Tuesday, February 3

Out of the Fire

A magical transformation happens inside a kiln. A brittle piece of clay is subjected to thousands of degrees of heat; through a long, patient firing, the chemical composition of a ceramic piece actually changes and becomes a strong work of pottery. The most exciting part of working with ceramics is revealing the contents of a kiln.

A stack of work that begins looking like this,

emerges from the kiln looking like this.

This is when surprising effects of glaze combinations reveal themselves. Sometimes bright and speckled.

Lovely matte, butterscotch, yellow.
Revealing surface patterns, created by carving tools.
Heavy handed glazing results in pieces stuck to shelves.
 Near misses in over-glazing reveal themselves when the kiln door opens.
When the glaze is right, it effortlessly becomes one with the piece.
When the intended effect actually works, that is the most exciting of all.

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