Wednesday, 17 March 2010

More glazed pieces

"I've never seen you looking so serious" That's what Fiona said to me at class on Monday as I looked at my pieces from the kiln. Was I disappointed? A little, at first, maybe. But mostly I was deep in thought, analysing what I saw before me and deciding what I liked, what I didn't like, and what I would do differently next time. It seems every firing is a learning experience.

I was mostly happy with the jug, there are just a couple of things I need to remember for next time. I'm learning that as a learner I can't expect everything to come out perfect first time (and it's taken me this long to learn it) so I am viewing this piece as a kind of prototype, a test run. (I realise now that I was very lucky with Swannee and Polo)

One thing I found on most of the pieces is that the coloured slip was very patchy in places. I don't mind it too much on this piece, because I think it looks like clouds and mist, but in future I will have to remember to give the pieces several coats of slip.

Whilst decorating it, I had carved more writing on the jug and then changed my mind and tried to cover it, which looked fine at the green and bisque stage, but didn't work too well once it was glazed and fired. Obviously next time I will be sure of what I want to write first.

Also, the crack that I had tried to mend has become visible, but after the time I had with this jug, I'm lucky it came out in one piece at all!

There were mixed results with the tiles. The blue ones warped upwards at the edges, especially the darker one, and the brown ones... well, see for yourself... although they come out flat at least!

I have no idea what's wrong with that brown slip. It's not even the colour it's supposed to be. I'm thinking maybe it was the temperature? Although I don't see why that would make it streaky. The slip is quite thick and I thought I had covered the tile well. I shall try again and see what happens next time.

Obviously the goblets in brown came out the same way.

I was disappointed at first, but to be honest this "distressed" look is growing on me.

Some other goblets just didn't make it. The glaze had run just a little on three of them, causing them to stick to the kiln shelf and become damaged on removal. Out of all the goblets in the kiln (of which I have lost count) I thought three was pretty good. I know other, more experienced potters, still have some losses in each firing.

And finally, there were the two goblets that were commissioned for Christmas (ahem), yes Christmas 2009.

I suppose there's always this year :)

Asriel's big mug came out of the kiln too. I have to say, that for a first attempt, and considering he's just a kid, I am very impressed with his sgrafitto.

Well done Azza!

Well, that's pretty much all my stoneware clay used up, except for what I am using on Freda the head. I was too impatient to wait for my earthenware clay to come, so I just went ahead (no pun intended) and started with my stoneware. It looks like I'm going to run out of stoneware before I'm finished though, so I'm having to recycle some dry pieces.

(Yes, blogger wanted this photo to be upside down, I don't know why)

I went ahead and ordered some of that yummy black/brown clay too, and I have lots of ideas for it. I haven't even really started on my "Jane Austen Collection" and already my brain is moving on to something else! Oh well. Why tie myself down? I'm learning!


Kathy L said...

Just remeber, its all about the process...technique comes with time... I really loved the colors!

Undaunted said...

Thanks Kathy, I'm trying to remember that!

Angela Finney said...

I really like the first blue and white tile. I think your Fred head is looking goood. I love your brown vase.

The learning curve is necessary, you keep setting the bar higher for yourself and thus there will be times you fall short of your raised expectations. I do understand the tendency to get discouraged and frustrated when things don't go as well as envisioned. You just have to keep on keep'n on and the majic pieces will appear.

Sounds like a lovely day when you got the firewood and painting. Making a sculpture of it sounds like a great idea!

Undaunted said...

Thank you for your sound advice Angela, and I'm glad you liked those pieces. That brown clay is lovely isn't it? I can't wait to make more pieces with that.