Saturday, November 3, 2018

As the Wheel Turns: Home Stretch

Sometimes, I feel I’ll never get it all done. Yes, I do love creating. And art, is all about the process whether I’m working with paint, copper, window screening or clay. I love layers and textures and colors. Oh my.

But working with clay as I do, there are times when I just want to look up and magically see all my pieces perfectly glazed and sitting on my shelves.

There are a lot of stages in the art of making porcelain pieces. Some I love. Some I don’t. 

Throwing =Love. The smooth clay is lucious. The spinning wheel is meditation in motion. 
Handbuilding = Love.  Slapping, rolling, texture, cutting, pinching, shaping are all wonderful. 
Underglazing = Love. Layering color after color is pure play. 

Glazing = Don’t Love. Messy, tedious and a logistical nightmare.

My studio is in three different places in my house. In the garage, I throw and fire and store glaze buckets. In the home office/studio, I handbuild, paint and glaze. In the utility room, I get water for throwing, building or painting, set up for glazing, mix and clean up brushes and glazes. 

Glazing day set up: 1 1/2 hours. Bring in glazing buckets from garage. Get glaze from studio. In the utility room, open and mix glaze in each gallon bucket. Carry bucket from utility room to studio(opposite sides of my house). Bring in more water to mix more glaze to fill bucket(because it’s too heavy for me to carry from utility room) in studio.

Dipping bowls into the glaze bucket = 1/2 hour. 

Cleaning up = 1 hour. Washing the table, spatula, brushes, mixer, buckets x 4, moping floor, stacking and re-shelving all above equipment either in the garage or my inside studio. 

After all glazed pieces have dried overnight, I load them on a tray inside and carry it out to the garage where I load the kiln. This takes 3 to 10 trips, depending on the kiln load. 

Home stretches. 

I wondered, perhaps there is a way to make my home and studio stretch to work a little better. Now I have a 5 gallon bucket of glaze mixed and ready to use sitting on a new metal cart with wheels inside my studio. Next time I need to glaze, I can roll it out, mix it and use it all in one place. 

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