Getting the bark on
|As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree,' |
probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
|Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite (inspiration for Between Tree lines series)|
|Lana's Chartreuse Moss Glaze|
|Between Tree Lines (not finished,yet)|
Very often I am asked about my finishes. Most people think that it is paint. So they are surprised to hear that it is nearly all underglazes, oxide washes and some texture glazes. I occasionally add some encaustic, but the piece always has layers of terra sigillata or engobes or slips or underglazes. I have these beautiful pigments from Sinopia. With the pigments,unlike clay materials, the colors are rich and saturated. It is what it is visually. Instant gratification!
Mixing up glazes, the color is normally tan, beige, ecru, green or pink unless using Mason stains. Very dull and very chalky. The magic comes later so there's a lot of future tenses going on with slips and glazes. Although there are misses---I love the thought that the colors become so totally integrated with the piece. It always surprises me when I open the kiln.
Getting lost in the process, layering slips and terra sigillata, mapping out how to get depth and texture...how to use this process to inform the work...fills my day. One of my favorite fussy glazes for texture is Lana Wilson's Chartreuse Moss from her book, Ceramics: Shape and Surface. It looks as if it consisted of dark green chalk grounded up. It comes out anywhere from a brown, mustard crust with bits of lime green shiny chips to a full on curling, bumpy, in your face, here I am chartreuse! It always amazes me and delights me to no end. After years of messing with this glaze I have a better understanding as to how to get more green and less brown. (Or the other way around!)
I used it only on the bottom areas near the sides of Between Tree Lines. The rest of the piece I wanted to maintain some control of the outcome so I washed some areas with copper carbonate/frit 3134 and over that used a porcelain slip with Mason stains in greens and yellows (rutile thrown in,too.)