In glazing mode…

I must say, applying glaze is my least favorite part of making pots. I am so meticulous and precise, that it becomes a sort of self-punishing process. I have developed a limited palette of my favorite glazes through trial and error, most of which might be mildly toxic in theory. So I always play it safe and do the extra work to line the pots with a very reliable clear, celadon, or black glaze.  Since I’m doing two glazes that division on the rim has to be just so: tight, clean, with minimal or no overlap. Which means tons of wax resist work and experienced pouring or dipping techniques which took me forever to learn. All of this = my personal hell. I know many potters who go the extra ten miles in their glazing (ex. Bernadette Curran, see photo below), but I am not that potter. I want the form, decoration, and atmospheric variation to do the talking, and for the glaze to be simple enough to highlight rather than hinder.

It’s worth the effort, though, because the more I put into glazing the better the results become. I strive to edit my extravagant taste down to what I believe is the essential elegant version, letting my visceral reactions to the work drive the decisions. I love satin surfaces that respond dramatically to atmosphere (be it salt or soda). Although black pot interiors speak to me, I have listened to my audience and the general preference is a beautiful transparent glaze to let the porcelain whiteness sing. Yes, I do the black liner some anyway. Then I choose to fire in salt or soda, so I can get that random magic to bring out the peaks and valleys of the form, and so much more texture (both visual and tactile).

I’ve gotten 1/3 of my current bisque batch glazed. I should have all of it ready in 2 weeks at most, which is good because I love firing and I’m ready to get another lot pushed through. Keep an eye out for an update on the upcoming kiln opening. Yay!

Here's a potter going the extra 10 miles with glazing. One of my favorites, always making killer work.


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