Friday, February 5, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

THE GOOD -So I've been experimenting in the wild world of firing and glazing ceramics.  I've mostly had experience in the sculpting phase so this is uncharted territory.  I've had a few pieces so far that I'm quite pleased with, and I've come up with some techniques that I like.  Most of the pieces in the above pic are pretty much exactly what I was going for...color wise and also the finish is pretty. 

THE BAD-This is what happened when I tried my hand at raku firing.  I'm still in the trouble shooting phase obviously.  I was kind of heartbroken over this because a few of them looked very nice....until their heads cracked off.  I'm beginning to wish I had bought the raku clay after all but at the time I wasn't planning larger sculptures.  I was reading on a raku site where it recommended underfired stoneware clay...which I have about 80 lbs I might see how it holds up to the thermal shock.  I also learned that mostly I'm not painting on my glaze nearly thick enough.  The thicker ones came out better.  Also so far spanish moss produces a nicer effect than pine hamster bedding.  I think I'll try newspaper next time though. 

THE UGLY--Structurally they are sound, yet the colors are pretty ghastly.  Some are from my first raku firing attempt  where I did not use a thick enough application of glaze.  I don't like the color of green on this bird and the other bird is not THAT bad, just rather dark so it's hard to see the detail.  These are the "what not to do beads". 

I've actually managed to have some jewelry quality beads though so that's not bad for just starting out.  My first lampworked beads were very grim so I need to remember that when I'm feeling disheartened.

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