Years and years ago I got up the courage to develop my own black and white film after reading an article that gave me the very basics in a way that I could understand. That understanding only took place after researching over the period of many months.
I’m experiencing the same thing with glazing. After seeing the results of cone 10 glazing and seeing the depth that it creates I’m ready to take it on.
Cone 6 in oxidation just pales in comparison. It looks as if there is a film of glass on top of some clay. Sure some of it looks good but cone 10 just has something that makes it sing. It’s as if the glaze is a part of the clay itself.
I had previously bought chemicals for some cone 6 testing so I have a lot of 2 gallon buckets with a lot of the chemicals I need but cone 10 calls for some specifics. So I’m off to my supplier in a few days to pick up the rest of what I need.
I’ve made up some small pinch pots to test without fear of melting stuff to the kiln shelf. These will also be to test the creation of a black englobe to go along with the buff white clay body I’m using. I want to get 2 complimentary glazes, and with the color of the at body and a black englobe I will have a decent start for decorating and making functional wares with my OWN glazes.
I’m very excited to get some good reliable glazes:
From Wikipedia – In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: “The motive is the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity”.
In my last firing I started thinking about decoration of my vessels. After a decade in photography I realized that I had an enormous amount of knowledge and was able to solve just about anything that came along. I had my own language.
So now I have a template to go by for learning and mastering what I want to create in ceramics. The template is repetition, the ability to solve problems and exercising your imagination. Once you get it rolling you are able to create a motif of your own with infinite variations.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”
– Zig Ziglar
You start with the basics: Color & Texture.
Single Solid Color
Blending of two or more solid colors
Where do you create the delineations of colors / textures / shapes
Color Combinations – What looks good together
The breaks can be on any part of the vessel, what parts look good?
Patterns, both in color and or texture
Other things I cant think of at the moment
The sketchbook is out and I’ll try on paper each variation and combination and see what suits me. The happy accidents are the deviations that can lead you down a new path.
Ohi Toshio – 大樋年雄 is an 11th generation Tea bowl master. I had the privilege of spending 2 days with him at Piedmont College watching him form Chawan, learning about the importance of tea in the Japanese culture and getting a glimpse into the depth and symbolism that tea ceremony and the tea bowl bring in Asian culture. (Think golden ratio kind of deep. Think Shinto kind of deep. Think about layer upon layer of symbolism.)
Mr. Ohi is a fantastic and widely knowledgeable person and I stopped taking notes exactly 3 minutes into the first workshop so that I could just focus and take in as much as possible. This was, I later found out, a 2 week session put into 2 days. The fact that he came at all speaks of his generosity. In my humble opinion you will learn more about the teabowl and the culture from deciphering the man who makes them than by memorizing any kind of technique.
Here is a man who is, a father, photographer, artist, designer, speaker and tea bowl maker (among other things probably as well). He continues a tradition began in the 1600’s while still being an artist who is true to himself. He blends and balances the new and the old through his ideals. Mr. Ohi unfortunately did not have time for me to create a proper portrait of him as the gallery and Japanese consulate were awaiting his arrival. I wanted it to be a a gift to him for imparting so much knowledge to myself and the other attendees. I am hopeful that we will meet again with more time one day.
If anyone has any questions about the workshop I will try to answer as best I can or try and locate the information requested. Please enjoy some moments from the working sessions. I apologize in advance that I did not get more pictures of the attendees but please share links if you have some. I would love to see the perspective of others.