Most of the AMACO® Opalescent Glazes have a high gloss similar to mother-of-pearl. Best results are achieved with three or four applications of glaze. On textured ware, the glaze flows thin on relief and thick in incised areas, giving an added dimension on the surface.
Although AMACO® Opalescent Glazes may be used on any clay, they develop their greatest opalescence and most interesting visual textures when applied over red clay bodies.
AMACO® Opalescent Glazes can be used very effectively at mid-range stoneware and porcelain temperatures (Cone 4-6). When fired at this temperature on the inside of a stoneware bowl, the glaze flows to produce a variegated bottom and thins at the rim to expose more of the clay body.
The technique of utilizing a base layer of Velvet underglazes, covered with an Opalescent glaze, brings out another level of beauty in the Opalescent glazes. The technique is simple yet offers some wonderful results. The process consists of making a form, which can be either vigorously and deeply carved, or very subtly carved, with a low fire clay that is bisque fired to cone 04. The bisque fired piece is covered with a single good coat of the Velvet underglaze of choice, coated with 3 coats of the Opalescent glaze and glaze fired to cone 05.
The example to the left shows 6 different Velvet underglazes, all with O-12, Tawny. On this test piece, the glaze was feathered in its application, with three coats across the top, two in the middle and one toward the bottom, also leaving a band of equal size completely unglazed.
The artist needs to consider three key things in putting these combinations (which are numerous) together:
- Depth and sharpness of carving: The deeper and sharper the carving or impression, the Opalescent glaze will get thinner on the sharp edges and will pool more in the low spots. This will result in sharp and dramatic contrasts between the Velvets and the Opalescent. A softer and less abrupt carving will result in a soft more subtle transition from the Velvet to the Opalescent. Consider how deeply to carve the surfaces depending on whether the surface will be vertical or horizontal.
- The artist must consider what Velvets will look good in contrast with Opalescent glaze. AMACO has 58 different Velvets that span the rainbow as far as color and shade.
- The Opalescent glazes give very different looks and intensities of the contrasting opalescent layer.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail price is $12.95/pint
Bracker’s special glaze of the month price is $10.00/pint