|Some progress is made...|
Whilst continuing to investigate transfer decals as one option for creating my delft ceramic tiles, I have also been looking into using on-glaze colours and cobalt oxide powder in solution. My heart wasn't really in it, but I thought to try it and eliminate it as a possibility.
Here are all the tiles I trialled before firing. The pale blue ones were created using a premixed cobalt blue on-glaze solution, the black ones using cobalt oxide powder in a medium of water and gum arabic for adhesion. I'd hoped that the on-glaze would darken, and that the oxide would fire a lovely bright blue. I wasn't holding out much hope for the on-glaze, which were pinned entirely on the oxide.
The words on the tiles indicate the three different models of crackle-glaze dutch Delft tiles: - 'Authentic', 'Antique' & 'Ivory'.
Artist, friend and all-round good egg Rob Ryan offered me the use of his kiln in Bethnal Green to fire the tiles to around 800º C.
And here are the results!
Quite a surprise. The oxide powder images had remained a dark almost black and had barely fused with the crackle. A disaster. A shame too as I'd found it easier to draw with than the on-glaze.
And the on-glaze images, which I had thought so little of, turned out to be the ones that worked. The colour had darkened nicely and fused perfectly and permanantly into the tile glaze. Result. Quite a difficuly medium to use, but one I could get much better at. The addition of gum arabic to the on-glaze might make it adhere better and next time I shall wait a day before applying the 'wash'...
This is my favourite, the 'authentic' tile. With all these the painting is quite crude but its fired to a good colour with a fantastic and pronounced crackle-glaze surface. I've aged this one further a touch by nipping a few chips off the edges and rubbing with ash.
The 'ivory' tile was my second favourite of the three. A good dark rich blue but not enough crazing in the glaze for my needs...
Finally the 'antique' tile, my least favourite. The colour for me is too bright and the crackles in the tile affected the way the wash went on...