Saturday, March 28, 2009


I am a little bit. Friend and fellow blogger, Judy Shreve, asked if we like the color blue and wondered why is has such a bad reputation among potters. I do like blue--one of my favorite glazes is blue and some of my favorite pots are blue. It is said that if you paint it blue it will sell. Not sure that is really the case.

Well, back on topic. I am a bit discouraged from the last firings. I am pretty sure I have figured out the problem and that should mean I don't have to suffer that failure again. But for some reason that does not lift my spirits any. Guess I just need to roll up my sleeves and get busy filling the kiln again. Maybe I can lift myself out of the dumps by making some great stuff!

I spent a couple hours Thursday and again today at SAMA (our art museum). We have a terrific collection of Asian art--lots of ceramics, ancient and more recent. For the first time I sketched pots that I particularly liked. I am not a 'drawer' and do not keep a sketch book of ideas as so many other potters do. I found it very agreeable. I look much closer, see much more when I am trying to draw the object. I suspect that it might have a significant influence on my potting--possibly in ways I won't be able to recognize. I am very attracted to the older, more primitive pieces-- pieces that depend on form and glaze for their success. I am not so attracted to the more refined work with intricately drawn/painted designs.

One of the pieces that I am happy about from the last firing is a salt & pepper set:

They fit into the tray like this:

I am pleased with this serving bowl:

It is nicely squared and seems to fit the red/black color combination.

So, back to the wheel. Happy Spring--we are buried in leaves! And it is so windy, they fly everywhere and in any opened door.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oh, my gosh

I've been very reclusive lately. Not just with this blog. Let's see if I can't get back in touch with life!

Kenny is doing very well. He functioning as independently as he was when he first moved in here last year. Around Thanksgiving he discovered Legos and the little box sets they have for building vehicles--his life long love. He has put in thousands of hours working on his Lego projects. We are all amazed at his enthusiasm for constructing with the tiny blocks because of the restricted use he has of his hands--especially his right hand. He spends his mornings in the studio (week days only!) and the afternoons and some evenings working with the Legos. His TV watching is greatly diminished--a good thing!

On the pottery side of the studio, I just completed a glaze firing--first since my last post. I was so disappointed in the last firing it was hard to generate enough enthusiasm to get started again. Unfortunately, this was not very successful either. At least I understand what happened--something I caused and can control next time. I made a mistake in the firing schedule--something I thought I had read but maybe I dreamed it up all on my own! Anyway, on one glaze in particular, but to a lesser degree almost everything had a 'gritty' feeling surface. It was not grit but tiny craters with rough edges on my glazes. Everything with the new black glaze was covered with this 'grit'.

My 'red' glaze held up the best through the bad firing. I am particularly fond of the compote.

I made another of the gratin dishes with a bit higher side (deeper dish). But really messed up the inside. I thought I'd like the inside colored--not white like the last one--so I painted on a slip at the leather hard stage. The slip was supposed to be a medium green. After the bisque it looked black but it was supposed to be medium green so I put a green glaze on the outside and a clear liner glaze on the inside. Weill the slip came out BLUE and clear liner glaze left a white ring around the inside edge--where the wall meets the base. Boo Hoo.

Well, back to the studio. I am going to try refiring the black glazed pieces to see if they will smooth out--I don't have great expectations but do have big wishes! And I'm still trying to think of some way to save my gratin dish...