Wednesday, October 19, 2011


There are times when I wonder if I am a potter, chemist or alchemist. There are also times when I wonder why I am compelled to continue the incessant testing that follows nearly every cycle or so. My current testing is revolving around altering my soda based clear glaze into a variety of “colored” glazes with a focus on trying to produce a nice powder blue Claire de Lune style glaze. So far, the results have been muddy or washed out. It is unfortuneate having a predetermined glaze in mind and falling short of the mark, thus far. It reminds me of a student back at CSU that was trying to “perfect” a green glaze for his anatomical sculpture that he was making. For months pieces would go in the kiln only to be broken when they would come out. After this when on for quite a while, I confronted TB and asked him what was up with all the broken heads? His answer was simple; they didn’t match 100% with what he saw in his mind’s eye. I made it clear, they looked great and NO one else would know they weren’t exactly how he saw them. He stopped breaking them.

The truth is that for me, testing is an essential part of the process. It keeps me thinking and new glazes mean new surfaces and the larger the visual vocabulary, they more I can draw from. Over the years testing has lead to some rather nice glazes and surfaces from oilspot (yuteki) to copper red, a myriad of shino(s), ash glazes, iron glazes and even reduction luster style glazes. Illustrated is a close-up of a tiger stripe yuteki glaze that I came up with by using iron chromate and dark yellow ochre. The truth about testing is that like fishing, you are never sure what you will end up with at the end of the day and some are bound to be keepers.

No comments:

Post a Comment