I just spent 5 hours toiling with glaze – on a beautiful sunny (mostly) day instead of, well just about anything else. Helping Kerry weed would have been way more fun. At least I got to set up under the overhang so I was sort of outside and I got to chat to Kerry as she beetled around trying to make up for lost time in the garden.
Glazing is such an issue with potters, the traditionalist say that any serious potter should make their own glazes. I have resisted such blatant intimidation techniques and insist on using commercial glazes and I am so
a serious potter except when I am giggling about something. Lord I feel like I’m at an AA meeting. “My name is Donnae and I use commercial glazes” It’s just that I realized quite early on that I love to make things in my head and then in clay and that any time I spent learning to and mixing glazes would be time away from what I love.
When I discovered commercial glazes I was delighted. Of course they cost the world but worth it if I didn’t have to make them. One of the problems is that there are so many choices and often I can resemble a kid in a candy store. The result is I have a fortune in a multitude of colours.
While I have the making of it taken care of I still have to get the stuff on my pieces and it is pure drudgery since it means at least 2 coats of brushing on the glaze, letting each dry before proceeding. For some reason I can’t sit to do it sitting so that is 5 hours straight on my feet on concrete. Bah!
So on my list of what I would do when I win the lottery is hire someone to do my glazing for me, right behind hiring a housekeeper. I need to remember to buy that lottery ticket.
I found an interesting post about another potter’s reaction to commercial glazes: http://potteryclasstoday.com/http:/potteryclasstoday.com/pottery-how-to/the-cost-of-convenience-pre-mixed-glaze/
Time for Motherhood and I to take a road trip (never thought I’d see “motherhood’ and “I” in a sentence) I very carefully bundled her up like a mummy :} and gently propped her up in Bella and off we went to Maple Ridge to visit Auntie Kerry. She arrived in one piece (Yay!) and into the kiln she (torso, not Kerry) went for the first of at least 2 firings. This one is the easy one, the glaze firing is where I will need the blessings of the kiln Goddess and any other deity that is listening in.
Then, of course, we had to start in on glaze choices, the first of many I’m sure. What fun! Glaze chips flying around the kitchen, back and forth on what feeling am I aiming for. Colour is so freaking important but not just colour but textures and tones as well. Also there is the absence of colour that creates its own voice. So what does her voice have to say? I find myself several times a day poking around that question, she is never very far away. The basic question comes down to light or dark, one invokes vulnerability and the other nurturing/safe. Of course both are applicable but which is the one I want to focus on with this piece? I think I may have just answered my question! Yippee!
I love love love getting pictures from customers showing me my pieces in action. Being used and enjoyed in someone’s home makes pottery come alive. Since the lilacs are starting to bloom I thought these pics would be fun.
If you happen to have pictures of my work at play please send them to me, I’d love to feature them in my blog.
Well the dilemma today was form vs concept. Do I go with something that looks good as opposed to manifesting an idea? Since my work is mostly concept driven it is a tightrope that I often find myself on. The challenge is to find away to honour both and not get lazy and just cave to one side. Balance in all things. Yah Buddha!
Well Ms.Thang is done and I’m not comfortable calling her Torso 8 (especially since she is torso 7, apparently counting is not my strong suit)… so her name, at least thus far, is Motherhood.
I am chanting the potter’s matra “it is only mud until it comes out of the glaze kiln whole it is only mud until it comes out of the glaze kiln whole it is only mud until it comes out of the glaze kiln whole”. Buddha again, attachment = grief (my paraphrasing). sigh. But I’ve already named her… so please pray with me to what ever deity sings to you and hope my girl comes through the upcoming trials whole.
From the 1st day that Duma, the resident Siamese, was able to jump up onto my work table she has been enthralled with it. She loves to stretch out, roll back and forth and wiggle around on it, though it is rarely ever clear enough for her to do that. If I am working on something she will be there supervising & putting her 2 cents in. (I just realized there is no symbol on my key board for cents… when did they drop that?) While there have been casualties not as many as you might think, considering all the face rubbing that goes on. I continue to work with her participation for as long as I can and then I need to boot her out and close the door. And then put up with the whining and scratching outside. Bugger.
So I was thinking that it might be fun to actually write some posts about what creative endeavours I am up to and kind of keep a record of my processes. We’ll see how it goes.
After a long drought with the Torso Series I am in the middle of doing a new one. I actually thought that I had run out of concepts. Then I wondered if I had actually run out of physical space for them which triggered a drying up of my torso juices. Which actually led to a year of not touching clay at all. Any one who knows me will not be surprised at the amount of analysis and angsting I put my poor brain through. That’s the way I roll and am learning not to give myself a hard time about it.. but then I start to analyze that… whatever.
So the new torso…
It was born from a quote I heard about being a mother that has haunted me for years, sitting in my brain fermenting till a few weeks ago it was made physical in the form of a torso. I often create like that and always get such a rush from it when it happens. Of course I can’t tell you the quote otherwise it will give it away, maybe. It could also be so obscure that only I get it, not like that hasn’t happened before. But here is a pic of where I am now.
The carving of the Phoenix is the most time consuming and trickiest of the whole thing, especially with paper clay. The paper in it makes it hard to carve, tends to be flaky. But I like using it since it is soooo flexible and forgiving, allowing me to really push the boundaries of what clay can do. Compromises, always compromises.