The beach clay glaze from west Wales has yielded some really great results in oxidation and reduction (cones 9-10). The beach the clay comes from took a hammering from several very heavy storms over the winter and the clay can be collected in buckets by hand with no invasive use of spade / trowel etc. – which is important in fitting with my low impact commitments to sourcing natural materials. A friend actually shared her dismay at hearing I had taken clay from the beach, but I have no worry in collecting something that will only be washed away in the next storm and where I make no visual impact. Indeed the cliff from which the clay comes is perhaps now quite unstable and it seems likely that more will fall soon. Finally of course, the quantities that I am taking are minute – a bucket or two every 2-3 months.
I have been adding the blue glaze and a copper glaze to see what the results might offer in oxidation. Some lovely, encouraging results – see below.
I have also been experimenting with a white zirconium glaze (from Stephen Murfitt’s The Glaze Book, with under and over glaze. My best results are when the glaze is used thinly and with strong blue / blue black glazes or oxides. The problems come when the glaze is applied too thickly and then when it runs, it picks up the under / overglaze and the colour washes downwards.