Thursday, July 28, 2011

stripes, borax and shades of green

Got some pics of the latest firing.  Some good pots, some just O.K.  It's always a learning experience.  I've been thinking, lately, about how difficult it is for me to limit my glaze choices.  There might be a kind of consistency in shape and form, but my glazing and decoration is all over the place.  I don't think I'll ever be one of those potters who rely on 1-3 glazes, but I would like to work on narrowing down the choices so that my work has a bit more cohesive look.

  I'm using the only little sliver of direct sunlight coming into my work area in the summer afternoons.  It does show the glaze better than the overhead fluorescent.  This is one of a batch of candle holders I made.  This green glaze is popular with customers.  Its one drawback is it will crawl if applied the slightest bit too thick
Here I am experimenting with a new glaze again- another green.  I like this glaze but it is just wrong for candle holders.  The color looks anemic to me.  But inside a bowl I think it could be striking the way the pooled glaze turns turquoise.

A salt pig.  I saw a video of John Britt making these on Clay Club and I thought they looked fun to make.  They were.  For some reason they just seemed to call for stripes, so I used stripes on most of them.  This one has stripes of white slip, white slip tinted with gray stain, black engobe, and rutile wash.

Guess you can tell how much I'm into these stripes.  I have no idea how these will sell.  I haven't had a customer ask me about making one. It's not unusual for customers to ask me about making some kitchen specialty item I've never heard of.  Maybe I'll just be ahead of them this time. 

Salt pig with a flutter of leaves.

More stripes, with a few rutile dots.

Seemed like a good idea at the time, but, for one thing, having a stick right across the bird bath kind of gets in the way of the bathing bird.  For another, this glaze is just boring.  If I had applied an engobe into a textured design and then glazed it might have worked better. Or, hm... maybe just used a different glaze.

Testing, testing- this is the borax idea I spoke of in an earlier post.  I tried it on these two glazes. One is a rust matte and the other a glossy deep blue.  So, what I did was make a paste of borax and water and then flick it on this lid (a french butter crock reject) which I had earlier dipped in the two glazes. Used a toothbrush for flicking.  Pretty much no change to the blue glaze, except one spot on the side that got an extra heavy dose.  In that spot the glaze slumped and left a bare spot.  The matte glaze was really interesting, though.  There are little copper penny-colored spots where the borax hit.

    Billy on the table during the last glazing session.  Tolerated, if not encouraged, because she's cute.

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