Well, the studio is back up and running (partially at least). Classes have been running again for the last 3 weeks, but the kiln situation has yet to be resolved. It turns out that the large gas kiln will cost way too much to hook up (approx. $20, 000). The alternative to this is to go electric. It will reduce our capacity by about half, but allow for faster turn around. What once took 3 days to load, fire and cool, will now only take 2. This will also allow for the option of firing over night. We will also have access to a broader colour pallet. We were pretty much restricted to the earthy colours, due to cost, and materials safety, etc. So, if the cost of firing is reduced, then the cost of ingredients in a glaze recipe can go up by the same factor.
What does a potter do when they are not able to fire for a while, and get their colour and surface texture fix? It turns out, that this potter paints.
My boss at Ceramics Canada began a little group of people that are interested in painting, and using texture. We are mostly an abstract group, most have some art school, ie BFA degrees (not me, I am a self taught potter and now painter). So, I have been experimenting with acrylic inks, gel mediums, modeling pastes etc to achieve thick texture with depth, something you can see through to the deeper layers of colour etc….
I tried something new last night. I wanted to create a lens effect whereby the coating over the paint or image would magnify it. A while ago, I had purchased a 2 part varnish kit at a craft store. I wasn't sure what I would ever use it for, but I saw it used on a home decorating show once to create a very thick varnish layer on a table. Anyway, long story short, I mixed some up and poured it over some images that I had previously stuck on , and the clarity was excellent. The product runs a lot, so I had to pour it into an area where I had created a dam of thick gel to contain it. After it cured (approx 12 hours), I began layering some thick gloss gel medium on it, nothing too thick, and only sparingly. I sticks well, and you can see through it to the acrylic varnish layer and beyond, so all in all, very happy with the results. I will post some images of what I have been working on later.