I have a wonderful cream glaze that compliments my pottery well. However, when glazing it’s really tough to see the difference between raw pottery and where I’ve glazed already because the colors are so similar. Some commercial glazes come with colorants added to them to help potters with this very problem. It’s very common for creams, whites, and clear gloss glazes. For some reason, the company that manufactures this glaze I love, does not. So I’ve been trying to find a solution. I wanted to know what I could add to make it more visible prior to firing and would burn out in the kiln.
After researching a few ideas, I decided to try food coloring.
Initially when I added the food coloring I added just a drop or two and it turned the cream glaze a very light pink. This made me very nervous. What if I was ruining my glaze?! I went with it and started to glaze my pottery and realized that although in the container it looked pink, on the pottery the color was still entirely too similar. After a couple more tests I realized that although in the bottle it was significantly different, on the pottery it wasn’t getting any “pinker” and it would just have to do. It still was strangely difficult to see the difference between bisque ware and where I glazed. I know it wasn’t poor lighting, I had three different overhead lights on! So, I glazed the rest of my dish as best I could. When I was done it was an awful pink, even more so than when I started glazing (Now I could see a difference Go figure) and I hoped upon hope that it would fire out as expected in the kiln.
I loaded it in the kiln, crossed my fingers, and prepared to wait. Lo and behold when the dish came out the next day, it was my beautiful cream! It worked! However, next time…since it wasn’t as distinguishable as I would have liked while glazing, I might not use red food coloring. Also, because pink is the colorant manufactured in my clear glaze, that could potentially add more trouble in the future. I’m thinking green!
Here are a few pieces glazed wih food coloring added to my cream glaze. One of my more recent additions to my Etsy shop. (My first “set” I’m offering) See, no traces of red!