Tuesday, May 01, 2012

How time flies!

I can hardly believe that I am halfway through my eighth and last week at Penland.  Boo hoo!  I have made far too few posts while I have been hard at work.  Yesterday and today were the hardest, busiest, most challenging and yet most rewarding days here.  We have been loading, firing and reloading kilns back to back to get everyone's work finished and out on time.  This piece was one of the first pieces I made when I got here. I am just now getting around to taking photos of my work and there will be a bunch more when kilns get unloaded tomorrow.

With both of these jars I used a technique called sgraffito which means to scratch or carve through.  I applied black underglaze to the surface and then when it was leather hard, like hard cheese, I carved through the black to white clay underneath to create the designs.  The first jar was glazed with a clear, transparent glaze.  With this second piece we had the transparent glaze colored with a bunch of different oxides and stains so I glazed each individual section with a different color.  Indeed, it was laborious but worth the effect.

We have had two wonderful core students in our class, Molly Kite Spadone and Rachel K. Garceau. Rachel mixed up a new clear that was supposed to fit Helios porcelain at cone 6 so I was very eager to try it out.  I glazed up this tumbler and put it into her small test firing last night.  Tiny kilns are wonderful in that they fire fast and cool fast.  I was able to pull this piece hot out of the kiln although I had to carry it around with my t-shirt while I admired it and showed off.  I promptly glazed up a bunch of other pieces with it.  Actually, I trusted Rachel's experience with this glaze so I didn't wait for the piece to come out.  I actually was in the studio at 6:30 am to unload kilns and get started on some glazing before the class showed up.

Speaking of our core students, Molly and Rachel are both in the Containment III show at Crimson Laurel Gallery.

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