Welcome to my blog and thanks for reading. I post as often as I can listing upcoming events, interesting projects I am working on and some tips or two on using my favourite material - clay! If there is something you would like me to blog about, please send me a note. Please visit my website for more images of my work and an updated listing of events and happenings - http://www.taralynnefranco.com/

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Read the Label

Friday .... unloaded the 04 firing to somewhat better results than the cone 6. The first layer had my colour tests of the Duncan 'Cover Coat' glazes. My first reaction was "wow, these are really matte glazes, how odd". I had the same matte result for the "grey" glazes on the black clay and white earthenware. It is always hindsight that reminds you of the things you could have done in your testing that would have yielded even more information. In this case, that perhaps putting a stroke of clear glaze over the colours would have given an indication of how they stand up to overlapping etc. This was even more true when I returned to the studio to examine the bottles of 'glaze'. Turns out, they are not glaze at all. In very fine printing at the bottom it says opaque underglaze. Oops, no wonder. When I further read the back it said to brush three coats on and then cover with a clear coat. More oops. So, now I have a variety of colours of underglazes which is totally fine as I don't have coloured glazes in my studio. My students will like these too. Now I need to test how they stand up in Cone 6. Further layers into the firing my image transfer tests were revealed. The image was clearer! So, it looks like the final firing of my tile will be 04 afterall. In the photo you can see I brushed on some diluted rutile and red iron oxide on and grey underglaze. The rutile gave the image an aged paper look which might work for my final piece. I slipped in a couple of other tests where I laser printed images onto special decal paper I bought at a model car/train/airplane store very close to home. Artists who have experimented with decal transfers recommended getting it from beldecal.com however I was concerned about timing since it needs to be purchased and shipped from the United States, so I thought I would try this out - and it worked!
I put the transfers onto already fully glazed and fired cone 6 cups and fired them in the 04. Again the result was faded, so I might try doing this at a lower temperature such as 012 as other artists have done. In the late afternoon I took a trip into Dundas to take some clay pressings to give me some different textures for my tile. One of my stops was Grove Ceremony where a memorial is built and a number of the Bertrams are buried. As I bent down to clean off some of the stones laid in the ground so I could read them, there were a number of times where I heard something over my shoulder and felt a presence. I think the Bertrams like that I am interested in their family history and am recognizing it in this way and were were visiting me in this sacred place to let me know so. I have started to feel like their history and lives have become a part of me. It is something unexpected in this process but very special. My clay molds are drying and my next steps are firing these molds, maybe another round of tests of the grey glazes while I commence making the frames of the tile pieces.
But, there will be a slight pause while Robert and I head up to Awenda Provincial Park for 4 glorious days of camping with my friends Kristin and Sue and their families - our 2nd annual trip together. This photo of Ceil and I on a rock on the beach at sunset probably 3 years ago, just gives that sense of peace we have there. I'll post more when I return.

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