Wednesday, April 15, 2009


In between a visit with family, busy times at my day job, and blowing off some steam by enjoying the nice weather of spring, I've been glazing. It used to be my least favorite part of making ceramics, but I'm coming to terms with it lately. Although I love making and testing new glazes, the actual task of glazing used to be the hardest part.
When I was working with terracotta soon after college, I did not have the studio space needed to formulate my own glazes. That meant everything I glazed had to be painted on with multiple coats. Very tedious. It was a big adjustment from school where I had big buckets of everything and pieces could either be dipped or poured.
With the switch to stoneware last year, I was a mad scientist again testing and retesting glazes until I came up with about 10 colors. In a way, I envy potters who just use one glaze color. But, I love to see a rainbow of earthy tones accentuated by the white clay. And the chemistry involved with glaze formulation is fascinating. It is very similar to baking....measuring out specific amounts of powdered materials and making big batches of batter-like glazes. Not to mention, wearing a respirator is pretty darn sexy.Part of the reason I'm enjoying glazing more is that I've found colors I absolutely love. It turns out many of my designs need to be hand painted such as the monkey and bird. That makes it much more time consuming to glaze, but the end results make me very happy.
It's hard not to smile when you look at this monkey, don't you think?