Monday, March 19, 2012

Out with the old

The best thing about setting up a new space is the resulting overhaul of established practises and routines. As I sort through boxes of wares old and new I realise just how much ceramic baggage I have been carrying. 

I'm in an 'out with the old, in with the new' kind of mood.

Test pieces, too many test pieces... 

The first lot to go mainly consisted of underglaze and glaze tests that were unsuccessful. I kept them just to remind myself not to do these tests again. Really. I haven't looked at them since they emerged from the kiln and have all the information recorded in visual diaries anyway.

Out they go.

Then I found another box of even earlier tests, from the days when I ran a retail outlet and even pieces from student days (and I don't want to think about how long ago that was!)

Out they go too.

While it is informative to see how glazes and colours work on bowl forms, they certainly take up a lot of room and will probably end up hidden in a tub somewhere holding up a potted plant. 

Enter my new regime...

Test tiles.. well yes.. not new really... in fact tried and true by many a potter including myself in the past. But given my desire to test all my glazes in the new kiln before diving into production I have decided to revamp my hodge podge 'system' of testing and taken to a fire brick with a hacksaw to create and nice, neat test tile stand.

 That's today's effort above. Neat. 

I plan to stick the finished tile to the front of it's corresponding bucket of glaze. Any unsuccessful glaze test in the future can be easily stored. I imagine I will still need to see how a glaze I like looks on a bowl but this is a much better starting place... I think.

Let see how long this lasts.


Anna said...

You are being ruthless! Must feel good when it is done. I know of a studio potter who has a hole through his test tiles (flat ones like yours) so that he can thread them on a wire and hang them from the ceiling so they don't take up floor/shelf space.

Sophie Milne said...

Ruthless but hopefully not reckless Anna, we'll see if I miss them! I like the ceiling wire idea. I've hung some from nails in the past and even had some wall mounted with Velcro so you could pull them off to feel the glaze.

Also know of others who throw serviette ring type shapes for testing and string them up around the studio.

So many options...