Colour! Engobes! The penny finally drops

There has been much angst and navel contemplation over potential surface finish.  I’ve read books on glazes, trawled ceramic websites, been to CAL on a surface mission – and failed.

I’d liked engobes when Wendy introduced us to glazes. I discussed surface finish with Wendy a couple of weeks ago and she suggested engobes. Even though we mentioned Anish Kapoor, I didn’t get that I could create zingy flat colours with engobes.

Yvonne Hindle

Then two things happened yesterday. First, we had our Group Crit with Dave, who again suggested engobes. I voiced my concerns about colour and Micaela assured me I could get Anish Kapoor-like colours with engobes.  Still didn’t really get it. Afterwards, we joined Adele in the glaze room, where she was making engobes to glaze her lovely constructed works. She was mixing fabulously coloured yellow and green powders – stains. STAINS! Finally enlightment dawns. Stains. Engobes. Eureka!

The paintings are by Yvonne Hindle, the daughter of my friend, Viv.  Yvonne is an artist and lecturer at Margaret Street Art School, Birmingham.  She researches paint, and works with bespoke paint makers to create her own range of colours. I love the idea that I can create my own range of colours too, by mixing stains.

I currently have multiple pages open on stain manufacturers and stain retailers.  I’m looking for black, white and the three primaries, but no one site seems to have what I want. It’s difficult to decide without seeing the colours in the flesh.  I may just have to buy a few and see which is best.  And some clay samples.  Can’t wait to start mixing colours – line test, triaxial, quadraxial (if there’s such a word) Sooooo exciting.



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