Friday, February 18, 2011

wee porcelain

I still retain a little-girl's wonder at the marble-cool hard surface of fired porcelain. Every time I get new work from a glaze firing, I click my fingernails against the surface, or tap two pieces together--I love the vitreous ring. It's a glory and a marvel to me that the softest clay I work with, that will "sand" with just a soft fingertip when dry greenware, turns the glassiest and hardest of all.

Although it shows crisp detail and can be thrown very thin, I think porcelain is more difficult to work with on a tiny scale; it dries quickly and surface cracks as I work, and the fine particles just sort of smear. I leave smudgy fingerprints everywhere. Still, it's crazy rewarding. Although they didn't sell, I was crazy in love with the wee mice I made in December (eight on a quarter!).

I've had gnomes on the mind. Inspired by spring and little dear tracks and Gnomeo and Juliet, as before mentioned, I believe....

I twisted a handful of gnome-esque shapes from porcelain, and glazed a few to throw in with the university class' firing last week. I wasn't sure how the glazes would hold/flow, so tried (1) cap only, (2) cap & beard, and (3) cap, beard, eyes, & robe. And a hedgehog. I love the eyes. I think I might skip the robe, leaving that gorgeous raw porcelain for the base. It happily allows for a larger margin of error for glaze flow, too; that little sweetie with bright eyes stuck a bit to the shelf. The most excellent effect is the fleshtone face that magically appeared: just a bit of the surrounding glaze went gaseous and redeposited. I've seen the effect along the glaze margins of other pots, and it is so so perfect here. Fingers crossed for repeats!

(and I'm off to work a few more figures before bed...grinning in anticipation...)


Amanda said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the little gnomes! Oh my goodness, how dear!!!

Mindy said...

I love these so much! And I love how you took your others around the neighborhood to look for spring.