Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Tumbling Triangles" Porcelain Lidded Vase

This is a picture of me placing one of the last pots to be fired in the kiln.  We glazed most of the first week of September and fired on Monday the 10th.  By Wednesday the kiln was cool enough to open and the next picture shows how the pots looked after a cone 10 firing.  Cone 10 means reaching 2350 degrees.

Opening a kiln is a little like Christmas morning.  It's exciting because you never know what you're going to get.  Some things will be wonderful and a few things will not make it.  There is a high loss rate with porcelain because it can change shape, shrink, slump or the glaze can run too much and pool on the shelves.  But the translucency of the clay body and the luscious tints of the celadon glazes make it all worth it.  

This is one of my finished pieces from this firing.  It is glazed with a celadon, a gorgeous yet subtle shade of apple green.  The color shapes were added on after the vase was thrown on the wheel. It was carefully dried, then sanded, and bisque fired to make it strong enough to withstand the glazing.  To explain further how I did the color shapes, I paint a separate sheet of thin clay with colored slips in an abstract expressionist manner and then cut shapes from that sheet to design and apply patterns on the vases.  The beauty of painting in oils and making pottery as well is that the oil painting has made my approach to the slip work more layed, thicker, and painterly. The handle on the lid was handbuilt using the nerikomi method of pressing color shapes into a small sheet of clay and then rolling it into the desired shape.  I like to call this pattern "Tumbling Triangles".