Friday, February 5, 2010

When Life Gives You Broken

Everything was broken this week. Everything. In an uncharacteristic move, I tried to make the best of it.

For instance, I made test tiles out of a stack of plates that cracked in the bisque firing.

I had to bash the plates up a little bit, but it was therapeutic, really. I used a rolling pin and a plastic dry cleaning bag and I smashed away.  Then I started to glaze.


You can't really tell by looking, but this bit has fifteen different glazes (layered, of course) on it--so far.

Normally I am loathe to keep records, but in this case I'm working with a library of thirty or more different glazes, only a handful of which are familiar to me and none of which I've worked with in over four years. So now I keep records.

My record keeping is very informal. I sketch the bit of plate, then scrawl whatever glaze is going where. It's funny, but this picture reminds me of a conversation I was having with my former biology instructors a few days ago. We were talking about keeping old notes and how one of the reasons to keep them was because it was still a way to connect with the joy of drawing and diagramming and labeling the biological structures that still, after years of familiarity, thrill The Brain. It's like, here's a record of that first time. I drew that!

Ha! I never put that together. But my glaze test notes resemble my biology lecture notes.

This, not so much. This is the other method of test-tiling that I do:

These are cut out of red clay with a heart shaped cookie cutter and glazed. This is twenty different glazes (most layered) on eight different tiles. I write the glazes I used on the back so that I don't have to keep notes about a million little tiles that all look the same.

It works until it doesn't work. (See how I forgot to write the glaze names on one of the tiles?)


Anonymous said...

I would like to use some of theses for buttons.

Rosa said...

They're pretty big for buttons (about 2 inches for the small ones and 3+ for the larger), but I will make you some buttons if you like! :)