January 20, 2012

Blue Wares

Cobalt Everywhere

Above is a snapshot of our new plate prototypes. We'll be popping those little guys into the kiln tonight and hoping for the best! We've reached the end of the road for our blue decals this week. After a great chat with one of our suppliers in the States, we realized that the transparency of the blue overglaze is just part of the material and nothing can change that. We’ve struggled to find a way of adding another material, or printing thicker, or thinner twice, all to no good effect. The colourant, cobalt, is a very potent metal oxide and so little of it is needed to make the overglaze blue. The result is a thinner, more transparent overglaze, as there is more glass builders than colourants. One of our favourite overglazes, the Rusty Red, is so chock full of it’s colourant, iron oxide, that it's a dream to print with, it's solid, opaque and perfect. Sometimes you just can't get what you want.
We'll be experimenting with creating our own higher temperature overglaze to see if we can match the blue of our Cobalt Porcelain Wares, but until then, we just have to accept the material properties of what we have, as they are.

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