Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 3: A Potter's Journey

This is day #3 of the pottery image project into which John Tilton nominated me -- the posting of 3 images of (my) pottery for each of the next five days.

Yesterday I posted naked pots and mentioned that I like decorating with texture -- carving, slip, stamping, etc. That meant that some time ago I had to find or develop glazes that accentuated that texture.

Back then I was once set up next to a fellow who did bronze sculpture. I found myself wishing I could achieve something of that verdigris appearance in a glaze. That would solve the problem of how to make textures stand out AND maintain the appearance of "natural" surfaces I'm always striving toward.

I did lots of testing of barium glazes in my quest, thinking that they were the ones that seemed closest to what I was after. Truth is, though, I really didn't want to think of the problems inherent in producing functional pottery with barium glazes. Besides, in all of my testing, the barium glazes yielded a yellow over the textures. That wasn't what I was after.

Then I stumbled upon a glaze that lots of potters were using as a turquoise. It broke to a nice white over texture, didn't contain barium, and added a pleasing dimpled texture to un-carved surfaces. With a bit of tweaking of the chemistry to make the surface a little more "buttery" and the color more in line with what I had in mind, I came up with this.

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