Saturday, 30 May 2009


Ok, a little later than expected, but here are the pieces I brought home from class... umm... not this Monday just gone but the one before!

There were the tiles... yeah, the one on the right is actually the wrong way round!

And the coasters...

Scott likes that little sunset tile so much that he has claimed it as his own!

The colours of the slips came out much better once the pieces had been glazed clear and re-fired, and the green mixed into the clay of the sunset tile is quite noticeable in the flesh. Although still not the chocolate brown I was expecting, the cocoa is less pink now and more of a... cup of cocoa colour.

And then there was the Ivy vase...

...photographed with my new 8 mega-pixel camera phone! Please tell me you can tell the difference from the other photo's!

I'm quite happy with this piece. My only complaint is that I wish the leaves were slightly less glossy, but I really like how the red has come out. I have no idea why the red comes out patchy and spotty like that, but I knew it would as that was the result on the test glaze plate. So apart from the leaves (which are really not so bad), I think I can class this as a glazing success!

One piece that wasn't so successful though was the plant pot and matching dish...

These pieces came out patchy in quite a different way - there were areas that were completely bare! Apparently dust can stop the glaze from adhering to the clay and my tutor thinks that is what happened here. It was mostly on the inside, but on the outside there were thin patches, which as you can see I had touched up before taking this photo. I was really happy with how the flowers came out though. I like the metallic colour and they look so neat (as in tidy)!

So this Monday coming I will see how this plant pot and dish look the second time round (there was no class this Monday just gone), and also I will get to see Polo and Swanee for the first time after glazing! I have been so nervous about it that I keep dreaming about them! In one dream I got to class and they hadn't even been fired and in another dream I thought Polo's head had broken off but then I realised it wasn't my Polo, it was someone else's polar bear, and then when I looked around the room everyone had made a polar bear! What does it all mean??? Er... probably that I need to change my medication...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

I might even start to enjoy glazing...

... or at least not hate it quite so much! Yes, I have spent the evening glazing Swanee and Polo, and the experience was better than those I have had previously.

Now, I know people say that a bad workman always blames his tools, but there is something to be said for having good quality materials to work with. I'm not entirely sure of the make of the glazes we use at class but I often find that applying a second layer results in brushing off the first layer in the process! Not so with the glazes I used tonight, which were from the Mayco matte range. They seem to have gone on nice and evenly - I just hope the coverage still looks even in the daylight tomorrow!

Another thing that is particularly noticeable is that I can handle the glazed pieces without the glaze rubbing off at all, which is something that the class glazes are terrible for. My tutor suggested bringing my glazes in with me in case I need to touch up the pieces before they go in the kiln, but I don't think I will need to (although I will anyway - just in case).

Here you can see Polo with Swanee in the background. I used wax resist for the outline of the black areas, but I added black stain to the wax so that when the wax burns away the black stain will remain and then hopefully there won't be a bare line visible between the colours. I had no idea how much stain to use so I just kept mixing it in until the wax looked dark! Obviously that grey colour will be black after firing. And that's part of my mug collection in the background - not dirty dishes as my sister thought!!

So, Swanee and Polo will go in the kiln tomorrow night and then I will have to wait 2 weeks before I see how they turned out because of the bank holiday. I wish my class was on a Tuesday sometimes...

I should have some photo's for you all tomorrow as I have a few finished pieces to collect from class. Depending on what they look like I might change my mind and decide I still hate glazing after all!

Monday, 11 May 2009

More Glazing

Sorry for the long delay but we didn't have a class last week due to the bank holiday. I've also been struggling with depression so I haven't felt able to work on any pieces at home. My mood seems to be lifting now though and I was back to class tonight, so hopefully I'll have more to share with you in the coming weeks.

I did more glazing at class tonight, but it seems to take forever with these brush on glazes. The time goes so quickly! So I finished glazing the piece I started glazing last time I was at class and one other piece. I should be able to bring them home next week. I really can't see me being able to finish glazing either Polo or Swanee in one class, and after next week we have yet another bank holiday, so I decided to bring them home to glaze, and then I shall take them to class to be fired next week. I've ordered my glazes and they should be delivered tomorrow. My hope is to have these pieces finished in time to enter them into an exhibition organised by the FPAA.

Just for Mona, here is Polo and Swanee, bisque fired and unglazed. They were cuddling up on the sofa together tonight.

Please send me your happy glazing vibes!