Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seeing red

Yep, I'm seeing red... and I'm becoming addicted! I've always gravitated to earth tones and ocean colors. However, in recent days I've been experimenting with reds.

I started back at Christmas, making a few pieces to give and sell during the holiday season. Then I started playing.

Next thing I knew I had a nice grouping of red pieces with purple and green highlights.

I use red clay as a rule, usually majolica because of the feel and the way it moves. A lot of my pieces are created while the clay is nice and wet allowing me to shape it in ways you just can't do when it's firm.

I made some bowls, a pitcher and a few smaller pieces. After the bisque firing I covered the entire piece with a black that has some hints of color. I let it dry, then sponged off the surface leaving the color in the grooves of the texture and on select parts of the smooth areas.

Then I brushed two different reds onto the raised surfaces, two coats, leaving some minimal areas without any color at all.

Next I lightly brushed two purples and a couple of greens across portions. On a few I fired, I didn't think I had enough of the color that I wanted so I added more red, green or purple.

One piece is simply red and black. The red has white specks in it giving it an interesting look, especially since the black was added on top of the red instead of underneath.

Then I got in one of these whimsical moods that strike me on rare occasions (the rest of the time I'm just nuts ;-). I had picked up some glass at Davens in north Atlanta to experiment with so I combined my red mood with my desire to experiment and made a series of brightly colored hearts.

I used reds, blues, greens, yellows, and other bright colors. They were a pain in the tush as I made them without thinking about how difficult they'd be to glaze!

If you wander through the slide show you'll see what I'm talking about with the bright heart series.

I put little hand-formed balls on them, took thin strings of clay to define squares then glazed inside... Yuk. I also added glass inside some of the squares and other places I'd left hollowed out for the glass. I had to fire some of them twice to get enough glass in the areas to tell I'd used it. Then I lost a few pieces as I gather glass doesn't quite like the temperature I fired to in one load. It bubbled the first time around.

Next time I'm in the mood to make these things I'm definitely going to think the design through a little better!

The idea was to make some pieces that were quick and easy, those impulse buy type items that are always good to have around. Unfortunately the glazing took so long it was not exactly cost effective.

I liked them though. I do want to try some more of them at some point. During the summer I'll be gearing up for my winter shows and plan to figure out an easier way to glaze that type piece.

I've included a few of the pieces in the following slide show. Believe me, I have more ;-)

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