Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cropping color...

Have you ever been in a creative slump only to realize that something new and fresh had been sitting right in front of you all along? This happens to me on a regular basis when it comes to glazing. I tend to stick to the same glaze combinations and colors for several reasons: 1. They are consistent sellers. 2. I like them. 3. They are reliable (in the world of glazing reliable isn't always reliable).

For years I have looked at a glaze called Metallic Black. I have glazed larger pieces with it - not impressed. I have watched my studio mates glaze gorgeous works in this glaze - not impressed. For some reason it seems to fall flat when used alone on larger pieces and that has been the impression that has stayed with me and caused me to avoid using it on my jewelry. Silly me!

As odd as it may sound sometimes I need to "crop" colors in order to see them in a different way. If you have ever taken a drawing class perhaps you have made a "window" out of paper. This window allows you to see only part of a whole and that focus enables you to see details that normally you would never notice. The same can be done with color.

After looking at a tray I had glazed in metallic black I started to notice that certain areas of the piece were really quite beautiful. The nature of the glaze is to vary between shiny and matte. It is this juxtaposition that creates visual texture without necessarily being tactile. In plain English, this is just what I was looking for!

So I glazed a handful of pieces and was thrilled with the results. On a smaller scale the metallic black glaze looked like polished stone. It had the matte and shiny finish I had spotted on the larger piece but it showed a warmer, bronze color breaking through on the edges - something that was never visible on a larger scale.

Contrary to my usual belief of seeing the whole picture this experiment showed me that sometimes it is better to see only a little. :)

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