|Spoonbill. We see a lot of them here at this time of the year.|
|Not quite sure what happened here, I think a bit of cross species activity took place!|
|Black Swan. All curves, stillness, and perfection. Standing on boggy ground that has been moulded by countless pairs of webbed feet!|
A Plate Seen Closely
Looking closely at ice or crystalline glazes with the help of a magnifying glass can transport you into a really beautiful place. I recently fired this 9.5 inch (240mm) plate and was very pleased with the result. I love the explosive puffs and huffs of the crystals, and the mysterious green-blue depths of the glaze where it has pooled.
Is it a Bowl or a Vase...? Not Sure!
A few months ago I made a little series of deep bowls or vases that had narrow bases and decorative pouring spouts around the rim. I have been holding back before glaze firing them, as I was not too sure what glaze to put over them. At one point I came close to making them white and just being "all about form", but I tried this one with a crystalline glaze on the outside and an oil spot glaze on the inside, and was pleased with the result. This piece is about 7 inches high and 9 inches across (180 x 230mm).
I have been doing more oil drip reduction firing of crystalline glazed pots. This 8.5 inch tall bottle (216mm) gave me quite a surprise when I opened the kiln after the firing, as I had expected a very different result. After its first glaze firing, this bottle had been a pale aqua blue with blue grey crystals. The crystals were a little indistinct, and did not have quite enough tonal contrast with the background. The glaze had some copper, cobalt, and a little manganese in it for colour. I thought that it would be a good idea to do an oil drip reduction firing and see if this would improve the definition of the crystals. I had expected red crystals on a grey or pale pink background, but this is far more interesting. Carbon has been trapped by the crystals, turning some of them black. The heavily reduced copper and cobalt metals that are concentrated in the crystals, gives the copper "glow" that breaks through the carbon.
Some of the other pots that were in the same firing were really too smoky looking and I will re-fire them. I am progressively cutting back on the amount of oil that I drip into the kiln for generating a reduction atmosphere, and the length of time that the oil drip is in action. Currently I am still just a little "heavy handed", but progress is being made!
I must try blogging more often again. It seems to get more difficult when I leave big gaps between posts...