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cone 5/6 base matts, low fire too?

updated fri 24 oct 97


centa uhalde on fri 17 oct 97

Hi folks,
I'm new to ceramics this year. At the rec ctr. they fire mostly to cone 5
but most of the glazes are gloss. I would like to experiment with finding a
base matt, for the moment in a cone 5/6 range. Also open to low fire matts
but don't want to overwhelm myself any more than usual.

So I've bought 3 matts of Laguna in powder form and 2 white and 2 red clay
cone 5 bodies. Any testing tips out there for someone who has never mixed a
glaze before? I like what I think are low fire matts because of the
evenness of texture and color and the intensity of color even in the pastel
range. Is this type of effect possible with cone 5? I like some of the
older Art Noveau matts (if it can be referred to as such) and 50's dinner
ware sets that I think are rich (and bright) in color and are also matt. I
also would like to create even brilliant colors like orange yellow and
mustard yellow in matt. Is this possible in the mid-range firing temps?

I'm not sure what the difference is in the various matts in terms of
identification, like between 'transparent', 'clear', 'satin', or 'white'
even. I also bought a few samples of mason stains which I've been told is
all I need to add to these 'base' glazes (I assume they are 'base').

Also, I'm in the market for a used electric kiln (this is a repeat -- live
in Northern Calif, bay area) and any reccommendations on that score would
be appreciated. Or, I will buy new. I need a 1/2 horse power is about all I
know, as I'm not going to be doing heavy production. I also will be
getting a slab roller (my two big investments since I have the kiln). I
heard from someone that used one of the larger Bailey's that it was a
little problematic in the slab not rolling quite evenly, but I can't
remember the specifics. Anyone familiar with the Bailey's (duh).


Paul Lewing on sat 18 oct 97


Here's a cone 5 matt base glaze that I developed and use in a lot of
different color variations. It's especially good for making pinks
from the chrome-based Mason stains (hence its name when used with
about 6% Deep Crimson)

Raspberry Base
Custer Feldspar 27
EPK Kaolin 9
Whiting 21
Silica 18
Ferro Frit 3134 9
Talc 8
Gerstley Borate 8

I don't know about your yellow-orange or mustard yellow, but I make
some nice greys and blues with this base, as well.

Happy testing!
Paul Lewing, Seattle