Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Information Pots

Much of my studio practice entails heaps of testing of glazes, techniques, etc. I sometimes make what I call information pots. I can do little tiny samples on test tiles but in reality the pieces are usually just too small to get a feel for how a particular effect will work on a large surface.

This is an information pot. I've learned a lot from this oval bowl . BTW, it was going to be a throw away from the beginning, it will never appear publicly anywhere but here. Actually, these don't really get thrown away. I use them in the garden for succulents and things like that. It's an interesting place, my garden.

The good news from this pot is that the bits on the rim that I broke (twice) can be repaired! This is fab news as this technique is fragile. A bit of paper clay slip works like wizardry! Even just before glazing. Yeah!

The bad news from this pot is that the clay it is made of does indeed have a really poonack colour (technical term, there). To get the colour clarity I want is going to require another step. But at least I know now before I commit some really big pieces to the fire.

For this series of pieces, I wanted to get at the raw clay feel to acheive a 'fossil' feel. Almost there. But that poonack clay colour rears it's ugly head. Back to the testing. A few test tiles, information bowls, and I'm just about there to commiting to some larger pieces. Why use this clay? Well, it is just superb for scultptural pieces. And that is where this is headed.

The thing with working with clay that is so maddening is that there is just no going back once it's gone to the final firing. I can fix things up a wee bit with a second try at it but it's just not ever going to be quite right. But still I love working with clay. I love the feel of it, the smell of it.

But today, I worked with things that are familiar. That I've done before. That was satisfying. It left me open to thinking about other more distant work. That sort of balance between the familiar and the new keeps me creating new things.

I'm curious. What keeps you going?

Cheers, LeAnn


sharon said...

LeAnn, these pieces you are making in the fossil series are absolutely mind boggling!! BTW, all the nice bloggers like you keep me going!!

SummersStudio said...

Sharon, that is so encouraging. Thank you!

Andrew Thornton said...

I like it quite a bit! With that particular glaze it's got that decorative pattern look of the Vienna Secessionists. I don't know what color poonack is though? What's poonack?