Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Back to Class - the good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good
Yes, I went back to class last night and I'm very happy to report that all of my nieces and nephews pieces survived the firing process. I've brought them home so that they can paint them in acrylics if they wish. I also collected the tile that Leanne made when she visited my class, which is now glazed and ready to hang, and it is absolutely beautiful.

Kid's Pieces

Leanne's Tile

I was getting so confused with what needed to be collected, what needed to be fired and what needed to be glazed, that in the end I wrote a list! So let me see... One of the pieces being fired was Reeses, the bunny that Leanne made when she was visiting. I had a bit of an accident with him and his paws broke off. I did the best I could to repair them considering he was already completely dry, but to be honest I didn't expect the repairs to survive the firing... But they did! So now he's all ready to be glazed a lovely chocolate brown colour!

I took in several pieces in need of firing last night including Polo and the Tree Fairy vase. I was relieved that most of the pieces made it to class in one piece, with the exception of the Tree fairy vase, which unfortunately keeps shedding leaves! Well, parts of leaves to be more precise. Hopefully it will still look ok, the leaves will just be... oddly shaped, that's all. Now I must wait until next Monday to see if all of the pieces survive the firing. (Over the weekend a friend of mine was telling me about a program she saw on telly about pottery and the horrific statistics of how many pieces do not survive the firing process. I don't want to know!!) I shall also see for the first time how my coloured slips look after firing.

The Bad
I have discovered that the colour of the crank will be nowhere near the colour I was expecting or hoping for after firing (See above - Mariah's African Tribal mask is made with crank). I saw some pieces made with crank in my previous classes, and they were a lovely woody brown colour - perfect for the Tree Fairy vase, but I unknowingly bought a different brand of crank, and I also suspect that the firing temperature affects the colour. You may recall that my previous tutor always fired at a million degrees, whereas this tutor fires at a much lower temperature. So, I'm not really sure how I will go about getting the colour and finish that I want with glazes.

The Ugly
Talking of glazing, I re-glazed my Mum's mug last night. In fact, it was the only thing I did all evening. I took a large bottle of glaze out of the cupboard and started shaking it vigorously to mix it, but some clown had obviously not put the lid on properly, so it flew off and the glaze went everywhere! So after cleaning up the mess that created, there wasn't much time left for anything else.

After the previous glazing disaster with my Mum's mug, the glaze I used was thoroughly mixed and tested, and it was indeed a completely different colour than what was written on the bottle. So someone had obviously poured a different colour into it.

Other News
I have decided to buy my own glazes, and at least I know that this tutor will allow me to do that (unlike the last tutor). Apart from contamination issues, one of the reasons is that the tutor has ordered many glazes that just haven't arrived, and with the exhibition coming up I just can't wait any longer, as well as the fact that there just isn't the room for all my unglazed pieces to be hanging around at class. It will be much quicker for me to order my own. As long as the supplier I use has the item in stock I could have it delivered the next day, whereas the tutor has to order through the adult learning service - which is hopeless. The last lot of glazes were sent to the wrong class and we didn't receive them until the last class of term!

I continued to work on my second Tree Fairy vase over the weekend. I think I'm nearly there with the hand, but still need to work on the face quite a bit. Here are a couple of update photo's.

I didn't like the eye, so I've filled it in. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Kathy L said...

Wow..now you are really busy! I love that tile. It is exquisite. Can't wait to see the other pieces finished. The hand on the new tree fairy vase is turning out great. She will be beautiful. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I will make prints eventually of on the wings of faith..your compliment made me blush!


cynthia said...

Fantastic - about everything coming out nicely from the kiln!

Good idea too about buying own glazes - I think as long as it's the same temp, your tutor should have no qualms. Before no time, you'll be making your own! :)

Glazing is the most difficult for me...I feel your pain.

mimilove forever said...

Some beautiful work going on there missus and tree fairy is looking fabulous...looking forward to next Monday! x

Undaunted said...

Thank you Kathy, I hope she will be beautiful! I will be very busy glazing over the next few weeks - I have 13 pieces to glaze!

Thanks Cynthia, I was so relieved! Apart from the kids being disappointed, I was worried that if the pieces exploded they might damage other peoples pieces too. And now I have the same fear about my own. Woah! I think it will be a while before I start mixing my own glazes!

Thank you Mimi! I'm sort of looking forward to next Monday and dreading it too!

Leanne Pizio said...

Hey Linda!
I have missed soooooo much! I was on a complete work jag and had to stay off the computer to get the work done I needed to get done.
But I am back and so excited to see all the work you have been doing. The new tree fairy vase is AMAZING! Beautiful hand gesture.

And so glad that your niece and nephew's work came out so well. Glad the tile has found it's home with you.

I'm with Cynthia! I feel your pain. Been making some new glazes here and whew! The description on the recipe verses the results are staggering!

Good luck with your new glazes!

Undaunted said...

Thank you Leanne! I've ordered some glazes now and I'm just waiting for them to arrive. They were so expensive! No wonder potters mix their own!