I've been experimenting quite a lot lately to try to achieve a specific effect which I'm calling a 'stained glass' finish. This came about after I had an idea for a Cleric-themed base for a miniature figure that was styled after stained glass windows in a church. Here's my initial design:
At the time I had no idea if it was do-able, as it was very different from anything else I'd ever done. The construction of it was actually easier than most of my other carvings, but it was the finish I was concerned about, as I mostly focus on using oxides and underglazes.
So I started experimenting with crushed coloured glass, working on the assumption that it would melt and settle into the sunken areas I'd created.
Well, that didn't work. It's one of those things that sounds like a good idea at the time, but the glass was horrendously difficult to find the exact temperature that it would become just molten enough to merge and settle, but not so molten that it began boiling and bubbling up over the edge.
Additionally, for some reason several of the glasses would change colour at different temperatures. I had a red that was a deep, fully opaque maroon at 1,200C, but went completely colourless and transparent at 1,250C. It was just too volatile.
But never let a couple of failures stop you, as there are always different options in pottery and you just have to keep trying things till you get the results you want. In this case, the saving grace turned out to be celadon glazes. (Or faux-celadons, to be honest).
Celadons are a breaking glaze that are thin and pale over areas of raised detail, and thick and darker in sunken areas where the glaze pools. So by using a thick application of different coloured celadons, I was able to achieve a pretty similar result to what I originally envisioned:
Encouraged by those results, I've been working on some new designs, all themed around elements or motifs in Dungeons & Dragons or similar role-playing games. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are the obvious ones to begin with, but I also want to do nature-inspired patterns, serpentine designs, and images relating to the different fields of magic.
Here are a couple of designs I've mocked up quickly (some haven't been fully coloured/finished yet):
There's a variety of different glazes I think can be used to highlight certain areas, such as using the lava glaze for the Fire Element design, or a sparkle 'Moonglow' glaze for parts of the waves in the Water Element. I'm really excited to see how these turn out, and I'm looking to come up with new designs.
If there are any you'd like to suggest, pop them in the comments and I'll see what I can do. 😊