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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Risky business


I'm working on some new raku glazes. I fired again today and tested some ideas, it's all good! I feel so dialed in when I am Raku firing, it's like this is what I was meant to do or something. I know that Raku gets a bad rap from some potters, I don't really understand why, but it comes so naturally for me and it is a good fit with my personality. I have some new glazes that do some crazy stuff, metallic, dry stone, reds and yellows, so much!
I love my little white barns with the red and green roofs but I am really getting bored with them. I need more depth, more color, different color, I want them to look more deteriorated. I want to Raku them! But that's risky business for slab built work as I said in my earlier post.
This was a house that I wasn't all that happy with so I tested a new glaze on it and of course the roof popped off. The good news is that it came off in one piece so I was able to epoxy it back on. One trick I learned from Adrian Arleo, is to take the epoxy and mix in a little dry clay and the crack disappears. This house looks really great now. I love the texture of the glaze and the roof color is amazing. You just can't get the kind of depth I want in a glaze with anything but Raku or wood firing, and I don't have a wood kiln, so I think I'll just take the risk and glue the roofs back on.

I love this new glaze, it feels and looks like stone, much better than the terra sig I have been using.


I also love the amber color these dishes are picking up

and here is some more of that crazy copper matte that is supposed to be red. This got very little reduction, it's like a nebula or something!
It's so strange, when I save photos of pottery I would say that 90% of what I like is wood fired, brown pots. I love love love them. But when it comes to my own work I want color. But not just any color, I want to see depth of color, unusual color and some texture. I want color that raku gives me. It's like the painter in me is trying to get out and it's finding it's way in the fire.
I have been worried that my terra sig work and my raku work are competing, but today I put together all the things I have been making for the past few weeks, and it somehow works. It all looks like it belongs together in some strange way. After I get all of these shows behind me, I think the barns and houses are going to take a break and I am going to work on throwing some large vases. The new glazes I tested today have some great potential for large vases. When I left Penland I was throwing 12-15 lb. vases and I haven't made any since then. It's time.....

15 comments:

Linda Starr said...

Great colors; that's a handy tip putting clay in the epoxy, do you put in dry clay?

fre-art said...

I just love the passion which shines through in your words and your gorgeous works of art. You are a real inspiration to me and I look forward to many years of exploring the wonderful world of ceramics. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. cheers from Freda (another Raku fan)

Brian said...

Love the look of the roof, like an actual copper roof with patina.
If the roofs seem to want to pop off, why not make them removable from the beginning?

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Linda, yes the clay is dry, just a little mixed with the epoxy works like a charm. Hi Freda thanks for your kind words, and Brian, the roofs don't always fall off but if they do I get a better connection if I just glue them back on. You can't even tell. I have tried it both ways.

Judy Shreve said...

I've always loved your raku work! And just the way you describe the process makes me realize how much you love it -- and it shows! Really great colors in this firing!

Max said...

Excellent raku color. For work not being functional like your houses/barns raku captures the complexity of weathering and natural elements better than glaze. However the spirit of your work to me is the simplicity or abstraction of form, that should not be distracted in the coating of the shapes. Balance.

Shanners said...

When I took a few ceramics classes my favorite part was raku! I love the fact that it always seemed to be a surprise to what you got. You may expect one thing but get something else but that looks amazing. I love the way your houses have come out in the raku glazes. They are so pretty.

SUSAN WELLS said...

Love that amber tracey!!!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Judy, yeah I really do love Raku,hi Max I totally agree about the simplicity and abstraction, in fact I want them to be even more so, but I also want interesting surfaces, there is truly a fine line there, thanks for your observations I appreciate them, hey Shanners thanks how is the bouquet coming along? Hey Susan, yep the amber is really nice! Come see me in Hillsborough next weekend.

The Clay Chick said...

I love Raku! I live in an apartment so I don't get to do it very often, but I have done horsehair raku on my balcony (shh...don't tell!)
If you haven't already read it, check out Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques...my library had it and then I liked it so much I bought a copy. Great book, LOTS of step by step pictures...great ideas, too!

Tracey Broome said...

Yep, I have that book, very good info. Balcony raku, hmmmm.....

Michèle Hastings said...

15 pound vases... can't wait to see them! i struggle with large forms, i am never happy with their weight.
it seems potters either dislike raku or the become addicted... i am of the addicted persuasion!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Michele, I'll have to work back up to that 15 lbs. plus I had the inspiration of Penland in my favor and a great teacher coaching me! I'll get there though, if not I'll just coil build them!

jimgottuso said...

hi tracey, wow wow wow on that last bowl. the yellow/green/orange/black looks fantastic. wish i could something like that consistently... beautiful

Vicki Wenderlich said...

I think we appreciate in other people's work what we don't/can't/won't make in our own work. Maybe that's why you make works with color while appreciating the wood fired brown pots that other people make.

I would never make a barn, but that's why I love yours.

Have you ever tried pit firing in a trash can rather than raku? It might give you a good smoky crackle look without the cracking.. though cracking is sometimes unavoidable with pit firing. Who knows, just a thought.