Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Testing, testing

It's most frustrating when you like the results after a bisque firing a whole lot better than after the glaze firing. That's seems to be the case for me quite a lot lately as I continue to test different colours in Southern Ice porcelain. Not quite right.. try again.. my studio is awash in test tiles.

Jane Sawyer recently drew my attention to a wonderful Grayson Perry video in which he referred to opening the kiln door as an "exercise in controlled disappointment". Ain't that the truth! I have learnt over the years not to heed my initial response to glaze firing results as they never ever match my fertile imaginings of what might lie behind that kiln door.

I unpack, inspect and walk away. I might grumble or huff a little but I stop myself from drawing any conclusions until I've had a moment (or day or two) to regroup and then I look again. Only then do I allow myself critical reflection. I take pieces home to look at them in an environment more natural than my fluorescent lit studio. I like to live with things for a little, pondering them at different times of the day,in various locations around the house, as I wander by or put them to use.

It's a busy time of year, orders to meet, markets to plan, commitments are stepping up a notch. And yet now, of all times, I have succumbed to an intense desire to develop new work. I can't help myself. Testing this, trying that. I'm loving it. Experimentation means opening the kiln door is all the more exciting and... challenging in regard to controlling the disappointment.

Go easy on the manganese dioxide Sophie!

1 comment:

Sharon @ Crooked Creek Studio said...

So glad to hear I am not the only one who often prefers the results of the bisque firing to those of the glaze firing! Love the Grayson Perry comment. Wishing you great results after your next glaze firing adventure.