This is where I’ve been sat the last couple of days, waxing the bottoms of hundreds of pots so they’re ready for glazing.
I wish the wax prevented any glaze from settling on the base as it would mean I’d spend a lot less time cleaning the pots up with a damp sponge after they’ve been dunked in glaze, but alas. On the sit some jars, which need the base, rim and the lids underside waxed, anywhere I want exposed clay to be gets a layer of wax, so these are maybe the pots that take longest at this stage. That being said, it only takes a couple of hours to brush on the wax emulsion on a few hundred pieces, vessels like mugs or beakers take only a few seconds, such as in the short video clip in the second part of this post.
The way the clay is finished makes a big difference to how the wax goes on. Very burnished and smooth areas are lovely to brush over, whereas rough areas leave a specked wash of wax, either way, with all the pots done I can begin what is quite a colossal amount of glazing. If, in the future, I have apprentices or interns, I hope they like glazing, as they’ll be doing a lot of it.
I don’t mind the process, but compared to the many other steps of the process it’s by far the least enjoyable. That’s my fault though, if I were to be more expressive, splashing layers of slips and glazes over of course it would be more fun, but as I want even, clean and highly finished surfaces it becomes a monotonous test of will. I just put on music or podcasts or audiobooks and just dip pots, clean them up and repeat. Of course there are parts that need attention, such as checking sure the glazes are the right viscosity for dipping, carefully fettling away glaze on foot-rings but otherwise it’s work I can sort of switch off to.