People get excited when they hear "TEST", but sometimes a test piece is only meant to test one aspect of the run.... like, the slip color. When I decided to do Hadrian in a colored slip, I had a book of slip color recipes from HR (given to me by Jim Renaker) but the company who made their pigments was out of business. So, I sort of had ratios, but not the real colors. Jim gave me a very delicate balance beam scale, and some instructions to figure out how to test colors.
Hadrian was a good choice for a colored slip horse... being a Dales pony, they traditionally don't have white markings. But I wanted a nice, rich, dark bay... which ended up being a problem. I started with a small, very precisely measured cup of slip, added a very small amount of dry oxide powder colorant (sort of a saffron color) mixed into water, and poured... no, not a Hadrian, the molds were new and I wasn't going to waste castings on slip tests. I poured Nomads. Why not? Nomad almost FALLS out of the mold. Two piece mold, too! So, I poured the Nomad, added in a little more slip, added in more colorant, poured again, and after the third or fourth time, started adding in a redder brown color. I made six total tests, from light saffron to dark bay. Didn't paint their eyes, hooves, or anything. Just slip color being tested...why clutter it up with details?
Just recently, when I wanted to test some print-at-home transfer stickers, I grabbed the mid-tone Nomad slip test to fire them onto. He has "POUR HORSE POTTERY" across his side, and a dorsal stripe across his back, both made on the computer... problem is, the transfers fire to a sort of plum/rust color, not black, so he is saffron colored with a plum colored dorsal stripe!
Anyway, drumroll.... the winner is Marge Para! Congrats, Marge!