After adjusting my glaze recipe, I applied these to my slab built final pieces after the biscuit firing. The smooth, white glaze was poured onto the inside and the pale ash glaze was applied to the outside through dipping. Overall, I am extremely happy with the way the glaze has come out and the construction of my final pieces. No cracks are present so the vessels are completely water tight, they also appear consistent and the texture has remained present thanks to the wood chips in the slip. The larger vessel is slightly warped, this may have been that whilst drying it warped or could have warped with the heat in the kiln. However, the overall shapes of the pieces are consistent in thickness and reasonably straight and clean. To further myself for year 3 I would like to practice my slab building skills and look more into textures and how they can be applied to ceramics. I also want to look into the capabilities of clay and complete a sketchbook over the summer ready for my final year.
On my initial mock pieces I decided to put my pale ash glaze on top of the biscuit fired clay. Unfortunately the glaze did not come out how it did in my sample. Instead of being rough and dry it unfortunately came out glossy, smooth and ran down the side of the vessel. This was due to the fact that the initial sample was under fired. These pictures show how the glaze should have been when it came out of the kiln during my sampling. Also, the shapes slightly warped as they were not sufficiently built and my smallest piece did crack slightly. However, practice makes perfect and I will take what I’ve learnt on board and make my final pieces with my mocks and what went wrong in mind. I may also alter the glaze recipe or completely change the outside glaze as it was not the effect I wished for. I may also put wood shavings into the slip I will apply to my final pieces to create a more textured effect. Despite the outside glaze being not what I expected the internal matt glaze was lovely and smooth with a slight pearlescent sheen.
After my initial mock up pieces, it taught me how to build my vessels successfully and how I needed to not edge along the whole of the side edge of the larger pieces, as this would effect the overall look and how stable the slab is in comparison to the rest of the vessel. Also, through practice, it has helped me to join the pieces better together, especially when applying the wet clay in-between the joins and making it smooth. Although these pieces aren’t fired, I feel that they will make for better pieces than my mock pieces they appear smoother, straighter and more stable. The slabs overall were more effective also, as rolling them out was more successful, the slabs were more even all over and therefore would fire better without any cracks (hopefully!) When I did my mock pieces I also scored the edges too close to the edge of the clay, as the edges were on the outside face of the clay and thinner after edging them for slabbing, the clay dried here quicker, so when scoring some of the clay fell away making it uneven and messy. With my final pieces I made sure to stay in the centre of the scored edge to keep from making my piece overall more uneven. This may cause them to fall over or sit uneven on a surface, making them impractical. I also applied white decorating slip with wood shavings incorporated into the slip to make the faces of the pieces textured. Hopefully when they’re removed from the kiln they will look good!
After focusing solely on textures, slips and glazes I have now decided to focus on the shape of the vessel that the texture will be applied to. Initially I did think of making organic shapes from throwing on the wheel or coiling or using pinching. However, the juxtaposition of the rough, organic texture and a slab built vessel consisting of clean, geometric line. After these are biscuit fired I will be using the pale ash glaze for a glaze firing to see whether the glaze makes the shape appear less geometric and more organic. I think I shall be using a less textural glaze on the inside of the vessels to make them easier to clean and easier to contain soil/water. The inside glaze will probably be a matt white glaze with the outside being the pale ash glaze. Whether this will incorporate oxides, I am unsure at the moment. The copper carbonate oxide works well after glazing as it turns green through oxidation in the kiln, however, with the pale ash glaze it turns more of a smoky black/green colour.
To begin with textures I initially carved my own or pressed fabrics into the clay to create a variety of textures, this did work well, however, after firing and then applying a glaze and firing quite a lot of the texture was lost. To improve this, I decided to carry forward textures in glazes. I began using rice and wood carvings within the glazes and slips to create create texture as some would burn out in the kiln and some would stay as they are thickly coated. This would create a bumpy surface. After the initial biscuit firing it didn’t look particularly effective, however, with different glazes applied to them the textures of the pieces did show through well and they looked effective. Especially the glaze pictured, it incorporated wood ash into the glaze which made it extremely grainy and was the look I was trying to achieve as it appeared to look like it was deteriorating and decaying. To push my project forward, I’ll begin to look into the shape with which the glaze will be applied to and what its purpose will be.
After my initial line drawings I decided to incorporate colour and texture into them. The main colours I used were browns, whites, greens and blacks to create the idea of mould. So that the colours are more 3D in some of the line drawings I used a palette knife to build the paint upwards and create more textural paint surfaces. With the rest of the paintings I added a textural background using various mediums such as sugar, salt and coffee to create a texture that I then painted on top of them to create even more of an idea of mould and to get across the idea of texture which will be present on my ceramics final piece or pieces.
After taking the pictures in the cemetery I decided to interpret the textures as line drawings, incorporating colour and mark making to make each sketch different. Some depict the textures of the trees and the ground which are deteriorating through wear where as some are sketches depicting mould growing on various materials throughout the cemetery setting. through using quick strokes and stippling in some sketches I aim to recreate the textures captured from the photographs. To further my sketches i intended to incorporate layers and possibly textures through rice, salt, and other coarse materials and then layering paint etc to depict the colours and textures of the mould.