Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Mug

So I went to class on Monday and I'm very pleased to say that everything survived the firing, including Polo! But instead of being ecstatically happy about this as I should have been I was in a very miserable grumpy mood on Monday, which is why I haven't posted until now. My tutor said to me "Polo came out great didn't he?" and I just mumbled "it's alright". Oh dear! Mind you, I was glazing at the time, which I have absolutely no confidence in, and the plate with all the test glazing on had gone missing, and that had taken me a whole lesson! It was found by the end of the lesson though, thank goodness.

I brought my Mum's mug home this week. The effect of the second glazing was... pretty, but not as planned. I took it to show my Mum anyway.

I'm not sure if it shows in the photo, but the green from the previous glazing shows through in places, and then there are areas where the lilac and green have combined to make a new colour entirely, sort of a bluish purple with a hint of green!?. Around the lino cut design little dots of dark blue have gathered which looks really pretty.

Here you can see where the glaze had run the first time, and the second glazing has not covered it. I was told previously (not by the tutor) that these glazes only need one coat, but apparently they need three! I shall know for next time!

And this is the inside. Just awful. Previously I had glazed the inside with a white that was transparent, so the clay colour showed through and made the inside look yellow. The second time I used an opaque white glaze, but again, I didn't put enough on and the result is streaky.

Even with all it's faults, my Mum really liked it (Mums eh? Don't you just love 'em?). But there is something unusual about this mug - it ticks! I can't figure out why. If anyone has any idea why it does this then please let me know! It has been driving me insane and I desperately wanted to take it into the garden and smash it! Of course, as soon as my Mum heard it she changed her mind about having the mug! When she filled it with water to check it's size it seemed to make it worse!

So, I shall make another Mug for my Mum and this time I shall give it three coats of glaze - an uncontaminated one!

On that subject, my catalogue has finally arrived so I can order some of my own glazes now (including pink for my Mum). There are so many beautiful colours!


cynthia said...

Nice! I have gotten into the habit recently of reglazing pieces that didn't turn out as anticipated and you just never know. Sometimes it's great, others not so.

I think with brushing glazes - I've always done at least 2-3 coats, otherwise, I do one long 3 second dip.

The lino-cut turned out nicely too...

Undaunted said...

Thanks Cynthia. I'm hoping I will get the hang of this glazing thing before too long!

Mona said...

Hey things looked different (I could actually see you verification word) so I thought perhaps something has changed for your spammer stuff. (Or perhaps I have just become one with the bloggy universe) So giving the comment thing a try.

I must say a ticking mug sounds very peculiar. In what way does it tick? And it gets faster with water? So very weird.

I am a little disappointed there was no pic of polo. Can't help the critter lover in me.

mona said...

Cooooool! :)

Undaunted said...

Yay! It worked! I haven't done anything to the settings so I can only presume that it is because you have now become one with the bloggy universe!!

Sorry there is no photo of Polo, but he just looks the same as when he went in, only whiter now that he has been fired. :) I will definitely post a photo once he has been glazed.

Yeah, the mug thing is really strange. I was hoping a clay person would have an explanation for that for me. It just sort of... ticks. Like someone is tapping it.

mona said...

I know a couple of ceramic artists so will ask them. I know nothing about ceramics, so is it possible it will just explode (or fall in two pieces) like it has a tiny crack running through it? Not to be a negative nancy but the ticking thing has got my curiosity going.

See now that I can post you may well get sick of my doing so.

Undaunted said...

No no no, I won't get sick of you posting Mona!

I must admit, the thought crossed my mind (about it falling apart) but no cracks are visible and it does seem to be ticking less as time goes on. I'm just as curious as you! Even if it stops, I'd like to know why it was doing it.

Whitney Smith said...

I think it's a sweet little mug. And you are definitely on your way to being a "real" potter: totally dissatisfied with results, seeing problems no one else sees, and always wanting better!

And it's ticking (or "pinging") because heat is still escaping. This can happen if it was cooled to quickly, and can also cause crazing or cracks.

Undaunted said...

Thank you Whitney (although it's actually quite a big mug!) That definitely describes me!

Thank you for explaining the ticking noise. It hardly happens now, although it does still do it occasionally. I'm really surprised because it was fired weeks ago! Does it really take that long to cool down properly?

Whitney Smith said...

Yes, it can go on for weeks. I don't have that problem too much because I do a long slow cool down on my kilns, but a woman I used to work for would always crash cool her kilns and that sound could go on for days, weeks. It was really weird sometimes!

Undaunted said...

Wow, how bizarre! Thanks for explaining it to me!

Unfortunately cool down time is yet another aspect of this creative process that I have no control over at all, because I don't do the firing. But it's something I will bear in mind if and when I ever get my own kiln. Thanks.