Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

GLAZE-BASE (e) Applying by pouring on to tiles

ca: ESMALT-BASE (e) Aplicació a les rajoles per abocament

es: ESMALTE-BASE (e) Aplicación sobre los azulejos por vertido

Note: Read more about: Bisque (a) Cleaning tiles to use / Bisque (b) Sounding tiles / Bisque (c) Sounding plates, jars and lids

Preparing to work. The bisque tiles you are going to use must be cleaned and sounded. Lay out two or three tiles. The number of tiles will depend on the size of your container. Pour the glaze over them, starting with the tile on the left and finishing with the tile on the right. There should be enough space between each of the tiles for the glaze to fall through and they must be vertically straight, or else the glaze will run and leave an uneven surface.

Working Process:
a) Using your hand, mix the glaze-base until it has a uniform consistency throughout, making sure there are no lumps on the floor, walls or floating on the surface and that the thickness is right for your work.
b) Place the stack of tiles that have been prepared to use to the right of the basin, on top of a wooden board. The board helps to keep them clean, it should be narrower than the tiles, to make picking them up easier and also long, so that it can be picked up and used as a tray.
c) To support the tiles, lay the wooden frame across the top of the basin.
d) Lay the tiles, right side up, on top of the frame.
e) Dip a small bowl into the basin, through the space between you and the tiles and fill it with the glaze-base
f) Hold the bowl in your right hand, with your thumb inside the bowl and your fingers on the outside.
g) Lift the bowl, holding it to your left side and with the liquid facing outward, over the back, left corner of the tile. Now, move your hand smoothly, tilting the bowl so that the glaze-base runs out and over the tile. If done correctly, a smooth layer of glaze should completely cover the tile.
h) Repeat this for each tile.
i) When finished, lift the tiles and put them on the boards to your left. Be very careful. If you move the tiles before the damp shine of the glaze has disappeared, the glaze-base can run, leaving an uneven surface.

Important: To keep the glaze-base homogeneous, you must keep stirring it so that the glaze ingredients remain in suspension. If the glaze is not thoroughly mixed, it could result in glaze defects on the surface in the form of patches, which can be seen after the ware is fired. When you have finished, remember to stir the glaze-base before leaving it. Read more about: Bar r (4) Supports for the container when preparing tiles. / Container – Glaze-base

The next section; Glaze-base (f) Cleaning it of tiles