Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just Out Of The Kiln

These all are just out of the kiln; another once fire except for the cassius basaltic clay pieces. Nothing cracked or blew up, even the cassius basaltic pieces turned out. Cone 5 was completely bent over and 6 just slightly tipped. One portrait is too dark and I'm mulling over how to fix it and some touch ups needed. Not so bad after all.

Sometimes I like the pre-fired versions better. This fox was lighter before firing, now he looks like he's in the deep woods. Oh well, as time goes by I'll figure out which colors do what when blended together or overlapped.

Her left eye has some smudged black which I thought was wiped up but black slip is very strong and seems to soak in. Maybe her eye is bloodshot. Note to self to be very careful when applying black slip because there's no way to remove all of it (yet). I like the matt surface of the slip and don't want to use the acrylics because they are too shiny. Lori suggested I try pastels. I purchased some so I'll give it a whirl on some of the touch ups.

I'm just thinking I could review how these look before firing and if there is some stain I want to remove I could rig up a mini sand paper on a stick and sand the color off that I want to remove. I'll have to experiment with that. I don't want to use a sgraffito tool because I don't want any scratches or lines in the clay surface to be visible on some areas.

I don't like the color of his hat and sweater or the background color, but I do like his face. Ironically he looks a lot like Gary's father, George, who passed away a couple of years ago. The mouth especially looks like how he held his mouth. I didn't use Gary's father as a model and his father never wore a hat.

I wanted to use only one tone on this one, but it's not quite what I planned. Some of the shading I thought I achieved was lost after firing. I think her one eyebrow is a little too dark, something I can touch up though.

The lavender slip is flaking at the top on this one. I added that color two days later over the top of other slip so I think that's the problem.

Here's the one that turned too dark. I had shaded with white slip but it was over powered by the black slip underneath. I have some white extender mason stain, I wonder if that would help maintain the white color over the top. Any ideas about how I can achieve shading over black slip in the future? Maybe I can apply more slip and refire? Maybe some pastel over the top.

Here's one of the cassius basaltic tiles; that black is the actual color of the clay when fired. I love the soft, matt, ebony-black of this clay, wonderful isn't it. There's only one problem it was so long ago I made this tile I can't remember what I put on the flower to get the shine. I just went back and looked, I put a clear glaze over the slip. Now which clear was it. The photo doesn't show that the flower is suspended above the tile on a half inch stem, happy to report there is no separation or warping at the connection point.

Check out these pendant experiments with porcelain inlaid clay on the cassius. Oh boy, I love that contrast, just what I was aiming for.

Three more cassius tiles I made last year. Has it been that long. I don't really like the butterflies, they are too rustic for the flowers, but I like the slip painting on these tiles against the black of the clay. It was worth holding off on firing these that long because now I feel more confident about firing my kiln and how to adjust the firing schedules.

A little confession - I still have the larger pieces made from this clay I never fired. So now I plan to do that real soon. I was afraid to fire them before, but in this case I think the fear was a good thing because I waited till I was more knowledgeable about firing my kiln. And I risked these few pieces and learned what would happen before I risked the larger, more complicated pieces.

This sunset was an experiment where I really slathered the slip on thick, I like that effect. I want to go thicker yet, more experiments to do. The reddish brown color on the water is some of the Florida clay slip which is flaking off. Note to self to add some frit to this slip next time and experiment again. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I like the first one just the way it is.The darkness suits him.

  2. I agree with Dennis on that first - its great. Love the pendants too.

  3. Two of these look as if they are about to release their inner gladiator.~Mary

  4. So glad everything came out so well. I think you are way too critical but then that is what makes you the artist and me the appreciater.

  5. Hi Dennis, thanks, the first one is ok it's one farther down that's too dark.

    Hi Anna, thanks so much.

    Hi Mary, thanks yes some inner gladiotors for sure. Ha.

  6. Hi Patti, thanks, I think it has to do with how I want them to turn out and also how they look before I fire them. Ha. Lucky no mishaps so I should be happy and I am.

  7. those top too are marvelous and the lady in the hat- divine!

  8. You've been one hard workin' woman.
    I like particularly like the top guy. Is one of those with the inner gladiators?

  9. Hi Meredith, thanks, I am so happy these are coming along, now to a gallery this week to see how they like them.

    Hi Rubye Jack, thanks, yes he has an inner gladiator, well all do, just some show it more than others.

  10. Actually Linda, I like the moodiness of the top portrait and fox. Maybe if you live with them for a little while, you'll change your mind. Lotsa finished work! You've been busy!

  11. That first almost looks like a Van Gogh self portrait. Do you use a portrait or just free hand?Never used any black cly but enjoy the flower.

  12. Ooh--the first one has great depth and emotive power. The fox is sweet and coy all at once. Love the green hat lady. The flower on the black tile very elegant. Very enjoyable read! Thanks, Linda.

  13. nice sunset!

  14. Hi Barbara, thanks, the fox is just different. The top one is fine is the really dark one farther down I need to lighten up a bit to even see the features. these were drying for months it seems then all of a sudden I got busy and fired stuff since it's been cooler.

    Hi Out on the Prarie, thanks, I use newspaper, magazine and real people for my inspiration. This black clay is great for it's contrast and uniqueness.

    Hi Charlene, thanks, so glad you can see (feel) the expressions from the portraits. I do like that black clay and simple flower look; I might make a few more of those.

    Hi Gigi, thanks, I think I was inspired to do that sunset one from the day we were at the drum circle and it was such a nice sunset.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment