Last week I was interviewed for an upcoming article/project on artists. The questions were e-mailed to me ahead of the interview, which gave me added time for hopefully, more thoughtful answers. The additional time had allowed me to better consider some of the questions such as “my first memory of making art” and “was art a part of
my childhood?” Lately, I’ve been working hard to “stay in the moment” after all of the grant writing proposal stuff and being forced to project what my artmaking could become should I be a grant recipient. Another self-analysis personality quirk that came up during the interview is that I’m a rule maker, an observation that Daddy-O keenly diagnosed years ago. Which by the way came in handy yesterday because one of my new rules is “don’t open the kiln until it has cooled to 150 degrees.” Having a rule is THE ONLY thing that keeps me from popping the top at 500 degrees to peek inside after the firing cycle is complete! The load of ^6 came out mostly OK –with the exception of my “Sedna Masks” which portions exploded due to air bubbles in my slabs. The good news
is my Pods all turned out wonderful and the test trays using the Duncan HF 583, Black Gloss High Fire Glaze onto the green ware came out great. Actually, better than I expected. This was the first time I applied a gloss glaze to the greenware without it being an underglaze. This Duncan glaze was part of the large lot of misc. glazes I bought second hand last year. I thought the gloss black really lent itself to doing some more Ravens. The extra large Pod that is over 18" even fired beautifully.
During the interview I was also asked about working and combining the two different mediums of steel and clay and their different processes. I made a comment about how steep the learning curve has been with clay and I thought I’d be farther along by now with the medium. The interviewer asked if I kept those detailed journals potters do on firing schedules, kiln temperatures etc.
“Ha!” I replied. Good intentions went by the weigh side on my second firing last year! I scribbled my outcomes on various box flaps, scraps of paper and whatever else I found lying around that are now, nowhere to be found. I dreamed early on that I would have a thick, leather-bound journal STUFFED with glaze recipes and secret firing schedules by now... Then the writer pointed out a very important observation and she said “well, isn’t clay more SCIENTIFIC?” Exactly, I thought. Good science practices are necessary for good outcomes and every phase of working in clay takes more measured practices than I’m used to. I love science, but I'm learning I'm not a very good clay scientist!