Sunday, June 15, 2008

Working with Underglazes

I use underglazes to create the colorful matte finish on my sculptures. I DO enjoy working with COLOR. The underglazes are fun because while i am applying them, they look pretty close to the color they will be after being fired in the kiln. It's possible to see and work with the relationships of the colors; like painting with watercolors.

First, I fire the clay, bisque firing. Red clay looks like this after the first firing....
Ready for underglaze. I paint them on with brushes, my fingers, wires, a variety of tools. I use lots of water to create a kind of wash blending the colors. I start with a base color and begin to see where harmonizing colors want to go. Sometimes i use two or three colors only. Usually i use LOTs of colors. I get a little carried away...I have about 40 to choose from which i have arranged in ice cube trays. One tray for blue, one for reds and yellows, etc. If I get something i don't like, i just wash it off and go again. when it's finished the piece goes into the kiln for the second firing where the colors become permanently fired onto the clay.

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