Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peeking in the Kiln

Well - I have my first sale of this year coming up this Saturday. So, it's been a flurry of activity in the studio lately, because after this sale, there are 6 more sales booked in the next 2 months.

Lots of late nights - throwing, trimming, glazing.

And, it's always a little exciting - and sometimes scary opening the kiln.

This past year has been horrible for glaze flops. I had major problems with several glazes - all due to one ingredient - rutile. I spend months and months testing new glaze batches - every one of them coming out a yucky yellow green, until I finally happened upon a website, and the answer to my problem. I replaced my rutile - and voila - vibrant blues and greens once again.

So - here's what I found in the kiln.

On the top shelf - I had a load of bird feeders.

Great colour for the most part - LOVE that
turquoise that you see in the very back (I'll be doing more in that glaze for sure).
Lots of bright blues - and greens.
Bit bummed with the black you see in the middle.
Although it was a test. Those feeders were actually already glazed - and I overdipped the tops in the bright blue to try to brighten them up a bit. Unfortunately - the black ate the blue glaze. Still loving that turquoise.

Oops - I forgot to take a picture of the second shelf.
Doesn't matter anyway - it was just a lot of blue and green bowls. Very nice - although - the glaze on 3 of them crawled really wierd - so - I'm thinking I can't use the titanium blue over top of the licorice black - it just doesn't work. Bummer.

The bottom shelf though - really excites me.

Now - you might find it a bit bland. However,
I am just starting to do a bit of chinese brush painting and sumi-e on my pottery for a taste of something different.

This is my very first test of this style - and I've have absolutely no training in it - but I am quite delighted with the overall results. I think once I get a bit better at the actual brush painting - it could be a nice change from the ordinary dipped
pottery. I also find the brush painting to be very
therapeutic (except when I screw up).
Sounds kind of corny - but almost Zen like.

Now - the large bowl to the right - and the two white tea bowls beside it are interesting as well.
This is a new clay for me. It's by Laguna - called Frost. It's very translucent and white. Very
interesting to work with. I'd like to do more with it - but it's very expensive, so it will be for special pieces.

Look for these pieces at the sale on Saturday - hope to see you there.