Friday, December 3, 2021

Progress? Yes!

It's been a busy month, and it's only day 3? Holy goodnight!

Well, to be honest, I'd been working to get a new bunch of Supernatural cups and mugs finished before my annual Thanksgiving trip to Sacramento to get together with friends.

It was getting a little hard to get up and get things done before work. It's cold in the mornings, and it's been either foggy or damp, which adds to my discomfort and to the drying time for the work!

But you know me, if you've followed the blog for any amount of time. I don't let discomfort slow me down a whole lot! (Though I do admit to taking all the glazing inside that I can, so I can be comfy.)

I've been getting ideas for some more Castiel-themed, bee-related cups and mugs. So far, I just have the one, but the response has been so great, I plan on more like it! The first picture is the unfired cup, with the underglaze painted in. The others are after the first firing.

I always love how they look out of that first firing! The colors are so vibrant! But they need to have their clear glaze and a second firing if they're going to be food-safe, so there's another round of work to do for them: glazing!

I've been considering the last glaze failures and think I might have the issue solved with a new clay body. It's a nice, soft white, cone 5 clay. Although it's white like porcelain (without being as white or translucent as porcelain can be), it's a stoneware clay and a bit tougher. I managed to get a layer or two of glaze on some of them before I left for my trip. You can see I take my studio assistant with me everywhere, nowadays!

I saw my ceramics teacher while I was there and got a mini-lecture for some troubleshooting questions which, as always, was super helpful. I really miss the clay gang of folks I had available to me there. Maybe after this Covid-Omicron nonsense settles down, I'll get some classes here in LA.

I decided to do these cups a couple of different ways, to see what ends up working best. Some, I covered in black underglaze with the colored pattern and words and did the bisque firing. When I got them out of the bisque, I covered the words and patterns in wax resist, so that when they're dipped in glaze, the glaze will flow off the wax and keep the pattern and words clean. You can see the process on this video, at around 5:15, if you're interested.

Others, I just covered in a celadon glaze I kept from my old studio and just painted it on in layers. Because a good celadon glaze has a translucent quality to it, the deeper carving will show up in a darker pool of green and the higher points will be lighter in color. I think they're going to turn out really pretty, and the celadon gives it a bit of an Asian feel. The celadon, by the way, looks almost white before it's fired.


Finally, we have those medallion mugs! In playing with the design, I thought having a combination of colors would be fun to have on the cup and partially around the medallion. The picture below shows only one layer of glaze, which is actually going to be blue! You'd think it would be red, but that's not how the chemistry of the glaze works.

After all of that, and cleaning up the bottoms so they don't stick to the kiln shelves and get destroyed, and checking for overflow into the patterns, they were ready to get loaded into the kiln. When I left for work yesterday, the kiln temp had gone from 45°F to 97°F. When it's done, it will have gone up to around 2167°F with a twenty minute hold.

Now I get to spend some time getting all the other work into the shop that I haven't gotten to, yet!

No comments:

Post a Comment

In order to protect my readers, I screen all comments. Spammers will immediately have their comments deleted, so please, if you are a spammer, just go away. I will promote your blog or site if I know you, but if not, please accept my invitation to the world.