Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Stupid Hearts, Cute Boxes, etc.

Few things are more frustrating than being foiled in your vision of a piece of art work. "The Stupid Hearts," as they have come to be known around here, were processed similar to the butterfly and flower ornaments featured in the last posting; however, something went horribly wrong.

I applied 4 coats of a low-fire glaze called "Red Dragon". Let me just say that applying low-fire glazes takes a considerable amount of time as each coat must be painted on and then allowed to dry before the next coat is applied.

When I went to pick-up the "Red Dragon" hearts, they were completely white. The red colorant had burned away in the firing. I was devastated. So many hearts, so little time.

Junzo, the kiln master at the studio, suggested I refire the hearts using a glaze called "Hot Tamale." So, once again, I spent a huge amount of time painting 4 coats of glaze on each heart. As you can see below, most of the hearts turned out okay, but a few have broken spots within the red glaze (probably caused by dust).

Despite the drama, "The Stupid Hearts" came out looking pretty good.

Somewhere in this process, I was inspired to create small boxes, using the same cookie cutters I had used to make the ornaments. It required cutting out thicker pieces of clay and then stacking them on top of each other. The lids were made at the same time -- the knobs made from a Sprig mold.

Once the stack of clay was leather-hard, I carved out the inside. This is more time consuming than reglazing "The Stupid Hearts." They are still drying on the shelf at the studio, so I am not sure how they turn out after being glazed. After my disappointment in the hearts, I am hesitant to invest my heart into their success.

Last night, I started my six week course on Surface Decoration at Xiem Clay Studio. I think it is going to be a good class and I can take what I learn to apply to my other pieces.