Farewell, Seafoam Blue & Speckled Jade

Farewell, Seafoam Blue and Speckled Jade

There are a few hills that I’ll die on, and here’s one of them: ceramics is both an art and a science. More specifically, it’s chemistry. Mixing glazes is nothing like mixing paints - you can’t see the color until the piece has come out of the kiln. You can’t just mix yellow and blue together and know you’ll get green. It’s all about the raw materials. Silica, iron oxide, alumina, metal oxides, and various colorants mix together in just the right way to give ceramics their bright and glossy finish.

And sometimes they mix in just the wrong way.

Below are three recent examples of the Speckled Jade glaze. On the left is a mug whose glaze coloring is a little off, but still within the margin of error for a good product. The other two, though, are from two separate batches of glaze that seem to have been contaminated. Sometimes when glaze is mixed improperly, it’s like when your hot cocoa powder settles out of solution - you have water and very wet powder, but you definitely don’t have hot chocolate.

(Failed) Speckled Jade Mugs

In this case, I believe something is getting introduced to my (commercial) glaze that is causing the raw materials to fall out of solution. This leads to ugly mugs and a grumpy Erika.

And then the grumpy Erika has to contact store owners and let them know their orders will be delayed. Now the Erika is very grumpy indeed.

This has happened a few times in the past weeks, and it has led me to the difficult decision of retiring the Seafoam Blue and Speckled Jade glazes. This glaze combination has failed too many times, ruined too much product, and caused me (and the store owners!) too much stress. Maybe, in time, I might revisit these combinations - but for now, it’s Sayonara, Seafoam Blue. Arrivederci, Speckled Jade. May we meet again. (Maybe.)

Please don’t mistake my humor for insouciance or apathy. This whole ordeal has been stressful, to say the least. The one thing I hate the most about running a business - above taxes, above packing peanuts - is feeling that I have let down a customer. If you have any questions or concerns about this transition, please let me know.

I’ll be spending the next couple days contacting any wholesale customers with outstanding orders, and making sure those items on the website are removed - and hopefully that void will be filled with another pretty glaze soon. I’m still testing this one out, but I’m feeling hopeful. Fingers crossed!

What do you think of the colors below? What would you name them?