Winter is still kicking around up my way. It gets really interesting this time of year...a lot of ups and downs in the weather. Last week all of our snow melted and we could see the grass for the first time in a real long time...the temps climbed up to the 50's and one might have thought Spring was in sight. Then a few days later we got a wild and windy snowstorm that dumped just about 10 inches of wet snow on us again. Now we are back to temps above freezing and just crappy rain. Here Winter dies like a really bad actor...coughing and sputtering and just when you think its done...he's back...and then gone again...and then back...urgh.
In better news, I have finished off a handful of pieces and have come to the realization that this is and has been a great learning experience. I fully plan to continue this mid-range line of work through the Spring and Summer. I have been diligent about working out my ideas with these pieces and pushing myself to try new things. Continued research into surface techniques has become a real interest and will be the basis for my course that I am teaching here at IUP...10 weeks of beginning ceramics. I have had successes and disappointments with this batch of work and I will show you both here today.(not so thrilled about my red decal spots, age issue with the gold) I am very happy with the glazes and understand that I need an additional color to break up the surface. I have been mostly disappointed with the Hazelnut brown clay body that I bought from Standard here in Pittsburgh. Although I love working with it...it does not reach a darker brown color until it really hits cone 6. I am firing very close to that but the temperature difference for the clay body needs to be higher. This being said, Standard happily swapped me out a 100 pounds for one of their darker brown bodies...even at cone 4 its darker than the hazelnut body. Julie, their tech was helpful, cool and highly informative. So all in all, I'm treating the 50 mugs and cups and various other forms as experiments. That took me a while to get through my thick skull but now I accept it and feel good about the growth I am seeing while exploring this range of firing. I have a lot more pieces that will be fired in the next few days. I spent 5 and half hours doing the decal dance yesterday and will be adding extra glazes for this 04 firing. That was the "tell" part and below is the "show" part...pics can be clicked on to enlarge. Feel free to comment on these pieces...feedback is always appreciated and often needed.