Long time no writing, let’s blame it on summer.
The end of summer claims almost everyone back: to their jobs, their houses, their shops.
I am back to my keyboard and some pictures of Swedish landscapes.
These pictures were taken after one of my slow and tasty breakfasts, before and after the last crumbs of the cake were gone.
Holes in the glaze?
Not properly. When I turned one of the dishes upside down, to find the name of the producer, I noticed 3 spots where there was no glaze. Which means, consequently, that the whole bottom was glazed. It is not the most ordinary technique but if you are not disturbed by those 3 “pinholes”, it gives you a very charming result.
Overturn! And discover that usually the bottom or, at least, the foot of the plate reveals the nude colour of burnt clay.
Glaze is powder turned into glass. When the powder reaches the right temperature, it fuses and smelts. Before freezing down to cover the vessel, it dances and moves and sometimes runs along the surface. If you happen to be absent-minded enough and forget to wipe away your glaze from the bottom (those to be placed directly over the shelf in the kiln) well, you’ll better search for a chisel and good luck.
The cold glaze is a new material that won’t break that easily, won’t be so malleable and will easily make your finger blood darn good if you happen to underestimate the material you’re dealing with. That means, sharp edges cut as glass does – deeply!
The easiest, the trial, the traces
The easiest is probably to wipe off maniacally all traces of glaze from the surface to be placed on the shelf (basically, the foot).
The alternative is to use a stilt, a star-shaped ceramic support to be put under your latest plate. The powder will dance, the temperature will rise, the glaze will wave and then stay. Your vessel will change colour and shape but won’t stick to the shelf. You will have to gently knock away your stilt and proudly hold (let’s hope for that!) your new piece, wholly glazed but those 3 little compromises, inexorably reminding you of physical laws.
Next time you see such marks on the bottom, you know that the guilty one is one of these star-shaped tools!
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