So it has been quite a while since I’ve posted on here. I had wanted to do more testing on the cone 1 tests that I did for my last blog but that hasn’t happened. I hit a mental roadblock when approaching color at this temperature. All of the oxides which I am use to using for the cone 9-10 range behave differently at this temperature. And to make things more puzzling you can go out and buy specific colors, Mason Stains, to mix in glazes at this temperature range. This has never been a successful option for anything else I’ve done. This project has made me think about the way I approach glazes. I am not sure if it is a holdover from early  on when I would just look in  a book and pick a glaze and it either worked or didn’t or if it is akin to all of the testing that I’ve done in the cone 9-10 range. I usually have in mind what might happen and what I would like to happen with these tests but I never know for sure exactly what the outcome will be. After the tests come out of the kiln I usually pick out glazes and oxide combinations which I like and think I can use. My method has never been to choose the color first but instead to test the glaze and choose the color after.  There are so many mason stains that I am daunted by the choices. It has also become very clear that finding the right balance to make a satin or simi-matte glaze at this range is difficult without vast quantities of tests. Finding that middle ground where the silica and alumina ratio is just right has been excruciatingly difficult and unsuccessful. I am sad to say that I will be shelving this project for the time being.

I have however gotten to the point with my work which I feel that I could be successful with some small testing in any firing. I am looking at cone 6 as a future option. I have brought quite a few new techniques into my surfaces which I think have potentially made the soda firing irrelevant to my work. I do still love the dramatic surfaces and effects that I can achieve from the soda kiln but no longer think that my work is dependent on it to be successful.

After giving a surface design class at the Carbondale Clay Center a few months back I started incorporating more variety into my surfaces relying on my vision for the piece and not the effects of putting it in an atmospheric kiln. While my new work still draws a great deal of influence on architecture I have begun to explore other influences including interior & fashion design as well as some industrial and commercial design. I am now breaking each piece apart further creating divisions and patterns on the surface which relate to historic ceramics, mid-century painters and also the way that buildings weather as we use them. I have become fascinated by pattern and color on my forms. I am pushing myself to create challenging pots which excite my eye and conform to my aesthetic.

Here are a few of my latest pieces from my last two soda firings.


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