Over the course of several weeks, I applied the bottom layers of underglaze for a set of six pod shapes. I fired three of the pods to cone 06 and three to cone 04, which is a bit hotter.
The turquoise and red underglazes are darker in the cone 04 firing, because of the firing temperature.
Now that the first colors have been fired, they no longer wash away when wiped with a sponge. At this point I was able to add the contrasting colors over the top of the red, turquoise and purple.
I began by painting bright yellow onto the turquoise textured background. I tried to avoid getting the yellow on the red, with varying levels of success based on how long I had been sitting in the studio and how bored I was of the process.
|close up of yellow underglaze highlighting turquoise texture|
Once the yellow was dry, I gently wiped away it away with a wet sponge. The yellow remained in many of the holes, but was washed away from the raised areas, revealing the turquoise color underneath. In this case, the yellow wiped away somewhat irregularly, both because the texture is irregular and because it is difficult to use even pressure with the sponge in the cramped areas between sprigs.
|wiping yellow underglaze|
The results vary now because of the temperature to which the six pods were fired, as well as because the slightly different shapes and spacings left the yellow more visible in some areas and on some pods than on others.
|yellow layer complete|
Next I applied dark blue onto the red sprigs, carefully avoiding the yellow and turquoise background.
|blue underglaze applied|
The process took a long time and to save my aching back and to make myself feel better, I moved to the couch for some of the blue application. There the cat kept me company.
|applying blue underglaze with my helper|
At one point, a friend stopped by. I kept applying blue while I talked with her. As she was about to leave, I took the now-blue pod into the other room and brought back a pod with red sprigs as yet uncovered. At first, she thought it was the same pod and the color had changed that quickly.
|blue underglaze, wiped blue underglaze and raw red underglaze on three sections of one pod|
Alas, I had to be the one to change the color. Once all the blue was dry, I grabbed a sponge and wiped away the blue in the same manner as the yellow, leaving the deep spaces of the sprig blue and the raised sections red.
|close up view of wiped blue underglaze texture|
I also added green to the purple interior/ends and wiped it away in the same fashion.
|green and purple ends|
The plan is to add a clear gloss glaze to all six pods and attach them to a rod once they have been fired. The group of pods will be raised up from a planter rather than laying on their sides as they are in my studio and in the kiln.
|clearly the cat feels affection for my work|