It's one small step for some, but it's one giant leap for me! I have transitioned to working in porcelain this week and can't wait to begin working in this new, strange material. Over the week I have made eight different test tiles to run through both reduction and oxidation, in hopes to find the purest white of the whites...to the point where the clay has an almost blue hue to it.
Its been a pretty complicated process but I enjoy making the small 100 gram batches of liquid clay and then pouring them out on a plaster bat, to watch them dry almost instantaneously. I've learned a lot over the week about what roles materials play in clay bodies, and how to manipulate them. I won't go into the details about how I make the tests and what kind of notes I take from the results, but its all been very exciting!
I made my way down to SCAD Museum on Friday and saw some great fabric and bead work by Steven and William Ladd. They have a show titled Blood Bound on display from February 16th- May 1st and it's a must see. The reason I wanted to write about them this week was that they work in tandem, in collaboration with each other. One brother is a master seamster and the other is a master bead maker. They lived apart for a while doing their own work but then came back together and started to create elaborate beaded fabric works together. Later this month I'll be working on a collaboration project with my friend Jessamy, and I believe it'll be a bit of a challenge at first to get used to making things together...especially when we'll be painting together on the ENOP Bird. (Plus the way their signature was stuck up on the wall was very cool!)
More than anything though, I spent this last week working solely in the studio. I really want to transition from working in stoneware to porcelain. [crazy right?] I made a new burlap piece out of stone ware, and tried something new...but I'm not sure how I feel about it at the moment. And I just took out my largest piece thus far, a Cone 4 Matte White box piece...which I'm in love with. Guess I'll see what happens in the studio this next week when I make a large scale batch of this new, strange white material!
(Above are some images of the process in making the clays and glazes.)
[This process secretly makes me both a mad scientist and an artist!]