Pottery Experiment Rainbow Yarn Bowl

Often times, it seems I spend a good part of my time in experimentation. Can I throw it on the wheel in the shape I see in my head? Does it work as intended? What didn’t work? Why? What can I do differently next time to get the result I want? Do the glazes behave? How many of these freaking pieces am I going to have to throw away before I have a viable product?

Well, I was asked to make rainbow yarn bowls for the LBGT folks. That seemed easy enough. Hahahaha! Famous last words.

This regular size, right handed Rainbow yarn bowl is my first attempt.

First I had to figure out in which order the rainbow colors are placed. A bit of fast research showed the color order as red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Since regular cone 6 glaze is often so danged particular about which glaze it will place nice with, I decided to make things a bit easier on myself and purchased underglazes in the proper colors.

I experimented on a small yarn bowl.

I found that regular masking tape was worthless for making straight lines. The good stuff that won’t let glaze bleed through is pretty pricey. I ended up using 1/8th inch Fine Line Plastic Striping tape by 3M. That worked well.

I discovered that this piece is also time intensive, as clearly delineated edges on the rainbow were imperative.  Once I painted on the underglaze colors, I covered them with clear glaze (one I mixed myself and works pretty good most times.) Then a third coat, this one of wax, was painted over the rainbow area. Lastly, I dipped the yarn bowl in my jaded blue glaze.

Result: Well, not as great as I hoped.

First, I think I should drop the jaded blue glaze on the rainbow pieces. It seems to fight with the more primary colors of the rainbow. I think I’ll go with neutral beige next time. That should help the colors to pop. Additionally, I’ll have to be a bit faster at getting the glaze off of the rainbow when I dunk the bowl into glaze. There are parts that appear to be a bit imprecise around the yarn channel because a bit of the glaze stuck to the waxed areas.

The red, orange, yellow and green underglazes seemed to have worked great. But for some funky reason, the blue became highly textured. And the purple lost some of it’s red to become another shade of blue. That might be because I soak my bowls in the kiln for a bit when it is the hottest to get the best behavior from certain glaze combinations. The hotter the heat, the more it seems to wash out certain colors.

I have other purple underglazes I can use. They’ve worked fine in my kiln under my clear glaze, so I'm not too upset about switching the purple. But the blue? That’s really disappointing. It appears to have become more refractory (didn’t melt well) with the addition of the clear glaze.

For my next attempt, I’ll use this purple as the blue (since it looks blue, anyways!) and add a different purple. I’ll also go with a beige background.