Thursday, March 15, 2012

Copper and Iron

The kiln is open, and all but one piece survived. This firing included a lot of new glazes (the two pots above both feature my favorite new glaze, an iron red that has me just totally enchanted), but along with the new glazes, which I will continue to show piece by piece as time goes on, I also tried a new decorative technique. I wrapped some copper wire around two of the pieces, the bowl pictured above and a coffee mug. I tried this on some old test chunks and it produced a fantastic blackish silver that was incredible, however my tests were with a very small amount of wire. I opened the kiln this week to find that a single loop of copper wire is more than enough to not only create the desired dark mettalic flair, but to simultaneously fuse the pot to kiln shelves in a matrix of solidified metal bubbles. The coffee mug was lost in the process of chiseling away the binding copper, but the bowl and its fancy new copper skirt were dislodged with relative ease. I thought I would have to scrap the piece because of the sharp edges, but, low and behold, Tabe-sensei came to the rescue with her metal grinder, and after a quick safety lesson I was sanding away the metal into a truly unique foot for a bowl that might just be my favorite work to date (might even be going into my extremely tiny personal collection).

As I said I fully plan to continue posting more and more photos of the new work that came from this firing, but Monday will be a very special post. A tribute to one of the  best things to happen to my life in Japan and in the continuing quest to keep pottery on my brain and my hands dirty. What could it be?
Well, guess you'll have to tune in on Monday to find out.

Have a great weekend folks. See you Monday

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