Friday, June 13, 2008
ugly glazes, wobbly wheels, and crummy clay
(pots and plaques by Gary Rith)
Alright, not every day in my life is perfect.
These items above? They are perfect. More frogs in turtle celadon glaze, plus my first ever walrus. I make these little things as advice to others. Is my joke too subtel here? Lighten up, you know, walrus are known to be kinda, um, large and heavy? But the real message is relax and be less nervous?
Alright, anyway. So, finally got a good look at the experimental jade glaze that came out of the kiln yesterday. It has pretty spots where it is super thick, but overall it is really ugly. This means I have nothing to lose with the bucket full of glaze, and so I will turn it into a big experiment: maybe add more rutile and copper oxide, then add some zircopax for whitening and opacity, then some titanium dioxide for whitening and speckles and maybe some pancake mix for....no, forget that, although somebody once suggested I put pancake mix into a glaze experiment.
I was also making things at the Cornell studios yesterday, in advance of the summer classes I teach starting next week, and it wasn't really a good day there, either. If I have reworked clay, I wedge it 300 times, but yesterday stopped after 100. It looked good, but what a mistake. Never take a shortcut with your clay. Then the wheel I was using was wobbly (my wheel at home is a Mercedes type of wheel, whereas the institutional wheels at Cornell are sorta......). Anyway, things were wobbly and tricky, and it all worked out fine in the end, but still.
But you know, I said to myself, lighten up and I did and everything looked good at the end of the day.