Friday, February 01, 2008

one piece, one glaze

Yesterday I put this pot up on my etsy site. It's a really old piece, I think I made it in 2003. Back then, one of my main muses was the lily pad and lotus flower, and I made a lot of raised relief designs with slip trailing, emulating the veins of a lily pad. Very labor-intensive, but the results were lovely. The shape of this pot was also very standard for me. I wanted a continuous and unbroken line where the lid met the pot. There was something about a typical pot where the shoulder has a little rise where the lid can rest that I just did not like. The shape seemed too conventional and brought down my design. I always had to fire the lids separate from the pot, which is kind of a no-no, but it worked for me.

This pot was glazed during a period of time when my matte green glaze was not firing out at all, it was coming out a grayish-green, like on this piece here, and it was making me completely insane. I could not appreciate it the way it was, all I saw was the way it should be. Man, the pots I marked down because the color did not satisfy me! It's kinda sad the way I tossed my children into the cold when they didn't please me, but good for the people who found them all covered in dust at my studio sales. That matte green glaze has made me insane several times over the years; it is an utterly beautiful and completely undependable glaze. I have referred to it in the past as my bad boyfriend glaze.

One time I wholesaled this matte green for a season, and I sold the hell out of it. When I started firing off orders, the glaze started bubbling. All over, really bad. The galleries get it, they love the wabi-sabi of bubbles, but the retail home accessories store in Dallas, Texas does not get it. I could not get a single piece out of the kiln without a bubble on it. Nowadays I only use it for my own customers, and I don't worry if there is a bubble or two on it. It's a picky glaze that likes to be treated like it's a superstar and doesn't want to be part of a production line. Hey, I get it. I don't call it my bad boyfriend glaze anymore, it's my special baby.


  1. Whitney !!!
    Bad Boyfriend or Special Baby -- it's a lovely glaze! Glad you shared the images of it with us.
    Know exactly what you're expressing when our expectations of what a glaze/pot should look like or turn out to be doesn't meet with the reality of what it becomes.
    Several times now, i've hidden a piece in the back of the pottery shelf, hoping no one will notice it. When it is noticed and complimented on - i don't actually feel the compliment is "real" !
    However, i'd give my eyetooth if my "back of the shelf" pieces were as excellent as yours !!!

  2. I still LOVE that piece - not quite the same as the one I have, but close - it's one of my most prized possessions - a real art piece, I think. And I love that glaze for that reason as well!

  3. "galleries get it, they love the wabi-sabi of bubbles, but the retail home accessories store in Dallas, Texas does not get it."
    I LOVE this line. So true.

    Love your work, love your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Exquisite piece!I am plodding through your newly discovered blog and loving it.