Monday, July 29, 2013

black engobe

I've been asked about this black engobe a few times.  It is from a Ceramics Monthly article by Gerald Rowan and though the date isn't on this page I think it might be in the 1985 to 1987 range judging by some other articles I copied around that time that do include the date.  The article is titled  Cone 06 - 6 Vitreous Engobes.

Black Engobe 2
can be used on greenware or bisque, cone 06-6, oxidation or reduction
author also notes it gives interesting luster in raku

 41  Wollastonite
 15  Frit 3110
 30 Bentonite
   4  Chrome oxide
   3  Cobalt oxide
   2  Copper oxide
   Manganese dioxide
Note that I have only used this at cone 6 oxidation.

Here's a few things showing this engobe either by itself or under a clear glaze.  I don't currently have finished work that shows the engobe highlighting texture like the picture of a bisque fired plate in my last post.  I used two coats of engobe on the pieces in these next pictures.  Often I apply one coat to greenware and the second on the bisque fired piece.  It gels quite a bit upon storing, but flows really well from the brush once it's been stirred.

This tile shows the engobe coated with a clear glaze- probably one that contains one percent iron oxide.
The yellow is another engobe containing vanadium pentoxide.

Under clear glaze again.  The clear glaze causes a little movement on the vertical surface where it overlaps with the white glaze.

The black engobe part of this pendant was left unglazed.  By itself, the engobe has an interesting texture- slightly orange peel. 
This little birdie has been left outside in all weather for several years.  I left the engobe unglazed and you can see it has dulled and developed some gray spots.  I actually like the weathered look of it , but would recommend to a customer that ceramic garden items be brought indoors in the winter. I wanted to see how it would hold up to the elements if I left it out year round.
I haven't tried this but here's another recipe for black engobe from the same article:
Black Engobe 1
cones 06-6, oxidation or reduction
author notes this recipe yields blue/black when diluted by an opaque white glaze.
42 Wollastonite
15 frit 3110
30 bentonite
  3 cobalt oxide
10 red iron oxide


  1. Ooohhhh, I love this, also love the black and white stripe piece, I really don't mind all the movement, gives it more life, I think. May have to give this recipe a go with raku soon.

    1. Yeah Tracy, I was pleased with the movement too. I wanted that to happen but didn't know for sure if it would.
      Always wondered what it would look like fired in raku. Hope it works out if you try it.

  2. Oh the patina on the bird is wonderful and I like the engobe under the glaze too. Thanks for the recipe.


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