Thursday, June 3, 2010

Color Samples

With several types of available clay, each having different colors and textures it becomes hard to guess how each color will turn out after firing. I'm hoping to eliminate some of my "darn I wish I didn't use this color" woes by making color samples of each glaze.

I decided to go all out and make samples for every clay I use and every glaze available. I have 8 types of clay and 27 glazes so there will be a total of 216 samples in the end, which seems crazy, and maybe it is. BUT putting in the time and effort now to see the end color product will save me tons of time frustration and regret in the future. It is always a bummer after spending so much time making a piece and having the color turn out mediocre and sometimes downright terrible.

There is a certain way color samples must be made in order for the glaze to show up how it will on a piece. The most important thing is the sample has to have vertical area, aka an angle to let the glaze melt the way it would on a piece. (You can see what I mean by the pictures) The other important factor is that the sample is able to stand on its own in the kiln. Tile samples, which lie horizontal end up with different glazing characteristics than standing tiles. There are several techniques like small cups or standing slates. Since I'm making so many I chose standing slates since I can make them faster and more efficiently then small cups. They must stand on there own without toppling over, since the glaze should not touch the kiln when firing, if it does it'll get stuck to the shelf inside and may have to be chiseled off, often resulting in broken pieces.

So far I've made 3 clay set samples, only 5 more sets to go! Pictures to come after they've been glazed and fired!

On a separate note I sold 2 pieces at the Sara Yama Festival! I made 1050 yen! Not much but it's nice to have sold my first pieces, both of which I never expected to sell!

This green free form noborigama fired bowl (price 1000 yen)

and a small black noborigama fired vase (Bottom left) (price 400 yen)

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