Anyone who has worked with cobalt in glazes is well aware, to get to where you want to go, it is not always just about adding more and more oxide. That was the case with wanting to liven up the intensity of my Ao glaze and hopefully making it say a bit more, adding more cobalt, just made it bluer and didn't necessarily get me the results I was interested in. I realized that though the cobalt would need to be increased a very small amount, other tweaks would be needed or I would just end up with a dark blue glaze. Through a number of tests and relying on tips from Kawai Kanjiro, I added a touch of iron to temper the blue together with another ingredient that I was clued in to by looking back on the Parmellee book. Illustrated is the newest version of the Ao glaze on a porcelain teabowl with thick slip looking almost fluted around the piece. The glaze is richer than the old version with highly active spots here and there, further activating the surface. At the bottom of each of the slip channels, there are running pools of rich, indigo blue glaze with feathery trails of light blue streaking running to the foot with the areas of the thickest slip creating white borders about the bowl. I have yet to go beyond the teabowl scale but a vase and covered jar are next in line for testing out the new blue.
"This unknown self, is revealed through the work of the hands and body, and is that unconscious element in every man that prods him on to new achievements." Kawai Kanjiro (from WE DO NOT WORK ALONE; The Thoughts of Kawai Kanjiro)