If it’s true that Men are from Mars, then it’s no wonder that I would be ridiculously in love with this glaze. But, unlike many men (not artist-men, of course), this glaze is nicely color-coordinated. I just love that one glaze can produce rusty yellow-oranges, brick reds, deep dark wines and beautiful metallic bronzes.
If you’re looking at these images and thinking to yourself “I don’t remember EVER seeing even a chip of that glaze at Brackers….or ANYWHERE for that matter, then you’re right. It’s brand new, and part of a line of 6 mid-fire metallics from Spectrum Glazes. (Spectrum, in case you didn’t know, is located in Toronto…that’s in Canada, hence the tests above right on maple leaves. Also somewhat noteworthy, (or at least a “fun fact”) is that I’ve recently learned that when properly pronounced, it is not “toh rahn toh”….if you want to fit in, you have to kind of smush all of the syllables together, so that it comes out sounding like ”trannah”….eh?)
Upon their arrival at the Bracker’s warehouse not even a month ago, I whisked the glazes home and spent the evening glazing, loading the kiln and firing. I tested Mars Scape on our Flint Hills 5/6 Porcelain (the leaves shown above right), Buff (right and shown at a variety of angles in the gallery below) and Black (left). As I expected, the glaze is considerably darker on the Black clay due to the manganese in the clay body. I also found that it blistered where the glaze pooled, so if used on the Black clay, it should be kept to a smooth surface and have no more than 2 coats applied. Also of interest is that, the metallic effect is much more coppery than bronze on the black clay.
It’s also extremely important to identify that all of the Spectrum Metallic glazes contain ABSOLUTELY NO LEAD. So how do they achieve these lovely metallic looks? As far as I can tell, it’s some Canadian magic that involves a new and top secret (but completely safe, non-toxic) ingredient. Along with this new ingredient are some important usage tips:
- If you need to add water, use warm to hot water
- Shake the glaze AND stir it well before using. Mars Scape especially, I noticed, settles as it sits, HOWEVER, it immediately returns to a perfect suspension upon stirring for just a few seconds.
- If you see and amber coloured liquid or amber crystals around the lid, this is normal and harmless
- During application or after the glaze dries on the surface of the piece, you may notice crystals that bear a resemblance to sanding sugar or ice crystals. I’m pretty sure that’s the magical stuff….so leave it be.
- Mars Scape, at its proper viscosity, is thinner than the average commercial glaze. Conversely, some of the other metallics from Spectrum are quite a bit thicker than what you might expect. Both are correct for their specific formulae. Fire a test piece before modifying the thickness of the glaze in the jar.
The full line of metallics will be up on our website soon, but in the meantime, you can enjoy Mars Scape as the June’s Featured Cone 4-6 glaze: