Open Studio Update

Upper half: Cottage White base; Red Chrome berry, Oribe Green vine/leaf. Coverage uneven, dilution okay.

Today was an instructive day, a bit difficult, but interesting. I’m struggling with glaze samples. Achieving a specific effect can take a lot of time, energy, and experimentation. That bowl or plate you see in the gift shop or gallery? It can represent oodles of time spent by the artisan trying to get the right look (or having a happy accident). Right now, I am trying to achieve a particular effect on a tile: diluted and watercolory effect. But, at the moment, I feel like I’m trying to reinvent the wheel because it’s taking a heck of a lot of time. First, I’m using a creamy white matte base,  Cottage White glaze. The ‘task’ is to with find the right way to color the decorations: vines, leaves, and berries. I want the colors to be realistic but understated and, to whit, and am working with  colored and clear glazes and colored underglazes. I thought it would be easier to create the look I want, so I’d been using actual tiles

(Dim photo; not true color.) Undiluted Pine Green and Purple underglaze. Too bold and dark, needs softening.

for glaze samples, but that’s been a wasteful approach. Today, I was forced to be realistic because, once again, the new glaze sample wasn’t what I wanted. Instead, I used a vessel that had warped when bisqued and it had a big surface area to play around on. Finished it in the nick of time and it’s being fired right now. Fingers crossed! Today’s approach: mixing amounts of Cottage White glaze with smaller amounts of select glazes and underglazes, then painting it over a surface glazed in Cottage White. By doing this, I’m trying to prevent the color from absorbing into the white glaze underneath, which makes the color grainy, like in the last photo shown at the bottom. It’s an interesting process. If I were to take up some water colors and brush, I could paint it exactly the way I want it to turn out… But ceramics doesn’t work that way. =/ So, I toil, I toil. Along the way, I’d better sit down and turn out a few more tiles

Sections have different percentages of diluted Pine Green and Red underglazes. Underglazes soaked into the Cottage White glaze underneath, causing a grainy look.

because I know that one fine day the effort will have been worth it and I’ll be able to replicate it. Soft colors, but not pastels…lovely colors against a soft, creamy background. It’s something sweet and decorative to put on your wall, preferably where you spend down time. When you’re reading a book, or sipping tea, you might glance over and see it. It holds your gaze because it’s enigmatic. As you study it, time shifts, you float through the keyhole and into the land of your daydreams…. Figuratively, it is something much different, as it is meant for women who enjoy life’s mysteries and are aware of them. A key can open your dreams, can give you leave see new options in your life. A key in a door unlocks…. Back to reality: I so hope the new glaze samples unlock the mystery of how to decorate these little guys!




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