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Testing a snowflake glaze

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Saturday, July 16, 2022

Glaze tests for pottery are weighed, like the Sepia Saturday guys on a scale!


I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the one who sold it. -Will Rogers, humorist (4 Nov 1879-1935)

My weekly contribution to Sepia Saturday continues, though I slide off the meme often. I sure enjoy reading other folks contributions though! Also posted on When I Was 69 blog.

This week we have...

My closest use of a weighing scale was when I was mixing glazes in pottery testing, to see if I could come up with a glaze that did something I wanted, or to see if it came up with something else entirely.

Unfortunately I don't have photos of all those tests. But let me check and see if I blogged about there might be some old posts somewhere...

A glaze combo that I liked, first the whole vase is submerged in matt black glaze (studio recipe) after drying for a few hours, I brushed a liberal coat of white glaze on it. The clay itself is a white body, so when the glaze breaks the clay that shows is a slightly different shade of white.

This is my glaze recording sketch book.  I have those few "OK" circles when something came out somewhat the way I liked.

This test bowl has a base glaze but with different streaks of other glazes across I can see what is most compatible.

Same as above but here is on a spoon rest.

Here I threw a lot of little vases off the hump (a big lump of clay on the wheel) and then tried different glaze combinations...some of which were recorded in the sketch book.

I used a formula for Snowflake Glaze which I found in Ceramic's Monthly I mixed the basic colorless glaze, tried it on top of some detailed colors. It only gets the pretty crystals on the insides of things, where it is pretty thickly applied. 

I used the basic snowflake glaze and tried adding a very small amount of cobalt...thus.

Not sure what this had added...perhaps chrome. 

I helped another potter make lots of glaze test tiles for the studio glazes. That's what these are called. We started with one basic glaze on each set, then after it was dry, we dipped them in other different glazes about halfway down. There are some lines and dots on the little towers so we could see how glazes might "break" over features like those on pottery. Here they are waiting to go in the kiln to fire to cone 6...about 2200 degrees F.

Oh another important part was writing the glazes on each little tile.

Here's a selection of glazes over the base glaze of Eggshell. 

There's a huge display of all the glazes available in the studio on the wall. Of course people can also purchase ready made glazes, or formulate their own from reliable recipes. 

I even bought a book by a local glaze master, John Britt, all about cone 6 glazes. Didn't get much use, because I retired from making pottery 2-1/2 years ago. 

I do miss my friends at the studio, but with COVID I just have stayed away for the last 2 years, while they put in lots of restrictions as to how many potters could be in the studio at a time, etc.

Sharing with my art blog "Alchemy of Clay"

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Three Treasures

  ‘Three Treasures’ or ‘Marvellous Energies’ in Qi Gong.

 These are energy centres within the body that support our physical, emotional, and spiritual existence. 

Jing is the physical, vital essence of the body. This resides in the abdominal centre and is about power and flow. If it would relate to a question, it would be where am I, what is my physical orientation in space?” 

In this context, Qi represents specific energy connected to thoughts and emotions. It is connected to the heart energy centre, and is about passion, hope, and happiness. Here we ask: what do I want to create with my life energy?” 

Shen is centred behind the third eye and associated with light and consciousness. This treasure is about purpose, our higher self that can observe life without being immersed in the nitty-gritty parts of everyday. This is about awe, inspiration and connection to the Dao or the source. The question here is who am I at the core of my being?” This subtle quality is considered susceptible to destruction by the ego.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Floral art for Art in Bloom, chapter three

 There were just too many photos to post in one more post, so this will be the last.

Hope you come over to When I was 69 blog to see some of the gardens!

AND, later in the month, the plein air art which was created in the 6 gardens will be shown in this same gallery.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Floral art for Art in Bloom, second chapter

 In the upstairs gallery at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts was a group of paintings and sculptures with a floral arrangement that reflected back to the original art. Here are the rest of them.

More tomorrow!

Don't miss the Garden Tour at House Number 1 today HERE!

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Floral art exhibit

 The Black Mountain Center for the Arts just held its big fundraising event. It started with a reception with goodies to eat, and a display of gorgeous floral arrangements that mimicked the theme of an art work (only a couple were sculptures).

The whole 3 day event is called Art in Bloom. First a Thurs. evening preview party and viewing of the floral arrangements and art. Tickets for the preview party were $45.

Then beginning 10-2 on Fri. and Sat. are the garden tours. Each year different gardens are selected, and they are usually very impressive. This year's definitely were. The tickets for the tour were $30.

Following the garden tours we were invited to also see the Floral Arrangements in the gallery, or pay $5 if one hadn't purchased the garden tour tickets.  A package of the preview party and garden tours was $60.

It all supports the arts in Black Mountain.

This was the first year I went on the garden tours. In years past I've been a docent at one garden, and enjoyed greeting those who had tickets for the tours. See my other blog for each of the 6 garden tours, starting HERE.

As part of my ticket included seeing the floral arrangements in the gallery, I went today to see them. If there had been a room full of people, it would not have been as good as it was, with only a half dozen today. Though I expected some of the flowers to have wilted, I didn't notice a single one with droops.

I'll leave you for today with that...and the last is my favorite so far. More tomorrow!