Wednesday, March 18, 2015

As The Wheel Turns: Finishing and Starting Again.

I unloaded a kiln full of newly finished work.  As always it's a mixed bag with unexpected surprises both good and bad. This time it's mostly good. And there's that sigh of relief when a special piece comes out with all my hopes and dreams fulfilled.  

In this load, my dream piece, the Gingko Jar, came out just the way I'd hoped.  I usually only clear glaze the inside for several reasons; one to make the piece functional for flowers or other uses, two because I want to make sure the colors on the sculptural elements stay true to my vision and three I'm not a fan of a super glossy and shiny look on sculptural pieces.  But this time, I decided to risk it and try clear glazing inside and out.  I'm surprised at how much I like it.  

Maybe it's time to take a few more risks with this glaze.

Or maybe not. I didn't like how this blue came out this time.  It's always been a nice, solid, cobalt blue hue but this time, on a batch of mugs and an urn all dipped in the same clear glaze, it turned wishy washy.  Deep in some places and almost transparent in others.  I'm not sure why this happened.  I've used this underglaze with this clear glaze on this same clay body many times before and never gotten this result.  It was not a good surprise for me, but as others pointed out, it has a distinct watercolor look to it.  

I do like watercolors, so maybe I need to throw out my expectations and embrace this result.

Maybe that's a good mantra for life, too.

I'm finished with those pieces and it's time to throw and begin again.  I threw a few bowls and then decided to play around.  I've always admired curvy, narrow necked vases and I've never tried to thrown one.  I have to say, they were fun to make.  I think they're a little bottom heavy because I wasn't so sure of how much to pull up for the tops, but I liked playing with them.  I especially like the shorter one, reminds me a little of Aladdin's Lamp.

Here's another reminder.  Even when a finished piece is not what I wished for, it can still be a good thing.  Either way, it's finished and it's time to start something new.  


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