Thursday, May 17, 2012

Better This Week

I had netball practice again on Tuesday night and, miraculously, I was not a bit sore on Wednesday morning.  I had already planned to take Wednesday as a rest day from running but I could have easily run if I wanted to.  Instead, I slept in (until 5.15 am) and took Sonder for a long walk after the kids went off to school.  The mornings have been cooler here (about 80 degrees) but it has rained overnight the last few days so the humidity is almost at 100% when I run.  Everything is very green and even more trees and bushes are flowering.  I guess, technically, it is still Spring even though it is as hot as can be.  The streets are quite colorful so I took some photos when I was out with Sonder.
Say Jon and the rest of the babies in his house are still under quarantine so I won't be going to see him this week.  I can only imagine how long it takes for pink eye (or any sickness for that matter) to run its course through a place like that.  

Last night was the second to last session of my ceramics class.  I glazed my wrapped vase and selected the glazes that I will use next week for my small and large plates.  I wish I could remember what colors I used to glaze the vase but my mind is totally blank right now! I went back and forth of so many different color combinations that I can't remember what I finally chose.  I guess I will have to wait until after it is fired next week.  I really liked this class and hope that the instructor offers some variation of it in the Fall session.  It was very calming to roll out the clay, form/stamp the piece and go through the process of firing & glazing to end up with a very pretty and practical piece to take home.  

A small plate that I had glazed a few weeks ago went through its second firing over the weekend and was ready for me to take home.  I experimented and used two colors of glaze on this piece - "copper pantina" for the base coat and "lustrous copper" for the top coat.  While it looks very nice, it turned out much greener than I planned but that was definitely due to user error.  My first mistake was that I applied the top coat of lustrous copper too thickly - you can see in the photos below where it "pooled" in some places on the plate during the firing.  I also didn't stamp enough pattern  on the plate so the gold of the copper pantina did not shine through on the texture as much as I wanted it to.   
I hope my analysis of my mistakes is accurate because I am going to use this same color combination on my large plate next week.  I stamped that piece pretty well and if I do not apply the top coat too thickly, maybe more of the gold will shine through the green.  We shall see.  I talk like I know what exactly I am doing but the reality is that you just don't know what you are going to find when you open the kiln door - the temperature of the kiln, the number of pieces in the kiln, the spacing and location of the pieces in the kiln... all play a part in how the glaze fires.  Even the instructor has pieces that are glazed and fired and look entirely different than what she expected.  

Have a great Thursday!

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