Saturday, September 1, 2012
Star(fish) and stripes...
Unlike many potters, probably the sane ones, I do not have the luxury of doing one thing at a time...working in cycles. Currently I am throwing small groups and hauling it a couple hours over to Little Mahoning Creek Pottery for the wood kiln, but at the same time I am working on finishing surfaces. I am up to my ears in decals and after the first small batch, I am in a groove. I am enjoying the new images that I am using to create the collage based surfaces. BUT what I am enjoying even more is the underglaze element that I added to the piece before bisque. The bright stripes with the incised lines create a new and varied surface as a background to my images' foreground. I dig it. AND I feel as if this makes more a connection to the mid-range electric kiln fired work that I have done and know that I will be doing again soon. Although I have always thought of the atmospheric, shino rich surfaces of my wood fired pieces ideal as a contrasting abstract background to my clean and graphic laser printed decals...not to mention the tonality of the decal and the wood fired pieces have a very pleasant uniformity...I'm beginning to broaden this thought.
Besides the addition of the brighter colors, it is the scrawling scraffito work that I found almost addictive. I bought a nice little loop tool that cuts like butter and I love the look of the line in the clay. I am using the underglazes like slips and putting them on while the work is still leather hard so that I can scratch into, over and around until I am satisfied. I am so involved in this portion of the process that I think I am going to start making a WHOLE LOT of wall based works. I plan to be scratching patterns and imagery in as the background layer for the laser printed and commercial decals...and maybe some gold "bling bling" luster too. If I can shift the focus of utility to be more about just the surface image, I think I would be very happy. But in the mean time I will still be throwing mugs and stuff...I doubt I could ever give up mugs...my favorite thing.