Monday, January 9, 2012

Late onset ADD?

I meant to post this on Friday, but as the tittle suggests, I have been a bit scattered lately. My fingers are getting itchy. I was in the studio almost every day over the holidays, but now I am back to my regular schedule of Tuesday teaching, Friday night , Saturday after working at Ceramics Canada (maybe) and early morning Sundays. It seems I always go through a bit of withdrawal after having been in the studio so much, my brain just won’t shut up. Today is proving difficult. I will just have to think of what I need to work on over the weekend and what I could begin working on more long term. Perhaps I will see if there is interest in putting together a small group of people to do a salt firing this summer if we can get some kiln space. I would go back to Medalta, but they don’t have a lot of time in the summer due to their workshops and residencies. I understand that they also raised the cost of renting their soda and salt kilns, which makes it a little out of my budget. I will  probably look into North Mount Pleasant and see what they have to offer in terms of renting the kiln. I hear it is very inexpensive and If it is really cheap, I may just go by myself (I tend to overproduce and then never get it all in the kiln when I share). The plus for this option is that I can sleep in my own bed. Medicine Hat is a 3 hour drive and would require at least 3 or 4 days in a hotel to finish the firing (load on day one, fire on day 2, cool down day 3 and then unload on day 4). I also need to go on a wood hunting trip (just a walk along the river will do). I am looking for some pieces of driftwood about 6 inches long that I can use as handles for a few stretched out platters and more of a unique piece of wood for a smoke fired jar (Mum, if you are reading this, if you see anything while beachcombing in Hawaii…). I pierced the lid of the jar during construction to accept wire or leather cord to attach the wood, and it has been sitting on a shelf unfinished since the summer, just waiting for its handle. Perhaps I will do that this weekend. I need to go by my parent’s house, and they live near the Bow River with lots of pathways and wood strewn river banks…

I also need to revisit the glazes I was testing over the holidays. Although the “frontal lobe” reticulated glaze is interesting, I was really looking for a snowflake crackle glaze (see Nov 2011 issue of Ceramics Monthly, I used the original snowflake crackle recipe). The glaze had less than 5% Magnesium Carbonate, but apparently that was enough to cause the insane reticulation. I have used other glazes that have way more Mag. Carb and have not had this degree of reticulation before. I did omit the 2% bentonite as I thought it was more for suspension, but perhaps it had another function? I will try mixing a 100 g batch including the bentonite, as well as 100g batches of other snowflake crackle glazes.  I also want to look at the matte lavender glaze. I want to know how it looks as a white glaze, but I also want to revisit the lavender, so perhaps a 1000g batch split into 2 parts (1 white, 1 lavender). What I am really looking for is a microcrystalline white with a smooth, waxy matte surface that appears frosty and thick (if that makes any sense at all). Describing glazes is like describing wine….Notes of honey, plum & leather with a smoky, earthy finish…blah blah blah.

Sorry for the slightly scattered thoughts here. Like the title suggests, perhaps I need to take Ritalin?

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