Monday, May 26, 2014

Majolica Monday

I see Mugshot Monday and other Monday pots on Facebook.  Since I do majolica I've decide to try to post something about majolica.

This is a cookie jar I made for a show I did last year.  I love nursery and nonsense rhymes, so of course the Egg came to mind.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the King's horses,

And all the King's men

Could not put Humpty together again.
As with so many early nursery rhymes this one has political over/under tones.

This is bisqued and glaze fired to ^04.  The interior is glazed with Spectrum clear with a little Mason Iron stirred in which I brushed onto the unfired clay.  (Spectrum glazes in particular once fire very well.)  I find that just a bit of iron gets rid of the milkiness that can happen with clear over terra cotta.

 It's glazed In either Linda Arbuckle's Majolica or Spectrum's Majolica White.  I do add a little rutile to my whites to take away the over-whiteness and get a slightly creamy quality to the glaze.

I paint mostly with Mason Stains mixed 50/50with Frit 3124.  This gives me a watercolor look which I can blend with my fingers when dry.  Before I do my outlining I spray the whole thing with super hold hair spray.  The colors are just a little bit more stable and make outlining much easier.  I always use a black underglaze for my outlining.  If I want my color to be more opaque I mix my stains with a gerstley borate and frit mix.  This gives them a flatness comparable to gouache.  This mix also works well as an underglaze.

I've begun planting some of the big planters.  I potted up eight small dahlias yesterday and a bunch of moonflower seedlings.  I saw them in the greenhouse and decided to go with seedling this year.  I ended up buying large moonflower plants last year because rain kept washing out and rotting seeds.  I feel a bit ahead of the game.

It's cloudy now.  I would like to be out planting, but unfortunately we have to go out for a bit!  It's supposed to get sunny and warm later on......toes crossed.

Have a fine Memorial Day.....drink to The Lost.

As always, thanks for stopping by..............*s*


  1. Humpty Dumpty, I love it... such detail.

    1. Hi Michele....Thanks; they're fun to make.

  2. Your cookie jar is wonderful, I love nursery rhymes, good tip about stirring a bit of iron into the clear, approximately how much do you stir in to what amount of glaze?

    interesting how you mix the stains 50/50 with frit or gerstley borate; I mix my stains with slip and then brush them on the greenware plate, then glaze with a clear satin or clear shiny glaze. I like Amaco Satin Matt glaze. I may try your stain mixing techniques to see how it fares on some test plates. Thanks for all the tips, have a good one. I got five more fruit trees to plant today.

    1. Hi Linda....Thanks. I mix entirely by eye. The last time I did it I used about a cup of glaze and mixed colorant so it looked like weak tea. It will give a slight ting to any colors you glaze over, but looks great on clay.

      I've found that for all the information around, I do best by testing. What temp do you fire to? I think the gerstley borate/frit combo becomes glaze like at higher temps, but I may be thinking of another slip. I used Spectrum's low-fire uncolored slip and mixed in my own colors when I was teaching my class of developmentally delayed adults.

      Five fruit tree! You must be having fun with your new house.

  3. Dearest Suzi,
    You worked out that nursery rhyme in a very fun way!
    Happy Memorial Day too and let's pray we keep our hard earned FREEDOM!

    1. Hi Mariette....Thanks; I like an element of play in my work.
      Happy Memorial Day to you. There are so many to remember.

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Gary....Thanks. The cars are pretty cute too!

  5. What a fun piece. It looks like many, many hours of painting.

  6. Suzi, these are great! Fun stuff!


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