I’ve almost finished glazing the short series of tattoo pots! [Fanfare, please.] It has taken a lot of trial and error, lots of tests and LOTS of patience, but we’re nearly there. I can see the finish line, taste the triumph of completion, lick the face of victory… Umm… Moving on! Just one more firing to go. In the meantime, let me talk you through the glazing process…
You may want to grab the biscuit tin and replenish your cuppa of choice.
Sponge off the bisque pot (‘bisque’ is the stage you’re at when the clay has been fired once and turned to ceramic) to get rid of any dust etc., ready to take the dreamy splendour of your glaze.
Fill the stamped areas with a coat of chocolate-brown underglaze to highlight the intricacies of the awesome image – a proper beaut of a tattoo design by Kirstie at KTREW Tattoo in Birmingham (www.ktrewtattoo.com).
(Do not, I repeat, do NOT lick the chocolate-brown underglaze. It does NOT taste good, and it is NOT good for your innards.)
Concede defeat in the fight against the awesome (albeit short-lived) power that is the Great British heatwave and go in search of cool, cool relief. Any breeze will do! It is so hot and humid inside the huts, sitting in the garden is the only option – under a parasol to protect my milky-white skin!
Now, forget to take a photo of the next bit, so decide you can take liberties and squeeze a double instruction in… Then realise you’re waffling and wasting the space that was intended for said instructions! You fool! Now you’ll have to rejig EVERYTHING!
Next apply a coat of clear glaze (which currently looks like it’s a very, very pale minty green – oh, the majestic alchemy of ceramic glaze!) to the sun design, just to make it that little bit more gorgeous and shiny.
Once that’s dry, apply three coats of a fabulous glaze from Mayco called ‘Lotus Blossom’ – a pale turquoise-blue with crystal bursts of gold and amber.
INTERLUDE – GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK FOR GETTING THIS FAR! (There’s not much more. Promise… But maybe grab yourself another biscuit to see you through.)
Step 5 (ish)
Caaaaarefully apply two coats of yellow glaze to the raised areas in and around the sun. Yup. It’s tricky, and you may well find your tongue finds its way determinedly out of the corner of your mouth to aid focus. (Proven concentration technique.)
Step 6 (give or take a few)
Wallop a couple of coats of clear glaze on the outside of the pot. This will enhance the beautiful sandy red of the clay (Sanded Etruscan Red from Potclays in Stoke, since you ask!)
(Do NOT put any glaze on the base, or the pot will stick to the kiln shelf and be lost FOREVERRRRRR!)
Finally, sit back and admire your handiwork with a cuppa and another biscuit – you deserve it!