It's been a busy week with finishing work and loads of glazing. At last I have almost everything glazed - there is hardly a bisque pot left in the studio. I won't be amassing work to glaze again it was not a good way of working. Though strangely, with my studio now full of glazed work, it does look as though I have produced quite a large stock of work, especially as my work is so time consuming. Last Saturday I visited The British Museum. The tile at the top is a medieval one that I particularly like. The pots are all out of the kiln this morning. I used a grogged clay for these which I don't usually do. It felt like drawing on sandpaper when I did the sgraffito so I was concerned that they might look rough but infact there is almost no visible difference between these and those in the smooth clay. I had gone to the British Museum to see the Greyson Perry exhibition. I had very little time in the exhibition as I hadn't realised I should have booked and had to wait 2 hours to go in, though I was fortunate to have the last ticket. This meant that the two chaps who accompanied me couldn't see the GreysonPerry me but still waited for me. ( They didn't even pretend to be disappointed at not getting tickets!) I was fascinated with the exhibition. I found the exhibits he selected to place along side his work really exciting. I was also captivated with the layers of images he was able to build up on his pots. There was sgraffito, glaze, decals and gold lustre all overlaying each other. Busy day tomorrow setting up- if you're about in Farnham do call in!
I have been busy glazing I knew that this was going to happen as you can only bisque fire for so long before it all catches up with you. Anyway here are a few of the 'fish' bowls. They are beginning to look a bit too neat. On the second one down I splashed some underglaze to make it look a little more 'active' and less tight. Art in Clay opens in Farnham in a week so I am busy getting ready for that. Check out the link there are plenty of wonderful potters to see. As I have just come to the end of weeks of work now is a good time to take stock of where to go from here. I have been doing some work in my sketch book to give me some sense of direction. The picture above is a mixture of watercolour painting and collage. I am thinking about how I can transpose this look onto a pot.
On discovering that my 'orange' was firing to an unpleasant brown colour I threw the whole tub of ochre away thinking I would never be tempted to use it again. I then went on to glaze more pots, wondering what I would do with them if they were all spoilt. It was only when I unpacked the second glaze firing that I remembered that I had used a different batch of glaze in the first firing. Confused? I had mixed ( or more precisely my 18 year old) had mixed a glaze for me using lead bisilicate rather than my usual lead sesquisilicate. The reason being that 1. I had plenty of lead bisilicate 2. My supplier pointed out that bisilicate was cheaper than sesquisilicate. So the pots with the brown were with the new glaze! I have since done another glaze firing with my original glaze and no problems! I can hardly believe that the difference in colour can be caused by using a different frit but that does seem to be the case. It does mean that instead of possibly loosing eight weeks of work I have only 'lost' five pieces. Also that I probably threw away a perfectly good batch of 'orange'. The pictures are of work out of the kiln today. Orange miraculously returned! The top bowl is a Christening bowl which is a commission and I am pleased with the way it has turned out so I hope my client also likes it. I am now compiling a list of things to remember! 1 Test everything. 2 Never use grogged clay ( that is another story) 3 ..... to be continued