Saturday, October 16, 2010

Behind blue eyes

There are days that I just loaf and just sketch and just think (together with more loafing.)  I had to do a long candling with the two wall heads.  They were drying out in the studio very slowly.  Too slowly.  I airbrushed some gray terra sigillata on Behind Blue Eyes.  That was fun.  Our 30 year old Black and Decker air compressor gave up so off to hardware store and Sears to see what we could find.  Our old one was LOUD, but just right as I only airbrush a little.  It was small and portable.  It sure had a big voice and it sure did a good job.  Anyway, no one had a nice, portable air compressor.  I'm not sure I like the new set-up.  Herr Reinhart likes it fine.  It's more an air pump. 

airbrushed with pale gray terra sigillata

The eyes were taped.  I wanted some of the bisqued clay tones to show through.  When this clay is fired to cone 06 it has a pinkish tone.  Even though the terra sigilata is very fine I thinned it down.  I sprayed on several layers and let it dry for a day.  I sprayed all total 10 thin layers.  I tried buffing in an area behind the ears.  If it didn't shine up I added two more layers.  Terra sigillata can flake off if too thick.  This terra sigillata shines up beautiful.  Just a light buffing with a plastic bag, usually Target bags or even Saran Wrap.  Even an old t-shirt works. 

fresh out of the kiln and buffed with a damp cloth

I fired this piece in a slow kiln to cone 06.  I had some functional work stacked in the bottom of the kiln that were not quite bone dry.  So not to blow up anything I played it safe and candled on low for 6 hours with all plugs out and lid propped open. Then I closed up the kiln and fired regular schedule for bisque fire.  I was only worried about the head.  Jars I can make quickly.  Somehow figurative piece takes on an expression or an appearance of personality that can not be replicated.  So I need to be careful.  Each piece is truly unique.


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