and in the Emerging Practitioner in Clay Awards. Over the years, she has shown work in various group exhibitions and has been commissioned to produce work internationally. In 2019, Elise was the Doris Lusk Artist in Residence.
Johnston’s pieces combine her love of the functionality of ceramic objects with her desire to sculpt and communicate through the expressive medium of clay.