Open Studio Update

Joan's pit-fired rattle

A New Year! Last night, I was up late pondering a full, fresh year in the Open Studio. I wondered where it might lead and what I might make. What it meant. I very much looked forward to pulling a chair up to the big table. I missed our communal work station! It was such a delight to walk in the door this morning and see my friends assembled there. Joan had made us rattles she had pit-fired over the break. Then, Pauline gave us a choice of pieces she’d made, as she’s begun to clean out her studio. Her tenure as artist-in-residence has ended, though, she will remain with us on Tuesdays for a time, which is good news, because I can’t imagine the Open Studio without her red-headed vivacity! Today, Pauline and Otto did a bit of vocal work. They are both gifted singers: Otto a tenor and Pauline an alto… During the holidays, we were able to attend a splendid concert by Pauline’s choral group, Ensemble Etoile. Oh, my, I just realized she got us tickets and I haven’t paid her back…oops. Big will do, P!

Wiped away excess Cottage White glaze for 'snow' stage on Snowfall tiles

Today, we pretty much continued working with ongoing projects. Over the break, I further readied ten terra-cotta tiles I was working on by wiping off excess glaze to reveal ‘snow.’ Light snow, heavy snow. Last night, I masked off the trees with liquid latex. Mark gave me a one-litre jug made by the Burma Rubber Co. for Xmas.

Dried latex glistens around the perimeter of the dry Green Oribe glaze

That much latex will last me a good long while… Dry, it is a bit stronger than the brand I’d borrowed from Pauline. This means I only need one coat, but it also means it disturbs the glaze more when I peel it off. I’ll have to do some touch-up work. I also used a face mask because of fumes and particulates.  Next, I painted on wide bands of Green Oribe glaze

Green Oribe glaze unmasked and ready for touch-up work

on the trees, which produces a dark, thick, matte green that I like very much. (There is some talk about possibly replacing this glaze with something else at the studio and, if so, I’ll have to come up with an alternative or make my own.) Before I left today, I’d reached the last stage: painting on thick bands of Cottage White for a ‘snowy’ foreground. I like a thick opaque patch on the Snowfall tile. It reminds me of virgin snow. What I’m doing here is production work on a small scale, small enough that the individuality of each piece is not lost. When I’m working on each tile, I sense the ‘personality’ of the piece and each does seem to say something different.

Liquid latex for masking, Cottage White glaze for the foreground


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