Here’s a quick look at the main body of work I made this year.
I’d been developing a glaze combination I really liked for a while, and I decided to make a lot of simple pieces in various shapes that would showcase these glazes beautifully. I’m always attracted to things that match and don’t match at the same time, things that obviously go together yet are slightly different (peek inside my kitchen cabinets to view a motley assortment of dishes, please).
I made a big push to get a lot of things made earlier in the year, precipitated by a rather sudden decision for our family to move. This meant leaving the studio I’ve been using for 8 years to glaze and fire my work, and all my internet research (and a few conversations) did not reveal a studio in our new area that had the same kind of kiln available for me to get the effects I wanted. So I decided to use up all my remaining clay doing just the one beautiful thing I wanted to do.
The look consists of a range of colors created by glazes poured, dipped, and sprayed onto the pots. The inner glaze is an red-iron-oxide rich red that works really well for food contact (non-toxic of course, but also smooth and attractive). I coated the inside and the rim of the pot, since the glaze on the rim will run into the outer glazes and create new colors.
The first outer glaze, a soft matte white which mingles beautifully with other glazes, I applied by dipping the pot in 2/3 to 3/4 up the sides. Then I sprayed a light blue (turquoise or teal, depending on the firing) on the remaining bare clay at the top of the pot, overlapping it with both the lower and rim glazes.
The final touch was a simple ash glaze which I mixed myself from local wood ash (I used oak ash for a while, and when that ran out I used pine). It took me some work to get it just right, because ash makes glazes run down; this is why I love ash glazes, but it can also get you into trouble if you’re overzealous with its application (I did have a few pieces with glaze that ran too much and stuck the pots to the kiln shelves). I sprayed this ash glaze over the blue glaze. I wanted that beautiful blending of colors, and I wanted to see what new colors would be created in the mysterious atmosphere of the kiln.
I’ve been very happy with both the relative uniformity and the variation in this series (like I said, matching and not matching!). I made a few pieces to keep myself, and the rest will be available as (literally) limited-edition works in my Etsy shop by December 3rd. Since it was quite a learning experience, a few slightly flawed pieces are also available at a reduced price. I’m running a facebook preview sale this week and can make that link available on request as well.
I’m not sure what’s next, but I’m glad to have been able to make this work and I hope some of you love it too!