Monday, May 7, 2012

Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don’t.

Unloading the kiln is like unwrapping a present. You don’t really know what’s inside and whether you’re going to like it or not. This time around, I liked some of the pieces a lot and others not. Now do you want the good news first or the bad?

The good news: The black sgraffito bowl at bisque stage is wonderful.
The bad news: Clear glaze turned the black under glaze cobalt blue. So instead of black and white piece, I have a blue and white piece. Not what I wanted at all.

The good news: Cloud white glaze on two cups and a bowl turned out beautiful.
The bad news: Gloss turquoise under glaze handles turned out matte and rough. Hmm.

The good news: My son loved his manly mugs with the comfy thumb rest.
The bad news: The teal blue under glaze color turned blue. He wanted teal. I painted on 3 coats of it, covered it with a clear glaze and waxed out before dipping the body in satin black only to have all my work turn a deep cobalt blue. Grrr.

The good news: Clear under glaze covered evenly on the ribbons and leaves on the bowl.
The bad news: Maroon under glaze turned awful shade of puke pink.

The good news: Copper patina glaze on the leaves and handles is a rich color.
The bad news: Three coats did not give me the smooth finish I was told would happen.

The good news: The color both glaze and under glaze on the 3 spoon holders came out just the want I wanted.
The bad news: One stuck to the kiln shelf and came out in pieces.

More good news: I love this simple white bowl with leaf handles. My simplest and least complex piece in both throwing, sculpting, under glazing and glazing came out the very best. I did under glaze the leaves at greenware stage, after bisque I brushed the leaves with clear, waxed them out, and then poured the body with cloud white.
The bad news: I could have saved myself a lot of work by just dipping the whole bowl in clear glaze. Because I threw the bowl in porcelain, the body would be naturally white, no need for white glaze.

Sometimes, I did get what I wanted. And sometimes not.

But here’s the best news of all: I learned a lot. I wrote down a number for each piece, documented what I did at each stage, and then recorded the results. I figured out why the black under glaze turned blue. I now know which black under glaze to use to get the black and white sgraffito I want. And now, I can decide to use that mistake of black to blue when I want a deep, cobalt blue and white piece, too. I also learned that I can use a clear 06 glaze that’s guaranteed not to change the under glaze colors and that using it can save me all that waxing out in some cases because I can just dip the whole piece in clear and fire it. Yeah!

Just like the song by those wise Rolling Stones, I can’t always get what I want. But if I try…sometimes I can get what I need. Indeed.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Janet Riehl said...

Susan, the new work is gorgeous! I like how you're documenting (and therefore learning and able to replicate) while you're making. You Go Girl.


Janet Riehl

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Mike Turner said...

Thank you, Janet

I am learning an amazing amount, sometimes it's dizzying. So, keeping a photo record is key for me right now. I love blogging about my process and so glad you appreciate it.