A few weeks ago I responded to a Gumtree classifieds add for some ceramic stains and tools and bits and pieces - so glad I did! The seller was moving overseas and clearing out her studio, and when I went to pick up the stains etc she threw in a bunch of other glaze materials she had. I felt like I came home with a bit of a treasure trove, yet it's only now that I'm getting around to testing a few things and looking up glaze recipes that will allow me to use some of it.
I'm doing a bit of experimentation with coloured slip now, and slowly testing out some of the stains, which is fun. There is a yellow ochre that I absolutely love the colour of raw, so I couldn't help but doing a few experiments on cups with that... I really hope it doesn't turn out to have a low burn-out temperature! (most of these stains don't have labels with burn-out info on them). There are the unfired experiments.
Plugging away slowly at the wheel this past fortnight - just trying to put in the hours to build my skills up really. Clay time has been a bit compromised for other reasons too, but I'm resisting the slight temptation to blog about parenting.
In good news, I did manage to get out and look at at a couple of open-studios as part of the Craft Cubed Festival on Saturday. Although I'm in and out of Northcote Pottery often because I use their firing service, their Open Day on Saturday was the first time I'd had a peek into the studio spaces. I really liked getting this little insight. Seeing Tara Reid at work in her clean white studio space was a bit of a highlight. Her meticulous way of working and her clean minimalist aesthetic is starkly different to my own approach but all the more fascinating for the difference I think. She was making tiny little balls of coloured slip which she then fires and incorporates into a clear glaze to crease a random speckled effect which is really striking (I didn't think to take a picture and I now can't find a good example to link to on the web - the photo under her name on the NP site here gives you a little hint of what I'm talking about - you can see the black specs on the inside of the bowl).
Other than NP, I managed a brief visit to the studio of Sophie Moran (brief because I left my run too late). She's tucked away in a very industrial pocket of North Fitzroy and makes elegant functional wares, mostly in soft colours sometimes with a subtle decorative motif. I was especially taken with her gorgeous batter bowls/jugs which had a lovely creamy satin glaze. Also loved her tall vases which melded a heavily grogged raku clay bottom half with a porcelain upper in a tall, elegant cylinder form - as a group they were very sculptural.
Hi to fellow bloggers on Mud Colony - I look forward to checking out what you've all been up to.