Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Challenge
As I was setting up at the Avenues Street Fair, a woman who was jogging by stopped to take a look. She said something to me that I've been thinking about since. She said, "There is a lot of clay out there, but yours is different."
I asked, "Oh, are you a potter?"
"I'm firing up my gas kiln this afternoon,” she said as she jogged away.
Although I do make some functional ware, my emphasis since starting on my own has been making forms and surfaces that were interesting to me. Since my brief meeting with this woman (whose name I didn't even have time to ask) I've been pondering how I can continue to differentiate my work from the mass of pottery being created today. How can I keep my work original and fresh? The woman's quick comment was both a complement, and an enormous challenge. I truly hope that I can live up to it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cobalt in Saggar Firings
I was very excited by the results of last week's saggar firing. I have tried cobalt in saggars before and never got more than blushes of periwinkle. This week, I was surprised with full-blown deep blues, as well as vibrant pinks.

Here is what I did to get these results:

-First, each pot was painted with a wash of cobalt carbonate mixed with water.

-The pots were wrapped in newspaper bundles filled with hay and a lot of miracle grow (about 1 Tbs. per pot)

-The bundles were placed in clay saggars with rock salt sprinkled liberally around them.

-The kiln was fired to 1600 degrees in about 3 hours.