Thursday, July 12, 2007


I have spent the morning outside glazing a batch of pots. I was armed with my notes from the good people on Clayart who responded with suggestions for improving my glazing results. They sent their suggestions in response to my declaration that "I hate glazing" and a plea for help. I should not have said that I hated glazing--the truth is I am frustrated to death over glazing problems. Of course the most frequent advise was to "practice, practice, practice." You would think (or I did) that all the pots I've glazed over the last 3 or 4 years should qualify as a lot of practice. But in fact they don't because I have not paid close enough attention to what I was doing and the results that were produced. So today I had two note pads to record every step of the process. I measured the specific gravity of each glaze I used and recorded that. I identified each piece that I glazed and carefully recorded what I put on each piece, how it went on, any peculiarities of the glazed piece. So I am beat! I am now waiting for the kiln load of bisque ware to cool off enough to handle so I can get full load of glazed ware into the kiln to fire. I am so eager to see if my close attention to the process will result in better results!

I came to the conclusion, while working this morning, that my real problem--besides poor technique--is that I am not an artist. I am a craftsperson. I have no idea about color or design. And glazing is all about the art of ceramics. Throwing and trimming pots is about the craft of it. And since I don't know what to do decoration-wise I just slap something on the pots and pray for a happy surprise! And that is probably why I like the glazes that are so uncontrollable--they offer a chance at a happy surprise--or a huge disaster. I've had both!

I will have to wait till Saturday to see the fruit of my labor. I will be saying a prayer to the kiln gods as I load these pieces into the kiln. They come through for me sometimes! I worked as conscientiously as I know how--now they have to take over.

1 comment:

kerseyd said...

It is not that you are "not an artist,you are a craftperson." The language of art is not based on art or craft. Line, shape, color, texture, value, etc. are all part of the formal elements and designs of are not "born" with this knowledge, just like you were not "born" knowing how to use the potters wheel. Take 2D and 3D design classes, and color theory. And cut yourself some slack. Guess Who!