trees, lines and glazing

Two nice things today.  First, walking Brindley in the woods this morning, the trees were suggesting all sorts of ways to use lines on a surface.

and that was on my mind because waiting back in the cooling kiln were four little pinch pots that I had used to try out a new way of scratching lines into a coloured slip and then glazing over the top.

Over this last year I’ve done many glaze tests that were interesting, but never quite what I was after.  I’ve been developing the glazes from scratch which was perhaps a little overambitious for a relative novice and often gave me interesting results but with flaws, like a crazed surface that might break up over time, especially if the pots were to live outdoors.

Then, in a book by John Mathieson called Techniques Using Slips, I came across the work of the potter Yo Thom.  She paints her pots with a dark slip (coloured liquid clay) and scratches lines through it to reveal the white clay beneath.  After the first firing she then adds a Tin based white glaze over the top.  It turns the slip all sorts of shades of blue grey and leaves the scratched lines white.  Hers is beautiful work, and she generously shares the recipe for her slip and glaze in the book.  So I thought I’d try it, and I’m really pleased with the results. 

The surfaces remind me of the rock and pebble surfaces that I’ve loved, and I feel I’ve finally got something that I can work with, play with and refine.  I’ve already applied the slip to two leather hard vessels that I’d been working on and I will try them with white interiors.

So thank you, Yo Thom and John Mathieson and the trees of Leigh Woods.  It’s been a good day.

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