The quest for the perfect nose pink

It never fails that if I mix a useful color, I will forget to write the formula down. Or the company will discontinue one of the key components. With the mix I was using for pinking, it was both of these things. I couldn’t remember all the ingredients, but the one that I knew was in there was discontinued some time ago. Since that time I’ve experimented with a variety of pinkish colors, but I never took the time to develop a fool-proof color.

Pinks and reds are unpredictable during firing, especially in small kilns like the ones I use, but some are worse than others. I wanted to find a fairly durable one. I also wanted something that wouldn’t edge towards bright, true pink – a color that my friend Joan refers to as “boiled baby possum” pink – or something too orange or brown. I created a few mixes, sprayed a gradient on some 1.75″ tiles, and then glazed them.

I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get the right color this time around, but I wanted some clues as to what direction to take. That was exactly what happened, so I’ll need to do another mix or two before I have my perfect hue. Once I have that, I plan to work on the mix until I have the actual shade I need. In the past I’ve used lighter coats of a color a bit darker than I needed. This works of course, but it involves a fair bit of guesswork. Unlike acrylics and other color painting methods, underglazes don’t really show layers of shade accurately until after their final fire. That means that the nose might be much paler than I thought, or much darker. My hope is that by matching the shade of the glaze at full saturation to the deepest pink I need (and no darker), I can at least eliminate the possibility of the nose ending up too pink.

This is all important because so many of the horses I am working on have a lot of pink skin. Now that I am back to glazing, I have been revisiting the problem of how to best tackle the indistinct, soft colors like sabino roan.

Here is a sneek peek at one of them where I just started adding the pattern. I have a group of these at the moment, all some type of ticked or roaned pattern. I’m finding it helpful to work on them as a group so I can put one down as soon as I start to fall into regimentation with the pattern, and pick up another. I think it’s even more helpful that one of these horses is a different scale (an old Voltage, which has been cool to work on!).

And with luck I’ll have a bisque Vixen to add to their little group today!

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2 Responses to The quest for the perfect nose pink

  1. Heather March 25, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    I admire that you are so organized but then I realize to create the work you do, it’s second nature to you. I so appreciate you sharing your tidbits as you work….Thanks!
    ~Heather W
    Yucaipa, CA

  2. mel March 25, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    Simply wonderful! I am always learning something new on this blog, and the scritching on the… is that Finn? … is mind-boggling! And a bisque Vixen?! It is all clinky overload!!

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