The Case of the Nude Log

by Lisa 

     I am just a tad upset about something. It involves the difference between painting canvases, and painting pottery. As you all know, those of you who read us often, I have a new found interest in ceramic pottery and I am taking a class to learn how to throw pots. My main goal with this is to create pots that I will then use in my still lifes. Of course, with any beginning class one has to learn the basics, and we have to hand build many projects to learn about the clay and so forth, and if you recall, you devoted readers, I created my “self portrait” pot as a nude to imitate what I do as a painter (see posts September 9, and 29).  After working hard to get it glazed, I was told that the kiln Nazi would reject it because it was a planter. As it turned out, she did not reject it, and went ahead and fired it probably because I had made a concerted effort to wipe most of the glaze out of it (now she is the kiln Goddess).

     I walked into class last Friday, and the teacher informed me that my piece was sitting on the shelf outside having been fired. I couldn’t WAIT to see it. I had glazed it a color called moonglow that turns blue with speckles of gold and brown. I had seen other pieces glazed with it, and thought it looked like something the Hubble had photographed–beautiful starbursts of color that look impossible to create on purpose.

     Which leads me to the very thing I am a tad upset about. Indeed, you canNOT create it on purpose. You cannot count on it to turn blue. You don’t know what you’re going to get. Oxidation in the kiln can drastically affect it. A glaze can look green in the ol bucket, and comes out red–ish. Lots of factors working against you. You slap the glaze on those suckers, hope for the best, and stand at the door of the kiln with baited breath not knowing what will emerge from the depths of the inferno. As it turns out, my nude is not beautiful blue speckles of starburst colors. Oh, on the inside of my planter, where the dirt goes it IS, but on the outside it is merely brown. Poop brown, and when I brought it home and stuck it in my flower garden and stood back and looked at it, it no longer looked like a nude. It looks like a log. A shiny log. I can hear it now. Gee, Lisa that’s a nice stump you created in pottery class.

     I’m mad at glazes now. I think I’ll stick to oil painting.

     I will be leaving for a week to go back “home” — Nashville, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Bill will be regaling you all week. Please keep him in line with your comments. 

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One Response to The Case of the Nude Log

  1. wrjones says:

    I feel your pain. I too have known the bitter taste of failure. Take, for example, my cow/rocks piece.

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