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Test Tile Organized Game Plan – Cross-Mixing Commercial Glaze Colors!

Just jotting down some thoughts as I ponder the best way to organize and test my plethora of glazes.
Plethora = Over 100!

Obviously I have to have a baseline criteria and system or else the number of glaze samples would be into the 1000’s. So how should I go about choosing what I want to mix and what do I really want to know about what my colors can do together? One thing is necessary…


1. Everything will be fired to Cone 5 so only cone 5 glazes will be mixed together.

2. Same Brand: To simplify the process, I’m going to only mix glazes within the same brand family (except when adding tinting (white) and shading (black) glazes to the basic colors. These two colors may be another brand.

3. 1/4th ratios : Again for simplicity sake I thought I’d mix 50/50 – equal parts, but realized that mixing a heavily dominant color or extra runny glaze may need adjustments. I’ve decided on mixing in 1/4 portions dependent on the characteristics of each glaze.


1. BASIC COLORS (meaning commercial glazes as they come from the manufacturer).
      A. Sample stripe of the basic color in 1, 2 & 3 coats.
      B. Sample stripe of the basic color with Tint (white added) & Shade (black added)

2. MIXED BASIC COLORS (3 coats of color)
      A. Sample strip of each stand alone BASIC COLOR
      B. Sample strip of colors after they are mixed.
     A. Sample test tile of 1-2-3 coats.
     B. Sample of wash effect.

Just typing it out really helped me get a handle on the direction I need to go…now it’s trying to figure out the most time efficient way to get the job done!

Here we go folks! !!!

VIDEO PART 1 of 4 – Making Efficient Test Tiles – Cross-Mixing Commercial Glazes

“Well begun is 1/2 done”! Even though the focus of this 4 week project is about cross mixing my commercial brand glazes, I needed to be sure the samples I made were useful for MY purposes.

Before choosing the right tile style, I needed to know what information I wanted to get from each tile.

So was my test tile criteria: 
1. Ability to show multiple results at one time
     A. 1-2-3 layers of glaze
     B. See how the glaze breaks over raised areas and pools in dipped areas.

     C. With info from A & B, see what each color layer does using surface glazes such as gloss or satin.
     D. See what the glaze look like using a “wash” technique
2. Nicely displayed & quick glaze info referencing. 
3. Easy to match colors with side by side comparisons.
4. Tile must be easy to make!

After searching around online and through Facebook, I came up with this tile for my purposes. Even though my tiles are different, a great resource is the Youtube video of John Britt for Ceramic Arts Daily ).


Here is the 1st video showing how I made these tiles and how they cover each one of my necessary criteria!

See you next Friday for Part 2!

 NEW 4 WEEK VIDEO SERIES – Cross Mixing My Commercial Glazes 

– Organizing, Testing & Creating New Colors From My “On-Hand” Commercial Glazes
 “Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.”   Russell H. Conwell, Acres of Diamonds

Mixing glaze recipes has been on my ever growing “To Do” list for a few years now. Even though it’s a huge desire, I’ve always stopped short as I struggled with the idea of purchasing the chemicals while there were so many untouched bottles or buckets of commercial glazes just sitting in my studio!
Well, I’ve decided to take my over-abundance of glazes and underglazes and take the next 4 weeks to explore their possibilities! I’ll be putting all my jewels on the table in search of those “diamonds in my own backyard!”

COME JOIN ME EVERY FRIDAY from July 10-30th as I plan, organize and take my commercial glazes in a totally different direction! More than just layering, I’m planning to mix them together in hopes of finding bold new colors and quite possibly bold new disasters! 
It should be fun and enlightening….I’m definitely looking forward to finding out if I have some diamonds in the rough! 

My Big Fat Greek “Shot Glass” Project!…

This was a 3 Day Crunch of making 50 shot glasses for a party!! 
I pushed a lot of limits and did things a potter should not do (lol) by putting the damp cups directly in the sun to dry faster…both for the to be bisquedware and also to dry the glaze faster…I don’t recommend this in general !!! 
Thankfully it all worked out!

Thanks for watching and hope you enjoy! OPA!!!!! 

FINALLY WRITING THE BOOK – My 365 Day Cup Journey!

Crazy right? I’m 6 months away from the 5 year anniversary of my life changing journey to learn about clay with the video project series “365 Days of Clay Cups”! 

I was encouraged by many people after the projects completion to make the video documentary into a book. Reluctant would be an understatement. After 365 days of throwing/firing/glazing cups, filming, editing and publishing videos on a daily basis…I really wanted to just take a great big nap! “Happily Tired” would be the best way to describe my state of mind at the time. Now that some time has passed this idea of a book that was stored in my “hope chest” of things to do, I can envision it’s usefulness again. 

It feels like a perfect time for me to go back and reflect on the growth and also see if I can glean new insights not realized at the time. 

I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I have a difficult time going back and watching myself in videos. Since all the observation intro’s are “off the cuff” conversations for me, once a video is published online I can’t take back ANY of my spontaneous chatter! 

 ANYWAY, for the next 6 months I’ll be revisiting my life changing 1 year journey, the ups and downs, the things that remain, and the places I still need to grow. The daily discipline really changed my life back then and I hope to gain some new strength by reliving my own determination (it’s still shocking to me that I did something consistently every day for a solid year…still blows my mind!). 

June 1st I’ll begin watching old videos, reading old blogs, reviewing all the comments and suggestions posted on my Facebook & YouTube at that time. The goal is to hopefully document, gain new insights and pay some gratitude to others from one of the most incredible times of my life! 

Thanks for all the encouragement over the years and hoping you have been able to learn from my trials and errors in clay! 
~ t a m m y j o 

Making Teabowls – A Practice – Ep 15 Hobby Potter Weekly

Hopefully a relaxing narrative video this week! 

There is something very calming and centering when making teabowls. They have intrigued me since making my first ones for the 365 Day Cup project and are something I like to go back to when I need to regroup my thoughts.  With all the handbuilding, texturing and busy-ness these last few weeks, I wanted to simplify by practicing and making some “Perfectly Imperfect” tea bowls.
Thanks for watching and hope you enjoy this weeks installment!
Warm Regards,  ~ Tammy Jo

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Making Mosaic Guestbook – Clay – Stanislaus Artist Open Studio Tour

SPECIAL VIDEO This year instead of signing a paper guestbook, I had visitors PLAY in my studio and create / sign-in with a  clay hand designed name plate which I later made into 3 wall mosaic wall plaques! Here is the process from beginning to end. Videos of the guest making their name tags to firing to glazing in the kiln to firing again!

It was wonderful to meet all these people and create a permanent memory of their visit! I think I’ll do this every year I participate in the Open Studio Tour!

Thanks to all those who came to my studio! Hope to see you next year 🙂 Bring your friends and we’ll have more fun playing with clay!

~ Tammy Jo

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