Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I'm so excited to be working with mason stains again. I never found the stains I purchased before we left California, so last week I got a few more colors. Ever since we left I've wanted to work on the ideas I had back then. I can't believe it's been more than year in February 2009, I was working with stains on cone 10 stoneware. This week I used frost porcelain to make two large bowls, a floral and an underwater scene. Then I made four small bowls to go with the large floral bowl, and a set of four plates to go with the underwater serving bowl.
I had good intentions of making test tiles with the mason stains on the stoneware clay. I got carried away doing these three tiles with all the different colors, trying to put them randomly. It isn't easy being random. These tiles spurred me into another project, more about that later.
Remember the big orange poppy bowl and the four small bowls I made to go with it? I was so proud of the orange color. I guess I must have been pretty desperate for some color. What was I thinking, that wasn't orange, it was red clay which doesn't stay orange when fired. So I covered the "orange" poppy with pink. Not sure how this will turn out since the pink is over red clay. I plan on cleaning up the edges with a sgraffito tool. Thank goodness I gathered my wits about me before firing the set of bowls. I might have ended up with brown poppies.
Perhaps you recall the small bowl I made of the underwater fish scene. I used B mix stained slip over frost porcelain and glazed with a shiney glaze which pitted. At first I attributed this to the glaze and the firing, but as I was sitting at my work space I was rubbing the bowl and noticed the fish didn't have pits on them. I determined the shiny glaze wasn't compatible with the slip. A another bowl I used a matt glaze over the slip and it didn't pit. I learned switching the glaze can make a difference.
Here's just a peak at another color project; I'll reveal a group of pieces if they turn out as intend. This is the last of my frost porcelain; I'll see how these last few pieces turn out before I get any more. I'm now using stoneware and black clay for a group of pieces I'm working on. I plan to try a red clay and little loafers. I need to find clays readily available on the East coast which are suitable for the work I'm making.
I just heard from Gary; he's now in the treasure bus leaving California headed to Florida, for the final leg of moving on a shoestring. Hopefully he'll have a smooth return trip. Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary and this is the longest length of time we've ever been separated. I guess I'll head back to the studio; I want to have lots of new work to show Gary when he gets back home. Comments and suggestions are welcome.