Friday, April 24, 2015

Moving Forwards, Glazing Backwards?

Glazing. So much glazing to do... 

I do like to get all things organized first... 
I have been doing so much of it lately... my first large festival of the year is in a week and there's a new Ceramic Art Bead Market (auction site) on Fb that is taking off. I have new work to glaze and get out there, and i have old favorites to restock and replenish. My pieces are very detailed, a bit narrative, and completely mythic/nature inspired. Let me give you a glimpse into the glazing routine that draws on my painting background. (Back in the art school days before clay found me...)
Highlights and lowlights, Fins and ombre shading. 
I work most often with a combination of "low-fire" glazes and underglazes. I like the way I can mix and paint with the underglazes, layering, blending and the like. In the mermaids above you can see three tones in each hair color, and the type of color variations I use on the tails. But then that is all covered by 2-3 coats of a transparent turquoise glaze (below) This does allow the color variations painted in underglazes to show through, and gives an underwater appearance. Many layers? Yes. An investment in time? Yes. But I think its worth it. Tiny paintbrushes? Yes! 
Some of these tiny dears are looking a little worse for wear.
With a new crow design I am working on this year - I had to drastically change my approach. I did a series of these at a fellow artists request. I wanted to capture the iridescence of the crow's feathers, and so painted them in black underglaze, thin like a watercolor wash, and then applied blue and purple highlights. No good. I have approached these now in a backwards fashion... Here's what I mean: 
Backgrounds glazed, then first payers of underglaze. 
Three colors on each berry. 
adding one more color, then the black. 
I begin by glazing the background and the pendants reverse side in low fire glazes, three coats of course. Then I begin the details. First a bright cobalt, then a purple. The berry has shadow and highlight, each in a simple brushstroke accent. Then one more color, a teal and I add the black. They are each a bit different, but consistent. Of course now - after I finish writing this, all the areas so painstakingly painted in underglaze have to be glazed over with 2-3 layers of clear gloss! 
seals, crows, hares awaiting clear glaze... 
The kiln is loaded from yesterday's marathon glazing session, just waiting for these beauties on the top later. Let me refill the coffee and go crack open that jar of clear! I'd love to hear what you think of these new demanding colorful corvids...


  1. Thanks for sharing your talents! So COOL!

  2. It was interesting to read about your use of underglazes. The seal in the last picture delights me!

  3. I knew you put a lot of time in to your glazing, but had no idea it involved so many layers. They're worth it though, the end result is always stunning :)

  4. They are all really amazing! I love the new crow, and the mermaid, and the bunny, and the seal, and....❤️

  5. I loved the peek behind the scenes in your glazing process. Wonderful results. The hares are wonderful. The seal is adorable (did you know I used to study sea lions in Alaska?). And those crows. Amazing. Can't wait to see what they look like all shined up.

  6. Just beautiful! Thank you for showing your detailed process. Can't wait to see how they turn out!


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