Thursday, 21 November 2013

Random musings and connections

I like to work in a quite random fashion, flitting from one theme to another. Sometimes when I take a second or sideways look I see the most surprising connections.

I have been photographing a recent piece, my chicken dish, another coloured clay piece. 

Whilst I had my camera out I photographed the latest project taking shape on my work table.

And the connection? Which came first; the chicken, the egg or the dinosaur?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Coloured clay success

The experimentation with coloured clay is producing results. Above is a selection of pieces fired to earthenware, the colours of the clay brought out with clear glaze. Below is an inlaid clay dish that I am particularly pleased with.


The first pieces to be finished have generated more ideas to try. I made two similar shallow dishes decorated with inlaid clay and textured by drawing into the designs with sharp points. After biscuit firing both dishes were painted and the texture enhanced with cobalt oxide before glazing and firing. Above is a dish fired to earthenware, the glaze has brightened the colours and  the cobalt has produced a bright blue wash effect, and below is the other dish fired to stoneware, the colours are much  darker and more muted. I like both dishes for their different qualities and will be firing more pieces to stoneware.

Not all transparent glazes are the same. Above are two different transparent earthenware glazes. On the left is a traditional  recipe from Emmanuel Cooper, the brightness of this glaze is achieved using fritted lead, so work is not food safe. On the right is a commercially produced glaze which is food safe but has a tendency to be a little opalescent and colours are not as bright. The intended use of a piece will determine which glaze to use, and prompts much musing on the debate between beauty and usefulness. I want both, so will try to find a glaze that delivers both.  

And between working with glazes and other projects I'm still beavering away finding inspiration in fabric and wallpaper designs from the 1950's, like these from Lucienne Day and Marion Mahler.