Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

September came and went and between keeping up with my teaching job and my priorities of family and fatherhood, I somehow managed to put together a large load of pots and fire them this past weekend.  Besides producing 24 bonsai containers, I also tested some 30 or so glazes and measured, recorded and fired them for specific gravity. For those non-potter folk, specific gravity is a measurement ratio of water in a glaze, and its solid components. For kicks I decided to test my new cone 9 and 10 glazes in this firing of a hard cone 7.  I knew that most of these from the test batch were not going to end up on my pots at the lowered temperature, but I wanted to see how they turned out. Believe it or not, one of the glazes actually looks better at the lower temp.

The pot below is glazed with Varigated Slate Blue, fired to a hard cone 7, with 8 at the 3 o'clock position. Cooled VERY SLOWLY, it provides a lovely, satiny finish that in my opinion, serves the form  well...

I also experimented with some expressionistic elements. Being a fan of abstract expressionist painting and sculpture, I started to look for inspiration. In ceramics I looked up some of the works by Paul Soldner, Peter Volkous, and Don Reitz.  These guys are well known for being true champions of experimentation and improvisation. In this pot you can see some playfulness.

Oh, I know it may be a stretch for some to see a tree in this pot, but it is still one of my latest favs...
Who knows, perhaps it will one day hold a literati style pine with great gnarly texture to match? 

I enjoy both of these different styles, and in fact I really enjoy both of them together. Perhaps I should do some more work developing both opposite styles.

 Any comments?

Check out this technique!