Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Since We Couldn't Raku, I Underglazed

My clay students' raku firing was cancelled this weekend due to a burn ban that was in place because of the stagnant air in the valley. This gave me an unexpected five or six free hours, which I used to good advantage, finishing up some underglaze application on several pieces in my studio. 

I was stuck on this piece for a while. I think the green inside the red will make me happy.
I used the actual time I would have been raku firing to rest and read, but later I got myself into the clay studio while the rest of the family was away. I was happy to discover that the heater in my studio turned right on and I didn't have to go through the rigamarole of relighting the pilot before I could get to work. I did have to wait a few minutes so my hands wouldn't freeze.

Small guys with about four underglaze colors each.
I finished up most of the small, loose pieces that needed their last coat of underglaze wiped away or needed a touch up of color. Most of the work I made this summer is now ready for a spray of clear glaze over the underglaze layers and then it can be fired.

The kid's owl with custom mixed grey.
On Sunday my daughter joined me in the studio for a while and put glaze on some pieces she had made during the summer (or before). The older she gets the more fun she is as an under glazing companion because I don't have to open all the jars for her and fish the chunky glaze coated brushes out of the jars for her.

Grey underglaze painted on the red base.
She mixed more grey than she needed for her owl, so I used the rest as my second glaze layer background on one of my base pieces. It worked out well. I needed a color to relate to the black on the already made top section, but black seemed like it would stain the red base color too dark. 

Wiping away grey underglaze.
After wiping away the grey underglaze from the red fired underglaze on the base, I am happy with the color. I still need to add some extra color or colors to the blue gear sprigs. Hopefully I will have a chance on Wednesday, since we don't have classes at YVCC that day.

Grey underglaze highlighting the textured surface of the red base.
I can finally see the light at the end of the horribly long and dull tunnel that I call applying underglaze. Spraying on the clear glaze should be fairly quick once all the pieces are ready and then I can fire the work and start to attach the bike parts (hopefully I can remember which bike parts I planned to use on which pieces). I also need to get a new roll of detailing tape so I can finish preparing the rest of my mugs for glazing. With any luck, my summer work will be fired before 2014 ends.

Mugs and other pieces waiting to be finished.

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