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Janson Pottery

Part 2 – Birthday Cups

A while back, I wrote a post about birthday parties and how I was planning on making cups for my daughters’ party guests. I have been giving a lot of thought to how much garbage we create and what each child to have a meaningful item to take home that could last a lifetime.
I did manage to get the job done. I had some interesting results and in the end I was happy with them. I am not a big stain user in glazes, so this was a new experience for me. Stains tend to be a lot more expensive to use than using oxides. If you spend enough time testing with oxides, you can come up with some wonderful results.

When working with any colourants, I like to do my homework. There are certain ceramic ingredients that can leach on food surfaces and it is wise to do the proper testing before placing them in contact with food or drink. That being said, I only placed the coloured surfaces on the outside of the cups as I did not have the time to test all of them. I placed a liner glaze on the inside of the cups because I know it is a safe glaze.

As you can see, the green, yellow and blue were all very bright. The pink did not go pink at all, so I added more pink stain. It still needed to be screened again and mixed better because in the end, it was not pink enough. I thinned the colours out so that I could see the initial on the cups and we would know what cup belonged to which child. I called their parents a couple of days before and asked them to pick between the colours that I had made up. No one opted for the green and I had three blues, two pinks and one yellow. 

I don’t think they realized when they were drinking from their cups and having cake that I had made the vessels they were drinking from and it doesn’t really matter. Someday down the road they might realize that handmade is better than machine made.

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