Believe it or not but the two pieces shown above were glazed in the exact same way using the same glazes. OK, so my fellow clay-heads who are familiar with reduction firing will believe it (they are all nodding their heads up and down saying "yep, been there, done that."), but those of you who aren't are probably saying "Really?" Or maybe you could care less (probably more likely). Anyhoo, we fired the gas kiln this week at the studio and I went in bright and early this morning to unload. Aside from pinching a nerve in my neck and getting a leg cramp while lifting very heavy kiln shelves in a tight, contortionist position (how old am I?), it was a good firing with pretty good reduction throughout. The pale green piece up top, however, escaped reduction. It should be as bright and flamboyant as its partner but alas, it's green.
And no matter how many times I tell myself "don't fire earring pieces in the gas kiln" I continue to do it and every time I end up with a group of pieces that don't match. It's all about location in the kiln and if two pieces get separated (as the two above did) they are often receiving different amounts of reduction and therefore won't look the same. Most of the time this unpredictability is exciting but when you need to match two pieces it can be rather problematic.
Thankfully I was lucky in this firing and most of my earring pieces matched, like the pair above. Yay!
The true joy in reduction firing, for me, comes with results like these, above and below. The colors that can happen are so freaking incredible - I can't stop staring at them! I love to glaze. The chemistry involved thrills me probably more than it should. I like chemicals and I like to see what happens when different ones are combined. My goal is to be a glaze painter. :)
This last piece is one I made quite a while ago but never glazed until this week. The design was made with a water etching technique. Seeing how this one turned out made me want to play around with this technique some more. I used to experiment a bit more with textures and techniques - sometimes it seems like I get a little stagnate and need to shake things up a bit. We can't have that! What to do, what to do...