I’ve been practicing throwing repeat forms that I can use as glaze tests. These are also to explore what I mentioned in the previous post about the material agency of clay and the way it responds to hand movements and the wheel. I’ve deliberately tried to throw them as thin as possible and keep turning to a minimum to retain the throwing lines because I like how raw and fluid they are. I feel turning a pot ‘to death’ loses that spontaneity and immediacy. These were intended to be Adam Buick-like moon jars but look more like little beehives. Hopefully the ridges on the surface will cause the glazes to pool and display their effects with different thicknesses of application.
Wandering along Pencarnan beach in sunny Pembrokeshire this afternoon I discovered these fascinating textures – limpets and barnacles cluster together in creases of rock like frightened sheep and pits and hollows like pockmarks carved into stone by the waves remind me of Wendy Lawrence’s expressive surfaces.
These organic forms have got me thinking of additives that will leave texture in clay – pressing seeds and pulses or nuts into the material that will burn out and leave hollows… I wish I’d brought some clay with me to press into these rocks.
Here I’ve tested to see what effects can be had when layering slips and glazes onto ash white stoneware.
- White slip with turquoise glaze on top produces crazing in straight lines underneath a patchy shiny green.
- Reversing the above with the white slip on top creates a dry, textured matte surface which doesn’t flake or peel.
- My favourite – yellow/green glaze with blue slip painted on top forms islands of matte dark blue over a shiny surface with a very painterly effect. I like this rough, uneven texture which might look exciting on a large scale.
- The same as 3 but with turquoise glaze on top – this looks like a painted landscape with lots of variations of blue and hundreds of tiny bubbles encased in the surface.
I expected the slips to run off the surface when fired but the addition of glaze works to stick the raw and bisque fired clays together.