Thursday, August 28, 2008

Test Test Test

I enjoy glaze testing a lot. I know I am among the few. I didn't start of as a potter who liked to test but ever since I got organized, I started loving it.
I have a system and I keep good records and sometimes drive myself insane while testing. But it is so much fun. This is my process from start to finish...
I use recycled clay for my test tiles. These are extruded through a die I made which have texture and feet to stand. I number each tile with a rotary rubber stamp. It is real quick and I number them sequentially.. I started at 0001 and I am already at 1800+. then they all get bisqued.
When it is time for making a test glaze. I write my recipe in my glaze log book. write the test tile numbers which will get this glaze. If I am layering with another glaze I write that info too. I write the Firing log number in which these test tiles will go. This is done so I can cross reference and see if I did anything different in the firing which I liked or disliked. I also leave a column for comments.
When the tiles come out, I reference them with the stamped tile number and write down with a sharpie the glaze used on it. Add the comment in my glaze log. To make matters worse, I then scan them all in my scanner, so I can look at them on my PC when I need to.
Crazy huh? This is what my scanned test tile looks like

Since I do a lot of testing I also land up with glazes that just aren't right for me. What do I do with all these un needed test tiles, broken pieces of pottery etc. I always thought of making mosaics with them, but who has the time. I figure I just benefit someone else then. I filled up boxes of broken pieces and test tiles in a flat rate priority box and will now ship them. Cost is only for shipping and posting on etsy. Check it out.

If these can go to a good artist, then a balance will be attained... I will keep testing and someone can make beautiful art from my tiles. :)


storybeader said...

just image how many places your pottery ends up at! That's great - I know there's a payback in there somewhere "what goes around, comes around." {:-D

CreativewithClay: Charan Sachar said...

Thank God for mosaic artists...
I love making pots and hate to throw rejects in the landfill. Sometimes it is because of just a tiny scrap of glaze because of which no one will buy... understandable.
Now I gladly take my hammer to the pieces and put them in a 5 gallon bucket. Have given away several buckets like this to schools and I am always glad to see more art being made.

Todd said...

Charan! You are very organized!! 1800+ tests????? WOW!! I keep a journal . . . sometimes in the actual journal or on post it notes or scrap pieces of paper. I've even written on a paper towel! They get stuffed into a box. Someday perhaps I'll transcribe them all on the computer. Thanks for the inspiration!
Peace to you.
Todd in Santa Fe


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