Sunday, December 27, 2015

Compass Rose

 Start with the end and begin with the beginning...

 This was another collaborative project with ceramic artist, Jessica Fong.

 The spark for this short series was a Japanese quilter, Yoko Saito. My son found one of her books at a garage sale and brought it home to share. I dove in, totally blown away by what I saw. After our trip back home to Iowa in August, I've been wanting to use quilting design sensibilities as a touch stone.  


Trying to keep it simple. 
    Letting the clay and the slips peek through the glaze. (Cone 5 Laguna speckled buff, tile 6 slip, and a White BP Liner)  

  Now it's time to find my direction again.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Shadows in the Sky

Bare Bodies are what's going to be happen'n tomorrow.

Touch me Sweetly!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Playing With My Rooster and the FireFlies

I've been holding out more than usual this year on sharing what's happening.
It's been a busy year.
A very busy year.
 I've been learning to live a life outside the isolated world of my studio.
It's been a year of learning to cook, (I mean really getting into it.) Going out on dates. (Yep) Learning to laugh at funny things even if they aren't appropriate. Enjoying treasure hunting for nice cloths. Finding and listening to new music. Having great sex. (Very, very important.) And most importantly... Allowing myself to fall in love with the world around me.

 But I have to stand still and think about it to see how busy it's actually been. It's been a wonderful blurr. When the diary is kept up to date, the activity is up front and visible. When it's not kept up, so much disappears into the fog.
That's one of the reasons I was keeping this diary. There are times I need to see what's happened.

This post is starting mid-way to where it was meant to be going.

 The rooster project has been a "someday" project for a few years. The original intent was to explore using larger numbers of different paper stencils to build up a narrative. What I intended to illustrate was a "cock-fight", using it as a vehicle for a metaphor. (That one can be explained later.)

 Instead, a metaphor of a rooster chasing lightning bugs was what was developed. 
Admittedly, it's autobiographical.
Love is as elusive as a firefly. 
And to make it even more interesting... 


This fall, my firefly has been playing with me. 
It's a game. A collaboration game and we worked through two series together.
 Jess threw all the forms for this falls joint yunomi projects. Her hand cut foot rings just knock me out.
(Frigg'n gorgeous! Spoiled me absolutely rotten!). 
I drafted a new vocabulary of paper stencils and got busy learning how to make them work for the story I wanted to tell. 


Squeezed in a few canisters too once the layout of the design got worked out. 

 The first test went good. 
Pretty strait forward. An Aardvark cone 5 Texas White clay with a tile slip used with the stencils and a black 50/50 wash applied to the bisque. The new PB White Liner recipe was used for a glaze.
The result was "meh..."

The second test was to just let the slip and clay body do their thing unaided under the PB Liner glaze.. 
This I liked!

There was more testing done using different clay bodies and different slips. Some didn't work and some worked very well. 
(The results are separately posted.) 

But the reason that put this project in motion was getting work ready to head out to Scott Parady's new salt kiln in February.
Bare clay and salt... Mmmmmmmm!
So this thread ain't nearly done yet.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

PB (Plastic Bitrox) Liner for Cone 5 Cassius Clay

This little gem of a liner glaze is an absolutely amazing find for and anyone that's banging their head against the trials and tribulations of getting a handle on dealing with Aardvark Clay's Cassius Basaltic Cone 5 Clay.
It's no small feat.
The learning curve on just dealing with the clay body was a nightmare, but once that was figured out(ish), finding a glaze that would play well with this clay was even worse. Aardvark was up front and honest when I asked them about glazes that would work. They flatly stated that the blistering and pitting problems are a plague with this body. They did have a few in-house glazes that they could recommend, but other than that, they were receptive to any findings.


Personally, I like this lead.
It's from an archived post from 2011 by Aaron Britton.

All I can say up front is that it really works.
This glaze is different. It runs cone 4 to allegedly cone 14.

I'm going to let Aaron do the speaking on this one and have him give you the recipe.

"The liner glaze is a PB (Plastic Bitrox) Liner. This glaze works very well with this clay because the PB Liner is able to be fired with a range of cone 4 to cone 14. So if the cassius Basaltic clay still has gasses to be released, even after a longer bisque period, the PB Liner stays in a liquid / molten state for a longer time, giving the gasses from the clay time to escape without creating cratering in the glazing.

The PB Liner recipe with Percentage by Weight:
Colemanite (Gerstley Borate) 50%
Plastic Bitrox 50%
Zircopax 10%

To fill a 5 gallon bucket only 3 quarters full you would use
Colemanite (Gerstley Borate) 3000 grams
Plastic Bitrox 3000 grams
Zircopax 600 grams"

Trust me... this one is gold.

I did substitute Gerstley Borate for the Colemanite as a matter of convenience.

Thank You Aaron.
I owe you a round.