April….spring…the warming of the earth….trees blossom, grass turns green, flowers begin to bloom, things of beauty that have lain dormant all winter long emerge from hibernation and grab us relentlessly, daring us to NOT stop and admire their appeal. So to chose this month’s glaze of the month, I turned to mother nature for inspiration. I remembered a grade school rhyme “April Showers bring May Flowers” Of course, sometimes in Kansas, April Showers bring Muddy Waters….. Spectrum’s 1191, Muddy Waters, to be specific, because as I was thinking about this month’s glaze and looking at the sea of 1″ X 1″ glaze chips in front of me, I was suddenly drawn to Muddy Waters, and after a couple of minutes, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I was absolutely mesmerized.
Spectrum uses a porcelain casting slip to create their glaze chips, but what I really wanted to see is how the glaze works with a couple of our most popular clay bodies. Conveniently, I’ve been in the process of creating & refining some square dinner plates out of the Flint Hills Buff and Black. (Read here: the next few months of mid-fire glazes of the month will likely be on each next iteration of said dinner plate until I either arrive at what I want or get bored with that and move on to bowls. Anyone want to place a bet on what month that will be?)
On the Flint Hills Buff, the glaze has a lovely mottling, with a dark caramel colour where thinner and a luscious creaminess where thicker, it kind of makes me hungry for a MilkyWay candy bar. (Hmm, not sure if I can say that without concern about trademark violations, but whatever.)
Meanwhile, on the Flint Hills Black, Muddy Waters is, not surprisingly, darker than on the buff, but the real gem of this combination is where the glaze feathers from thick to thin on the piece. The small percent of manganese in the clay body reacts with the glaze to give a subtle yet luscious mottled blend of purplish/lilac/fuchsia.
This glaze also reacts nicely with other adjacent glazes, especially previous glaze-of-the-month, Running Hot Chowder, as seen in the featured image and in the close-up images in the gallery below.
Spectrum 1191 Muddy Waters Pint retail price is $15.00
Bracker’s Glaze of the Month price is $11.50