Tuesday, August 2, 2011

doilies and politics

Thanks to a sprained ankle, I didn't get much done last week.  I found I could work for about 45 minutes at a time before needing to elevate.  Hadn't really thought about my feet being particularly important to pottery.  I'm usually more aware of hurting my wrists, or wounding my fingers with a kitchen knife.  Anyway, being that I couldn't manage the foot pedal on the wheel, I rolled out some tiles.  I've done the birds before, but the doily idea is something I've been meaning to do for a while.  I've used doilies before, just not on tiles and not with black and white.  I think the doily thing might lead to another idea to combine with other textures for a collage-type effect.

As you can see, I ran into a warping problem.  My white slip was a bit too wet so the tiles needed two coats.  Then I added even more moisture with the black engobe.  Next time I'll try laying the tiles on damp cloth before adding slip/engobe to the surface and see if that will balance the moisture levels of back and top to prevent curling. 
The paper doilies I used for this were in a drawer in my parent's house for many years.  They were in a 50's- looking envelope with advice on the many ways a good housewife can use them to make life so much more enjoyable for her family.  Oh my.  Apparently my mother flunked doily domestics.
This leads me to a book I've been recommending to my friends: The Girl I Left Behind , a narrative history of the sixties by Judith Nies.  As you might guess, it deals with the women's rights movement,  but is much more encompassing of that time in history.  The author worked in Washington, D.C. and has much to say about the politics of the time, including, of course, Vietnam.

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