Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Glazing is my pottery nemesis, though not an original one. I craft each piece with such deliberate care, then have to do the quick dip & melt, which involve factors out of my control. Admission: not in my control. Some potters may have more, but I'm part-time enough that my glaze consistency changes between firings & use a kiln that isn't my own and often temperamental. Oh, and I'm just plain inexperienced at doing my own firing. I know that this is part of the miracle of pottery, part of what makes a beautiful piece more valuable: a bit of dust here or an uneven wall could have ruined it, just the right thickness and kiln heat produced that lovely swirl of color. Still, when I'm making a custom piece, or have a just-so vision, I am just plain disappointed. I had hoped to make two of each custom piece ordered, but I ended up with just too many. Which is good! But I may need to redo a couple this way. That pink glaze!

I unloaded the kiln this morning and I am more or less pleased. My pink glaze crawled on most of the pieces, a couple of bunnies wandered off (better grass on the right side of the mug?), & everything got too hot, but there were no explosions and no mysterious chunks. I walked to pick up the girls and for my fall festival volunteer work meetings, so have to go back with the car and boxes to pack them up tonight, but I did take photos of each shelf as I unloaded. The lighting wasn't the best, but I think it's interesting to see how the glazes change from chalky to bright gloss. I fire at little lower temperature to get more pastel shades than are available for cone 10 high-fired pottery, but I think I want them paler still. The kiln is firing too hot (cone 6 officially, but even my 7 cone was totally melted & flopped), so needs recalibrating, so I think I'll ready some new glazes to test during those runs.

The same shelf as the photo in the last post:And another (higher, so less kiln-shadow):Some I really loved (owl!, penguin!), so they'll probably get their little spotlight here as well as in the shop. You'll be able to see most of the others in the shop, starting tomorrow when I have good light for photos.


sallyavena said...

Are these all going to be available at the shop? And how do you do custom orders? I'm thinking surprise mugs waiting at the table, filled with hot chocolate Christmas morning...wait! at the bottom is my favorite animal, what a wonderful surprise! You'll have to fill me in on your magic.

vfg said...

about half are already claimed, the rest will make their way into the shop over the next couple of weeks (I spread it out to get more search engine time & because it takes forever & I'm **BUSY**).

You know I'll make you some mugs, sally. e-mail me.

oh, and come pick them up in person at Christmas time!....(we're Cleveland-bound for Thanksgiving, but staying in PA for Christmas).

sallyavena said...

How long are you guys in Cleveland for? We are trying to figure out our vacation time. Phil only gets 2 weeks off the whole year plus 5 dyas over Christmas/New Year. Lucky for us his 2 weeks fall over Thanksgiving and the kids have the entire week off. Unlucky for us his 5 days fall over New Years so we aren't going anywhere for fact he gets home at 8am that morning. Ah, the joys. As for some mugs, I'll have to think about what I want. You're pictures make me wanting some though.

vfg said...

No permanent plans yet--adjusting for you is a priority! I'll e-mail you.