Tag Archives: clay

I Said I Would Renovate and I Did

Remember those bowls a few days ago that I told you I had decided to glaze? All right, they have all come from the kiln and I will show them to you.

I am reasonably happy with the results. Now, this look is not my first choice, but as you may also remember, I made bowls, and without glaze, they cannot really do their job as bowls. They need glaze to be food-safe. I have decided I want to sell them, and so, I glazed them.

If I don’t want to use glaze, I need to remember to make items that are non-functional. I may want to write that down.

All right. You remember the bowls in the stage of having had glaze applied but not fired:

I fired them at Cone 06, the recommended temperature for the glaze. I had applied the glaze in 2 thin coats – I have a tendency to overdo the glaze and that causes problems with pooling and clouding. After the first firing, some of them looked great but some had areas where more glaze was needed. I applied more to those bowls and put them through again. My goodness, what some of these poor bowls have gone through!

Now we are done. Let me show you the previous versions with the new versions:

As you can see, some bowls look very similar and others are greatly changed. I noticed that the bright orange color in a couple of bowls had been completely altered by the addition of the glaze. The overall color scheme in all of the items is darkened and fine details are less visible. Now, I am not very skilled or familiar with glazing, so I think with future items, I would need to think more about the colors I use and in what combinations.

And no matter what, I never like the shiny reflectiveness of glaze. My eyes just do not take in the details of a shiny item as well.

I will also show you the outside surface of a couple of bowls. As you might remember, I spatter painted over a color on the white clay bowls and I spatter painted over the natural color of the terracotta clay on the others. These photos show you the before:

Here is a bit of the after – and please excuse the blurriness – I hope you can get the idea:

I do like the look. I’ve done lots of spattering with glaze in the past and it has never failed me. I need to write this down, too – spattering is a pleasing look with glaze.

All right. That’s the end of the renovation. I will say these bowls do look better in person than in a photo. I think they will find new homes and go on to happy times. And they will do their jobs properly and safely. That is what is important, after all.


Renovate It, I Say

Some time ago, back in spring of 2017, in fact, I made a whole group of largish handbuilt clay bowls. I colored them according to my usual techniques of using Velvet underglazes and scratching into the layers. They were quite nice, but – you know, they are bowls, and yet they are not functional. Here are a couple of the bowls:

Bowl #3
Bowl #7

Since I didn’t glaze them, they were not food-safe. They could not be cleaned well enough to prevent bacteria from growing in the porous surfaces. Now you know why foodware is glazed, as are tiles for walls and floors. They need to be washable.

Well, the bowls sat around for a long while; some I gave away, and finally, I’ve come to the end of the road with the ones that are left – I’d like to sell them and move on. But I can’t do that because, even if I warn the purchaser they can’t be used, well, who’s gong to remember that kind of thing for any length of time, or – if the bowl changes owners…Because a bowl is meant to be used – it’s not a sculpture.

Bowl #2

So I decided to glaze them. Now, I am pretty sure I will not like the look of them as well as I do now, but – they are stuck in limbo and I like that even less. I got out my glaze and coated the whole group of them.

Then I loaded the kiln.

The lovely green color will turn clear in the firing. Wait and see!

You may notice I also have a large vase in there. It’s this item, below. Once again, it won’t hold water unless it is glazed.

I had a little bit more room so I added a tile, and I will re-fire a dish that didn’t do well in its first glaze firing.

I’m not great at glazing and I don’t love the look, as I said – it changes the colors and I also don’t like the reflectiveness of the surfaces. Well, if things don’t go so well, I won’t be heartbroken, will I? I’ll get that kiln going in the next day or so and see what happens.

We Are Not Twins

…but we were born at the same time.

OK, it’s a little bit of too much to call a clay statue “born” but they’ve been together since they were formed from the same clay slab, and they did come through two firings together. Enough said.

Two clay figurines, low-fire white clay, Velvet underglazes, fired at cone 06, about 15″ tall – October, 2018.

Thanksgiving 2018 Art Drop-Off #3

This post is part of an ongoing series on my personal blog, Sometimes You Get So Confused, focusing on art I’ve left out in the world as I go about my days. This post concerns a Thanksgiving session (this post is 3rd of three) but I do this all the time and have for years. If you are interested in more drop-off sessions you can search under the category Art Drops In on the Confused blog.

Anyway, thought you might like to see where some of my art goes…

Sometimes You Get So Confused

After leaving West Park in Allentown, the site of our second Thanksgiving drop-off, we ate lunch at the Hotel Bethlehem.

Conf Bethlehem 11-22-18 #809

We had parked the car a few blocks away, next to God’s Acre, the historic cemetery of the early Moravian Church in Bethlehem. The city was founded by members of the Moravian Church and their influence is seen in all parts of the city, especially the historic section.

I wrote a post about a previous visit to this resting place for so many people, and it has a fascinating history, based in the customs of the Moravians. (Look here if you want to know more.)

Anyway, we set a figurine on a bench here.

I took a few minutes to look around at nearby gravestones. All lie flat to the ground, and the cemetery is divided into burial groups not by family but by status in society (single, married…

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