Majolica ware is ware that is decorated with colored glazes. These colored glazes may be transparent or opaque, though they are usually transparent. From this has come the custom of calling colored glazes majolica glazes, especially if they are low heat glazes, as majolica is generally made at a low heat on account of the greater variety and beauty of colors attainable at a low than at a high heat. There was a time when I thought it impossible to make these glazes so that they would not craze, but have since found that they will stand, on a proper body, as well as any other glaze.

Beautiful results can be obtained by the use of these glazes, but they are not to be depended upon where uniformity of tint is necessary. There is usually more or less flow of the glaze, which causes slight variations in the depth of color, and also slight variations are bound to occur in the thickness with which it is put on, no matter how much care may be exercised.

The receipts that follow are suited to some clays by the single-fire process, and slight changes will adapt them to many others. They are suited to all clays by the double-fire process, provided they have white slip under them, and further provided they do not craze or shiver. The heat necessary is where Albany slip clay commences to show signs of fusing.

"A," or Transparent Glaze -

 

National China Clay..............

4.10

Felspar .............................................

30.74

Oxide of Zinc .................................

3.69

Paris White ....................................

8.19

Flint ..............................................

16.38

White Lead ....................................

36.90

 

100.00

This glaze should be finely ground and used raw, or without fritting. If found too hard, it may be softened with white lead, but, if found soft, the heat is too high and the colors will not be good. A little tin, say about 5 per cent, may be added for white.

Lilac Glaze -

 

Lilac Frit, in chapter on receipts...

33

"A" Glaze........................

66

Calcined Molds ........................................

1

 

100

The frit and calcined molds should be ground together until exceedingly fine, then the "A" glaze should be added. This glaze will be partially opaque.

Brown Glaze -

 

Brown Frit, in chapter on receipts..

16.0

"A" Glaze........................

80.6

Red Lead .....................................

3.0

Calcined Molds ...........................

.4

 

100.0

The brown frit, calcined molds and red lead should first be ground together very fine, and then the "A" glaze added.

Yellow Glaze -

 

Red Oxide of Iron ....................

1.75

"A" Glaze........................

98.25

 

100.00

The oxide of iron should be ground very fine and then the "A" glaze added. The yellow oxide of uranium used in quantities varying from 1/4 per cent to 2 per cent instead of iron will give some fine yellow tints.

Green Glaze -

 

Black Oxide of Copper ......................

4

"A" Glaze........................

96

 

100

Grind the oxide of copper very fine, then add the "A" glaze. This glaze requires careful firing, as a little overfire will give it a brownish tint For lighter tints use less oxide of copper.

Pink Brown-

 

Lilac Frit........................

22.12

Brown Frit ...............

4.92

Red Lead ..................

.82

Calcined Molds ....................

.41

"A" Glaze ..............................

71.73

 

100.00

Grind the two frits and the red lead and molds together, then add the "A" glaze.

Gray 1  lb Oxide Copper.

2  pints of Stain.

3  buckets of "A" Glaze.

1 bucket of Brown Glaze.

The copper should be ground fine, then the stain and brown and "A" glaze should be added. Stain should weigh 22 1/2 ounces to pint, and white and brown each 20 ounces to pint This receipt can be reduced to solids by substituting fourteen pounds of dry glaze for each bucketful of liquid glaze and seventeen ounces dry stain for the two pints liquid.

Blue Gray—

1/2 lb Oxide of Copper. 2 pints of Stain.

2  buckets of "A" Glaze.

1/2 bucket of Brown Glaze.

Moderately Dark Blue—

3  pints Stain.

2 buckets "A" Glaze.

If the glaze has been ground, it is only necessary to measure and mix.

These tints can all be varied. The iron yellow cannot be made much darker than above receipt and remain yellow, but can be lightened to any extent The lilac and brown will mix in any proportions. The grays can be made of many shades by varying the proportions of the different stains. Other shades of green may be made by using oxide of chrome. It is better to frit the oxide of chrome with some lead and flint or use the green stains in chapter on receipts.

The blue can be made in any tint from very pale blue to mazarine. Different shades of brown can be made by using chromate of iron (native), chromate of iron (precipitated), common oxide of manganese, or mixtures of chromium and iron.

The majolica glazes require careful firing, as differences in temperature alter the tint. To obtain the very best results rapid firing and cooling are requisite, but very fair results can be obtained even with five or six days' firing and very slow cooling. These colors can be purchased, but, while beautiful in tint, I have always found the purchased colors very difficult to fire. As a rule they will not stand anything like the amount of hardship that the above receipts will stand.

Enamels for heats above the fusing point of Albany slip clay are, so far as I know, made by using a certain proportion of oxide of tin or tin ash. The receipt for lilac frit, with oxide of tin substituted for the No. 7 pink frit, will make a fair base for white enamel.

Below is a complicated white enamel receipt that gives beautiful results on burned clay. It is a strong white, and will conceal red brick clay completely without any white slip under it It takes stains perfectly, and a large number of beautiful tints can be made from it

Regular White. Medium to Hard Fire -

Felspar ...............................

100

Borax ................................

72

Oxide of Tin .......................

48

Flint or Flint Sand ..............

8

 

228

No. 8 Flux. Quite low heat, simply sufficient to thoroughly fuse -

Red Lead ......................

6

Borax ...........................

4

Flint ............................

2

 

12

White Enamel—

 

Regular White .......................

...8

No. 8 Flux .............................

...1

 

9

Common Frit Medium Easy Fire -

 

Felspar ............................

140

Flint ...............................

140

Paris White ...................

70

Boracic Acid ..................

80

Carbonate of Soda .........

70

China Clay .....................

60

Borax ............................

50

 

610

Hard White. Medium to Hard Fire-

 

Oxide of Tin .......................

16

Common Frit ......................

12

Felspar ................................

8

Dry Borax ..........................

8

White Lead..........................

4

Dry Carbonate of Soda ........

1

 

49

The white enamel given above will not stand much heat If found too soft, substitute the hard white for a portion of or all the regular white in the receipt This enamel will have to be set so that the glazed face is level, or else it will run. I do not recommend it for general work, but it will give beautiful results where its use is admissible.