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Surface decoration test: mug

This was the last in my group of four mugs which I made for trying out surface decorations. I used shellac resist on the base of the mug to create texture and then bisque fired it. As I wasn't sure whether the handle was going to hold as there were a couple of hairline cracks I didn't want to spend too much time in decorating it. I merely used a blue underglaze wash to bring out the texture. I glazed it wish a celadon glaze.

First glaze firing was to about 1275ºc in an electric kiln. I didn't like the honey yellow glaze colour in oxidation and found the mug quite unappealing. However, the fine cracks didn't open up further and filled in with the glaze. I decided that I may be able to push the decorations a bit further. Anna, one of our course tutors, suggested that I try the Mayco design liners on top of the glaze.

This is the result. I just used the black and white and also decided to refire the mug in the gas kiln. The reduction process has changed the glaze to a much nicer olive green. The design liner decorations sit nicely on the surface of the glaze and seem to have fused. Even though the decoration has remained matt I cannot scratch them off with my fingernail. They just feel raised when touching. I like this tactile quality. So, overall I think this has been a successful test.

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