Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

GLAZE-BASE (h) Cleaning the glaze-base on plates, jars and lids.

ca: ESMALT-BASE (h) Neteja de l'esmalt base en plats, gerres i tapes.

es: ESMALTE-BASE (h) Limpieza del esmalte base en platos, jarras y tapas.

Cleaning and repairing the glaze on plates, jars and lids

a) Plates; put a piece of wood on top of a hand wheel and a towel on top of the wood, and then place the plate upside down on top of the towel. This keeps the plate from slipping and prevents damage to the glaze while it is upside down. I always leave the plate slightly overlapping the wood. This makes picking it up easier. The following illustration shows this.

b) Clean the corners on both sides of the flange that connect it to the body, it can collect excessive base which can cause crawling or beading. If it is too thick, scrape down the glaze at these joints. Turn the wheel, using the banding bar to support your hand, hold a tool so it scrapes off the surplace glaze from these parts.

c) If the plate has hanging holes, clean the glaze out by passing a thin metal wire through them.
d) To clean the footing, use a cut down toothbrush and brush it in an outward direction. It is very important that the footings on plates, jars and lids are clean so they do not adhere to what they are standing on when being fired.

e) When being held at an angle to dry, the base may run off leaving a thick line, so scrape this and any other lumps down and remove any strange objects like hair, dirt, etc.
f) Dip a paintbrush into the small bowl of glaze-base for repairing and fill up any small indents and the holes on the edge where your fingers held it; in seconds these parts will dry and can be leveled out.
g) With a large, soft, dry brush, brush off the dirt or loose base then smooth these parts down, using a brush with water or a thin layer of base.
h) Finish by painting your name or trademark on the back.
i) Turn the work the right side up and repair any damage you see on the front.

j) Use a soft lead pencil and mark the center top, on the front of the plate. This mark should fall between the two holes on the back used for hanging the plate; this lets you know which way up the design has to be marked on.
k) Jars and lids are cleaned in the same way as plates and the trademark is written on the bottom of the jar.