Tuesday, August 21, 2012

glaze avoidance behavior

  • continue to make new work while a kiln load of fired bisqueware sits in the kiln for 3 days.
  • dorm room shopping for college bound son.
  • go for walks
  • look online for decent priced replacement for my worn Teva sandals
  • stop by friend's house for 15 minutes then stay for an hour and 15 minutes
  • miscellaneous
I don't mind glazing once I get started.  Although I prefer hands on clay work, glazing adds the surface creativity which can get pretty interesting.  Sometimes I delay glazing just because once I start I'm committed to it until I have a kiln load done.  I don't have the space to separate it from the clay process if I'd like to interrupt glazing and work with clay.
Yes, I've been absent from blogging for several weeks. I've had some commissions to take care of and haven't had time to start any new stuff that I really wanted to do. I had planned, by this time, to narrow down my glazes to a black, white and gray combo and an earthy off-white with some other colors thrown in as accents. At least this was the plan for functional ware.  Non-functional is another story. However, getting away from this smorgasbord of glazes I now have is not so easy.  Customers see them and ask for this or that in a certain glaze. So, making things for paying customers- good.  Not having time to make what I want- bad.

Just a couple of shots of stuff I've been doing:
I'd just about given up on french butter crocks but thought I'd give them another shot.  The lids often crack.  It might be a tiny surface crack, but doesn't matter how small it is when it ruins the piece.  I've paid special attention to compressing the clay at the bottom (actually top when you are looking at the picture) and making sure I clean up extra water, and played around with changing up how I throw them. I'm always careful about keeping the drying as even as possible. 
I wanted to see if it was worth my time to continue making these. So, I thought I'd just make a dozen  and keep track of how many crack while drying and how many crack while firing. I started throwing some crocks with my regular clay- not pictured here.  It is tan colored and slightly course textured.  Then I decided to switch to this lighter, smoother-textured clay because a couple of glazes I wanted to use works better with it.  The score so far is tan clay: made 7, 3 cracked while drying.  Light clay:  made 5, none cracked while drying.  I didn't get all of them in the last bisque firing, but so far none cracked while firing.  I'll have to see what happens when all are bisqued and glaze fired, but I can tell you that already losing 3 out of 7 is not acceptable.  That lighter clay might be a winner, though.

This honey jar is not a new shape for me, but one I would like to go back to. It reminds be a little of some grain storage buildings I've seen. I got sidetracked a while with trying to do cute- always a mistake.  The jars I was making with the little birds on top were beginning to annoy me.

Not sure about these vases yet.  Guess you could call them baskets but I only put the handles on for interest when the vase is empty. Pumpkins in background just got their stems glazed and waxed.

  Miss Billy grabs a corner of sunshine on the work table.


  1. this made me laugh! i may also be avoiding making glazes as I haven't made any test ones yet. hope to this weekend. time will tell! ugh, getting started is the key.... :)

  2. You got it- Once I get started I'm on a roll.

  3. oh yeah I've left bisque ware in the kiln for some time trying to organize my thoughts around glazing then I go on a two day marathon.

  4. Linda,I wish it only took me two days.


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