Sunday, 27 December 2015

Memories of the Ocean

Some time in September I started working on the sculpture for Sculpture by the Sea in Cotesloe, 2016.

Today was the first "dress rehearsal".
Before I start welding the frame, I thought that it would be prudent to check if I need to make  any adjustments to the templates.
It is really handy to have a previous sculptures' frame available.....
I WILL BE making a new frame for this sculpture, and it will be a bit different, from the inside.
So here it is:

And with the early morning sun:

I am quite pleased with it (so far)
This was the computer image of the concept:

Not a bad match....

Monday, 14 December 2015

And they are fired

Inpatient as I am, I opened the kiln and got the tests out with the thick gloves. I have a lovely variety of colours here, and texture is really nice:

They start making more sense when I organize them into triaxial blends:

here are a few close ups. I anticipate many hours of playing , sorting and examining....

Red tile is the only one with the stain as colourant (10% signal red). I run out of test tiles and base glaze to test 7.5%, 5% and 2.5%....for now.....

Interesting glaze. I am getting green from cobalt, pale blue from copper and yellow from iron. No chrome - tin pinks though. I like the darker blush at the bottom edge of some tiles.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

More about glaze tests

You have probably figured out that I am fairly organized when it comes to glaze testing.(Ok, we could use a stronger term, but I wont).
Every now and then a glaze catches my attention that I want to explore fully, so I came up with a series of test that will give me the widest range of colours with the least amount of effort and repetition.

and that Heavenly Turquoise definitely deserves further testing.
I have mixed 2 kg of glaze base (removing the colourant) and sieved it.
Protect your lungs!!

As a rule of thumb, I use same weight of water as powder. As I'm mixing a 2 kg batch, I'm mixing it into 2 l of water.
After the sieving, dipping my fingers in glaze will tel me it's thickness. If you can't see your nails - the glaze is too thick. If you can see every little hair on your fingers, it is probably too thin. This one is about right.

After dividing the glaze into smaller batches ( see bottom of the chart on the top of the post)
I use precision scales to accurately weigh the colouring oxides. As per chart, I need 1% chromium oxide, which is in this case equivalent to 1g.

All of them a weighed:

And labeled:



And positioned in the triaxial formation.
This is Triaxial A:

Then the fun begins. I use a syringe to accurately measure 15 ml into second row cups, 10 ml into 3rd row, 5 ml into 4th row and none into 5th.

By the time I'm done with the corner A, it looks like this:

repeat the same with the other 2 corner cups.
It is easy to see the 3 different colour glazes:

stir thoroughly:

label test tiles:


repeat until all done:

Wash all cups, sticks etc, and repeat for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th triaxial....
I also use some extra tiles to combine the leftovers. You can see it in the top left corner of the above chart.
G is the base glaze with no additions....etc
I have just used every single bisque fired test tile I had in the studio...108 of them.

The kiln is on......

Introducing Ehux

At the moment I am making a new series of small sculptural works for next year's sculpture by the sea.
I particularly enjoy throwing and assembling those:

I have named it Ehux after Emiliania huxleyi

The one on the image above is glazed in Tin White glaze, with the subtle tinge of iron oxide underneath.
And then I decided to be adventurous, and mixed a copper green mat glaze from my stash of tests, and sprayed it on the Ehux, without the testing the mix.
Of course, the glaze did not turn out quite like the original test tile, but the FEEL of the glaze is amazing, and the colour interesting....
Here it is, Ehux in copper green (original glaze name is Heavenly Turquoise):

From gold to green, with wonderful accent of the edges...what is there not to like. Under my fingers it is the smoothest most luxurious glaze ever. I am totally smitten.
I can't stop thinking about that glaze..... so I have decided to run a set of triaxial + more tests to see what will it be like with the different colourants.
To be continued.....