Saturday, August 18, 2007


There’s the old Chinese wheeze - something about “Every problem has a gift in it’s hands” which I have always filed in the Mental Sour Grapes Junk Drawer, but recently that very thing happened to me. I made an 8-piece set of “Cat Plates” drawing the cats and the trim with black underglaze. They were porcelain and finished with a cone 6 clear glaze. In the final firing, the clear glaze reacted with the black underglaze in the banding resulting in a small area of a sort of wispy grey on the black. In another area, there was a tiny bit of black ‘creep’of fine lines into the white ground.

It didn’t bother me, but it did bother the lady who bought a whole set. A request was made to replace that particular plate, which I was glad to do. (I want my customers to be satisfied. Besides, the gallery that sells my work has a reputation to uphold as well.)

So, I tried to duplicate the plate. That didn’t work. Too many variables: Clay density, throwing variation, glaze and underglaze consistencies, my memory...... I usually do extras when I do a whole series of one thing, but you guessed it. This time I didn’t. Okay. Lesson learned.

I asked that the plate be returned to me in order to get it right. Previously, I had used an overglaze on clear-glazed ray guns that had been underglazed in bright colors. I thought I’d try using a black overglaze to correct the banding. I tested it first on a similar plate and not only did it work, but it worked seamlessly.

New revelation! It is extremely workable, it is also extremely tinker-able. I can erase what I don’t like quickly with a damp sponge or Q-tip. If it’s dried, I can alter or etch lines into solid areas using a needle tool. I can write script using a fine liner brush. There’s much to be explored here.


Sharm said...

Hi there,

You are chosen to represent your country in the first international blog
WUB (World United Bloggers)

The aim of this blog is to prove to the world that differences in language, religion,race and nationality do not make us hate each other and we can make this world better if we express our opinions with respect to others.

If you agree to join us please send e-mail with your nick name , age , country and your blog address to where you will be sent an activation mail which makes you entitled to contribute in WUB, your name as one of the contributor will automatically be updated.Please read the rules before you start any posting in WUB where you will also find the aims of this WUB.

Chief WUB,

Sharm .

clayartist said...

Thanks so much for the offer. Having been lucky enough to live in many countries, I know that people are people no matter where you go--we all have many of the same things happening in our lives and share more in common than we have differences.

At the moment, I seem to have my hands full and hardly get to adding to this blog. But thanks for the thought anyway. It is a very good idea to join people in the common good.

I wish you well in your efforts.