Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unruly Glazes

Love em' but sometimes those unruly glazes can be disappointing..as with the batch from this last firing..only about half were acceptable..the others will require ReGlazing..ugh..never a fun thing..but better than losing all that work . Last night while sorting out the Ok's from the funky I started to reflect about clay and being a "potter".
Potters are alchemists, turning one material into another completely different thing.. and we must be drawn to the excitement of how it all works ..anticipation is high when approaching that cooled kiln. After putting in all those hours of work,it comes down to the firing, sometimes there is a fabulous surprise awaiting or there can be that moment of thinking "What the heck happened in here?". I prefer to work with glazes that have some life to them ,a certain unpredictability..clay itself does have a mind of it's own, add the glaze and those pieces are alive.. glass workers must experience somewhat the same thing. The outcome should be a certain way but sometimes, for some reason it takes a turn. Potters also need to have a certain level of detachment in order to cope with those moments of opening that kiln door to find true disasters..not just some glazes that didn't mature ,but melt downs and explosions( thank you Kiln Devas I rarely have those) and mighty glaze malfunctions..all which hopefully decrease with experience..but ceramics is not a cut and paste craft ..more like a bee on a string.
These worked..not showing the funkies.

9 comments:

Birgitta Lejonklou said...

uhhu that was not so fun for You
but those in the picture looks great !!
guess it is the way You write those drawn to ceramic like this a bit unpredictable things with the kiln and glazes...
You are experienced! and I am just beginning ....actually starting to look for a kiln of my own seriously as there is nowhere to test the new glazes for some time as my friends do not work with high fire at the moment...
I hope the Devas in the kiln will be nice when You refire!

one-eared pig said...

Oh yes, glassworkers experience the same thing! Glass is solid, then molten/liquid, then solid again. Approaching the cooled kiln is a wonderful feeling of anticipation!

risingdesigns said...

Hmmm, Is that a pretty, lacy, bee on a heart in the lower right that I see?

SummersStudio said...

Nan, I am in complete sympathy with you. I just opened a kiln. This time it was my clay, one that I use all of the time. Warp, ugh. But I do share the excitement of opening the kiln. And even with disasters, there is the learning to be done. Part of the reason we keep doing what we do.

sharon said...

My mind so does not work like a scientist....all I know is that your pieces here look fantastic!

stregata said...

Gorgeous pieces - and I am so in awe of your alchemy!

Emerald Window said...

I want to see the funky ones!
Cenya

maryharding said...

Lovely pieces survived--but I know what you mean. This isn't quite the same kind of thing but I was so surprised the other day when I opened the kiln expecting to see wonderful chocolate brown pieces and they were terra cotta red. I was so sure I had the right clay!!

Pretty Things said...

Glazes must be like lampwork glass frits. In the tin, they look wonderful. Even heating them up, they look wonderful. But after the kiln --- what the heck did I PUT in there?