Thursday, March 13, 2014

Falling in Love With Play

I've been testing and trying new things here and there, and mostly feeling untethered. I felt like I desperately needed to do something, ANYTHING, new to help me stay on the right side of sanity.

Much of what I have been doing hasn't amounted to much. Annoying wastes of raw ingredients, frustration, disappointment, a bunch of "meh" until it reached a point where I didn't even care if something worked or not. I gave up on expectations, threw in a bunch of "sure, what the fuck, why not?" kinda tests, and took some time to sit down with what I had been doing to see what I could glean from it all.

Here's where it took me:

I have been interested in decorating my work with flowers for quite some time and decided to draw those flowers in glaze. But I didn't want to leave the background on the pot unglazed, as this would stain over time. So I applied a layer of matte white where I wanted my design to be.
 Applying a red glaze directly over the matte white would result in a fuzzy and washed out line, so I carved a peony design right into the glaze with pencil. Next I filled in the pencil lines with red glaze using a slip trailer, applied a wax resist and glazed the rest of the piece.

 I was actually impressed with the results! There's room for improvement, and a very definite path to follow.

While I was at it with the peonies, I decided to try some diagrams of particle collisions. My inner nerd loves this stuff so I used the technique described for the bowl to carve out the following diagram, only this time instead of doing the carving with a sharp pencil, I used a stylus for mishima that my husband made me that has a very fine point. Behold!:
A much crisper line was the result. Unfortunately I dipped the whole mug in my slate glaze before I realized what I was doing. Ultimately I would like the top portion to be glazed in the orchid glaze, but a test is a test, and I'm still thrilled with the results.

The next step is to fine tune the pieces and give it another go. And needless to say I actually look forward to opening my kiln after my next firing in the next few days:)