It has been a week of color testing and experiment. A much needed week of color testing and experiment. What does color mean? These colors are a celebration. Yet they are extreme bright colors. Colors that often attract or repel. In song birds bright flamboyancy says come hither, I’m your man. In constructed space it means beware pay attention. What does it mean for pottery?
Either way these are the colors that get me. That I desire- dense pale oranges, yellows, pinks and reds. Color and color application have to exploit “ceramic color” play with flux, melting, layers and the difference between stagnate clay molded or applied with a brush then subjected several times to fire, forced to move and change to be a new thing: ceramic materiality.
Kilns are often hidden. As I say in describing this category they lack an online presence, but I might have it wrong when clicks lead to more clicking I end up slowly mentally mapping kilns across North America. For where there are kilns there are friends. Chris Pate certainly knows that and has posted photos and a small blurb about the kilns he has helped fire in Oregon. Check it!
Kiln(er): Kilns are often overlooked and certainly lack an online presence. They are a fundamental and endlessly interesting bit of the ceramic process. Thus under “kilner” (what I am affectionately referred to by a friend and what really perhaps all ceramists could be aptly called) we will explore the wonderful back breaking, hair singeing world of kilns.
Form is everywhere. I like to sketch fires bluntly and roughly as the change as smoke morphs and billows and wind currents turbulently transform the smoke columns. I was amazed after one such sketching period to see vessels in my sketches, body, form, volume.
The North is burning and I am watching.
What a week in the studio, it isn’t often that I have so many pieces at so many levels of completion. I like it. I made a set, fired a kiln to bisque and have things waiting for a glaze. It feels like this is a good amount of staggering. It allows me to experience almost every step in making ceramics, within the week. Keeping it all fresh and my mind boggled and engaged. I am quite happy with the elk plates awaiting glaze, that will be done today and fired tomorrow unless I opt to do another bisque wich may be the case (to try out my new decals that arrived in the mail this week!).
Earlier this week I was expressing my concern to a friend about only being able to pull off really large plates and small side plates. The standard dinner size plate eludes me. While, it eludes me no more. That one you see there is the perfect weight and size, light in the hand, sturdy at the rim and fits in the average dishwasher. I am also very excited about my new bowl form you can see on the right side of the picture. I even did a little road trip to Oliver this week and sat in a tea house for quite sometime (see the other picture). The bathroom was plastered with teapot postcards! What a week, and another of greater intensity to come!
Pottery goes through many chemical and aesthetic shifts throughout the making process. It is this change of a pot that has fascinated me endlessly. You start with something soft, malleable and lush and end up with something hard and ridged, perhaps will a glimmer of the fluidity of before set in stone. Here is a bit of a visual explanation for y’all.
1) “leather hard” 2) greenware 3)done.
This sum up of course skips many a step. For example..
0.5) fresh off the wheel and step 2.25) Bisqued and Step 2.5) glazed before final firing . But you’ll get a feel for the mindboggling shift.
Techno-ology: Info on ceramics- definition, technique, history.
Question: A one liner question that I need to discuss. Please posts opinions and we can get some discussion going!