Sunday, March 9, 2014
Latex and Lace
Just because I haven't been firing my kiln, does not mean I haven't been firing any work. I do also teach classes at Portland Pottery, and so typically have a few pieces in each of their firings. They have two gas kilns, and fire about once a week. Because some of my classes are at night, I often have the honor of shepherding the kiln through the latter stages of the firing. Usually the pieces I fire there are class demos, and as such not necessarily my best efforts, but every so once in a while I put one in that I have high hopes for.
In the kiln we fired on Thursday was such a one. It was a square plate made in a sling mold, which itself was made out of the square pottery boxes in which my clay from Laguna comes. These boxes are 12 inches on a side, fitting an 11" slab, which shrinks nicely to a diner plate size. This slab was cut with a stretched spring, creating an undulating surface.
It sort of kicked around my studio for awhile, one of those too-good-to-throw-away, not-sure-what-to-do-with pots, until I decided to bring it back to class to demonstrate the use of latex resist. This piece has two dipped layers of glaze - iron-saturate and celadon - with curlique resist patterns between them. I thought it was done, but then, as sometimes happens, a spontaneous demonstration broke out when I found a spritz bottle and an old bit of lace in my bag o' tricks. I filled the sprayer with watered-down cobalt glaze, then laid the lace over the piece and sprayed through it.
There's a bit lore among potters that if a piece looks too good going into the kiln, you won't like it when it comes out. If so, this one is doomed. But it seems to me that it stands a better chance than if it looks like shit going in, 'cause it ain't gonna get better! Anyway, I'll find out on Monday, when this kiln is unloaded.