I recently tested decals on my current lineup of glazes. The decals came from decalpaper.com. The test tiles were made from Amaco’s Warm Brown Stoneware, bisque fired and then each dipped in one of my current glazes. After glaze firing each tile to ^6 I applied one of the water slide decals and put the tiles through another bisque fire. The images show the tiles just after I applied the decals and then after the decals were fired on.
I was surprised how different some of the glazes were after the additional bisque fire. The Bone White really turned to a much brighter white and seems to be a little less shiny. Both brown glazes also flattened out and turned more of a yellow color. Both blues were a little brighter. I don’t have the Mastering Cone 6 Glazes book in front of me but I think I remember reading that most of the glazes would benefit from a slow or controlled cooling cycle. I wonder how close the additional bisque fire is to a controlled cooling.
I think the decals show up best on the Bone White and Light Brown but I might try them on the blues too. I’ll probably have a few small cups with decals to add to my next bisque fire.
Here is another experiment that I tried in the last bisque fire.
I did some pit firing a few years ago. There were some busted pieces that I held onto so I took one of them and added a clear low fire glaze by Amaco and brushed a few coats on top. Then I put it in the last bisque fire. The glaze seemed to catch some of the copper from the pit fire and it turned a transparent green (I believe from the oxidation). It crazed quite a bit but it looks pretty cool. The image shows before and after the bisque fire. If I remember correctly, the clay that I used was a low fire white clay from Amaco. I think I added some grog and maybe some Custer Feldspar for additional strength during the pit fire. Apparently it didn’t help this piece stay intact. But it made a good test subject.
I’d like to do some more pit firing in the future. I have a few small pots made with different clays. I’d like to see if bisque firing before the pit fire affects the final results. Maybe another item to add to my list for the summer.