Tuesday, February 17, 2015

alchemical vessel progress with color


So far I think I've finally completed the rhino portion of my Alchemical Vessel for the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts exhibit and benefit next month. It's interesting, working with mediums I don't normally explore, and this project is pushing me in new directions, as an artist. Adding underglaze was a challenge, as it required many layers. It's also difficult to read, as the color changes somewhat while applying it on, unlike when adding paint. The use of underglaze hasn't allowed me to achieve the detail I would normally desire in a painting since it absorbs so quickly into the bisque-fired ceramic surface, yet I've taken a liking to the almost naive style that has resulted from it. It's progress, but I now consider the project only about a half of the way finished. Today I'll begin the underside of the bowl, applying underglaze to the pattern of Gladiolus flowers that span its circumference. I'll let it dry for a day or two, then finally, gently add a loose layer of clear glaze on both sides, with an emphasis on the word gently. Then it's one more layer of clear glaze, a day or two of drying, then finally into the kiln for a low firing at about cone 04. It's the application of clear glaze, and finally the kiln firing that has me a bit anxious, though I'm optimistic it'll all work out fine. Just have to stay patient and work carefully to the very end. More to come soon!