Gary's Third Pottery Blog

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Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

all I want for Christmas is...a new celadon glaze!???

First off, potters can be pretty damn boring when it comes to chatting about glaze.  You'll be out with 3-4 potters and also some civilians, like my wife, and talk will turn to, as it does, of glaze recipes, like "just add another 1.5 ounces copper carbonate!" and civilians, like my wife, their eyes will glaze over and they might just stare, uncaring, and say "unh huh..."

Second of all, potters also say "I opened the kiln and it was like Christmas!".  It is true.  I realized last year that I opened up the kiln...on Christmas!  It was like Christmas on Christmas!  DITTO today! (Christmas Eve = close enough).
Potters say that because you always hope for the best with firing the kiln:  you slop on the glaze, you cook it up to 2200 degrees and GOD KNOWS what is going on in there...and then you peek in and hope to see little prizes cooling!

Well shoot, have a look below.  I awoke at, um, a very Christmassy 1 am...thinking about opening the kiln!  I was also thinking about a cup of tea and writing a blog post and reading my book AND AGAIN sorting and organizing and wrapping presents....I mean, there is a LOT of fun sh!t to do (I sleep very well as a rule, but sometimes I ...just get so excited!) ... The wife gave me a very cheery little sleepy happy anniversary (we got married on Christmas!) as I not-very-quietly-crept-out-of-bed with the exuberant little beagle, grabbed the camera and opened the kiln and snapped this very photo...

The kiln is so hot I couldn't hold it open more than a second.  Every potter will tell you you should never open a kiln early.  You singe your eyebrows, who knows what else...the kiln needs to cool on its own, but right now it is down to like pizza temp, 500 degrees, so a quick peek is good and IT LOOKS like Christmas in there!

OK, more about me, celadon and glazes.  If you look up celadon, you might find, in my summation, something about a pale green glaze, a little blue/grey in color, maybe transparent and a little jade toned, definately of far eastern origin.  The easiest summation?  It is like a coke bottle!

I have been telling people lately, as I point to this dark green seen in the picture on those pots in the picture here "this is like, my 7th green glaze I love green glazes so much!" But do you see the tiny little pale green bit at the left, a little loop of clay?  THAT MIGHT BE MY 8th green glaze, a TRUE celadon!  Because my celadons are all fakers, I love them all, but by definition they are all probably too dark or opaque or whatever for a real purist.  Not that glaze test there:  it is the real deal, and I canNOT wait to look at it more closely later, and the other samples of it I just fired....

Like I say, potters talking about glazes = boring as hell :)

Wish us well, the wife and I got married a LONG time ago today, and she is utterly SCHWEET and I am lucky to have her....

(before and after glaze firing)

Spike, RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND helping write this

and speaking of Sleigh Bells....


bartster said...

Recipes...I might have to do a word study on that one. It IS fun to see what our intentions become on kiln opening day. Christmas morning proves a good analogy (sometimes I worry a load might be more like Judgment Day) for the sense of anticipation. The celedon looks great!

bartster said...

OOh...I wanted to chime in about the seemingly arcane nature of glazing...Once I had a very vivid and troubling dream hashing over the pros and cons of using Gerstley Borate.

Anonymous said...

I find other people's details amusing and confusing. Like when Doug's people talk about technology or go on about fantasy football. It makes me smile, and heck, I might even learn something!

Caroline said...

I so knew you love green glaze! hehe

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.