I read A LOT of blogs and I have noticed that the Chuck Close inspiration quote is still making the rounds. I went and found the interview and read the whole thing, trying to accept his idea about amateurs and inspiration, blah blah, still don't agree with him. I LOVE inspiration!! Here is a perfect example. I saw this photo in the new Anthropologie catalog and thought it would make a great little clay sculpture. So one day when I had nothing else to do (HA!) I sat and made one. He is below, the lone sheep survivor from the Raku. His legs are screws, thanks to the Colorado blogger for that idea from her kid's classes. So just call me an amatuer, I don't care!
I re fired a bunch of ornaments and bowls yesterday, ornaments made it, bowls not so lucky, the bottoms fell off, just the trimmed foot part, weirdest thing, I have never seen that before.
I don't know what is going on with my firings. The first day of the Raku workshop all went well. Second day the same glazes that melted fine, did not melt as well. The glazes are not melting at all now. Example: my simple tried and true Gerstely Borate/Neph Sy base does not melt on the first fire, but if I re fire it melts. I use this base as a white or I add mason stains for colors and it has never failed me. One of the workshop participants had a bowl explode the first day, so I thought maybe some of the debris was affecting the burners. Yesterday, I took the shelves out, blew out all the debris, blew out the burners, didn't help. My thermocouple also got bent during the workshop and I'm wondering if the temp is not regestering correctly. If the glazes had not melted on the first day of the workshop, I would think that maybe it was the chemicals in the glaze, but now my only conclusion is that maybe the pyrometer is wrong thanks to a bent thermocouple. It's really frustrating to lose so much work, but luckily I was able to salvage a good bit. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Maybe I shouldn't use my kiln for workshops?!
I have a bunch of ornaments now, I have tortured myself making these stars, they really are nice, but so much work and I can't charge $100 for them, now can I!? I did go up on the price since this last firing however, so if you got them at the old price of $15 you got a deal, because they are now $24, still a bargain for all I have gone through to get them to this stage. I would go up to $30 on them, and if I make them next year, they probably will be at that price. Such a pain in the ass! Every year I say I won't make anymore, but they are so pretty for the holidays.
Here was my simpler solution to the stars, although a bunch of them fried in the Raku fire. I sat them on a hard brick to fire, big mistake, they are too thin and the brick was too hot, when they came out they were charded badly. I re fired them though and they came out fine. If there is a hard way to do something you know I'm going to go down that road! I shot this photo in the worst possible morning flat light, they are really much nicer in person and will be a good price for those craft show folks that can't spend a lot, but want a little something to take home. I'll try to shoot some nicer pics of the ornaments when I'm not so bleary. It's been a long week! I'm doing a wood firing with Susan Wells this weekend, so this is the last post until Monday. Happy weekend everyone!