Thursday, August 27, 2009

My love hate relationship with chemistry

Knowing a little glaze chemistry when you make all your own glazes is a necessary evil. On the one hand I love tweeking things a bit to get different effects. It appeals to my inner mad scientist. On the other hand there is that sense of loss, and the mourning that comes with it, when you've sacrificed another piece to the kiln god.

This glaze on these beads is my favourite. I could quite happily use it on just about every porcelain piece I make. But then that would be just plain boring. This is the colour I want on the insides of some of the barnacle pots. It would be just about perfect.

This is what happens when you put that same glaze on the stoneware the barnacle pots are made from. Bleck, yuck, .... expletives, profanity. It is just not anywhere close. I've tried all sorts of things to correct this problem and get that beautiful glaze that is on the porcelain pieces.

And voila! The light bulb in my head brightened momentarily. That's the light bulb that is mostly on the lowest dimmer setting. Months of fiddling and it was just a matter of layering one glaze over another. Now I just want to put this on everything. I'm thinking I need a glaze intervention.

This pot was in my last kiln firing. It has taken me a few days to decide that this will do. Well it sort of has to given that I've got a lot to do before studio tour. Now I just have to fix up the white breaking rust glaze on the rim of the pot. But I actually have an idea and a plan. Crisis mode makes my mind sharper. Or maybe I just am willing to compromise more.
Oh and have I told you about my love hate relationship with white backgrounds? Another time perhaps.

On another note entirely, I am absolutely overwhelmed with all of your very warm and kind comments on my last blog post. You are indeed a generous lot and I truly value your company here in blogland.

Hugs to all!


mairedodd said...

this post is awesome leann! while i am sorry that you had such a struggle with the glaze, the sense of accomplishment when you got it just right must have felt so terrific! i think you are right about crisis mode - you function on a higher level... and there is no way your light bulb is on the lowest dimmer switch, nice try though! :o) the kiln gods do need sacrifices to stay happy - i am finding that the copper gods do too... these are looking great!

The Joy of Nesting said...


There is nothing like the "rush" you get when the light bulb snaps on!! :) Your pots are just too incredible for words!! They must be so amazing in person. Even in the blog pictures the barnecles look real and the glaze gives them such a sensuous appearence!! All I want to do is to run my hands over them, not only to see their beauty but to feel it. How gifted you are!!

Pattie ;)

sharon said...

LeAnn, I can honestly say I have never seen anything you did that I didn't like! I love every picture here.....I really adooore the dragonfly dish, it's soo earthy!!
Anyway, your just the best....every single time...and I think all your glazes rock!!

Katie said...

I have to agree with Sharon - I like the dragonfly dish - I think the earthiness of the glaze is neat. I love your work so much, and I think the earthy glaze is a nifty break from all of the blues that you (and the rest of us) love.

It kinda gives them an antiquey or retro kinda feel...I remember all of my parents dishes from back in the day being kinda earthy colors...Yeah, I really dig the dragonflies :o)

The other one is beautiful, too :o) I think the lighter color suits the barnacles better - like the ocean on a sunny day...

SummersStudio said...

Maire, I think in fact that it is the process rather than the end result that keeps me motivated. Good luck with copper. Copper is in most of my glazes.

Pattie, that is just so fantastic that you find the pots tactile. That's what they are about for me. I'm amazed that that comes across in photos. Thank you!

Sharon and Katie, that colour on the dragonflies kind of comes and goes with me. Occasionally, I like it mostly I don't. But I'm glad someone does!

stregata said...

You might be surprised, but I love the way the dragonfly dishes look, too! But the barnacle dish is just incredible - sun bleached barnacles surrounding a serene pool of blue - just gorgeous!!
You are so very talented and I sort of hope you are definitely not on your lowest dimmer - because if you are, we will all be blinded by your work, when you turn on the light!
Have an incredible day, dear LeAnn!

Drawn to The Sea said...

no, no, no!
must not look!
must run away fast,
& protect my pocketbook!

Just kidding, of course, you know I love your work... am saving the pendants until MY light bulb goes off. Meanwhile, I'm just enjoying the look & feel of them.


Narrative jewelry said...

Leann, these pieces are pure beauties. Love the dragonfly and the patterns around. And of course, the pot with barnacle, just an incredible work !


LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

LeAnn, it's funny, when I saw the photos I thought it was the dragonfly glaze results you were seeking. Because to me, the barnacles would naturally have that mossy, lovely earthy organic color! I love those pots!

SummersStudio said...

Renate, that pot strangely came out close to what I was after, which is pretty much what you described.

Julia, just look away. I'd love to see what you do with the other pieces.

Lynn and Narrative, I may have to work a bit more with that glaze straight onto the stoneware. I think sometimes I have blinders on when I have a vision and that vision doen't pan out.

Thanks, all!

lunedreams said...

I actually like that nondescript putty color on your dragonfly pieces...I think it looks cool!! I have a thing for blech.

SummersStudio said...

Thanks Lune! I'm reconsidering how that glaze might get used.