I have fired more crystalline glazed vases since we were last in touch!
I also have experimented with using crystalline glaze as a runny overglaze. The fluid nature of crystalline glazes makes them do very exciting things when put over a regular stoneware glaze. Usually no crystals form, but there are glorious intermixings of the two glazes.
|Crystalline glaze over Peter's Red|
|Crystalline glaze mingling with Black Tenmoko and Peter's Red|
Here Comes Santa Claus!
|Laura has been making Christmas Decorations.|
I have spent the last few weeks trying to make a start at completing some orders that people have placed for my pots, many of them months ago, and it has been difficult, or almost impossible, to keep a balance between work and rest. I really don't "do" balance!! Making pots is a bit like being responsible for a herd of animals. You do need to make and tend a kiln sized collection of them. You have to attend to them at all the right times, nurse them through the night if necessary, and sometimes it means neglecting other things in life! It is good to have completed some of the orders, as they had weighed upon my mind and conscience, but I still have more to go!
One of the first completed commissions was a set of coffee mugs. As I had not made mugs for months, I was "rusty" when I started. I made small batches of them every day for a week or so, and it was pleasing to see progress. I actually got to where I was enjoying putting handles on mugs! I did the first ones in porcelain and I also made a quantity of them in stoneware. After making mugs for a few days, I was able to make sets of them. The order was for a set of 8 stoneware mugs, and I was able to find 8 that matched quite well!
I was interested to see how differently I made things when using another clay. Making pots is not a simple case of designing something and imposing the design on a lump of clay. Clay has its own personality, and it is good to try to find out what this is, and to work with it and learn from it. Well, I think so!
People seem to like the more adventurous glazes that I have used on the porcelain mugs, and I have sold the ones that I unloaded from the kiln at the beginning of the week.
Recently Laura managed to have a birthday! Laura was all prepared to be depressed and miserable about getting older, and older, and older..., but it all ended happily! Laura worked that day at the local shop. This was very handy as I was able to do some preparation towards a surprise party for her. I picked her up from work at the end of the day, and a thunderstorm was adding a bit of drama at the time, so I had a good excuse to come to her rescue. Instead of driving home, I took her out to visit friends, where the surprise party was all set up and ready to go. Rhonda and Mark, Jane and Swanny made it a delightful evening, and we all really enjoyed ourselves. I don't think Laura minded getting a little bit older after all! How good it is to have friends!
|Rhonda made a lovely birthday cake, gluten free for those of us who needed it, and very nice it was too!|
|Laura tried very hard to blow out the candles....|
|but those candles just would not blow out!|
|Laura looking happy!|
|Jane and Mark|
(*party photos were provided by Mark and Rhonda)