Saturday, March 6, 2010

What do we call this?

We call this, "Catastrophic Project Failure." See photo 1. Ooops.

But the story isn't so sad. Simple creative challenges are a tool I'm using to move my work forward. I chose a color pallete (photo 2), picked a mold, and went about creating a simple result, not getting overly wrapped up in, "Will this be the coolest thing ever produced?" which is what often happens that results in me not doing an actual piece.

I played with the four colors, cutting four sets of pieces, and creating different arranagements (photo 3). The results were some which I liked, some less so. Starting with the less liked combo, I fused, then slumped. Or, I should say, I successfully fused, but a number of things went wrong during the slump.

My kiln is too small for a project like this. If I want to do it, ramp up needs to be painfully slow, not aggressive (as I tend to run).  The piece cracked in half while ramping up to the full slump temp. So by the time it draped, it was already broken, and the sides slid down to the bottom. Luckily, there's enough kiln wash plashed all over my kiln that nothing stuck. The soak temp was too high, too close to the devit zone which likely caused the grey shift in the blue and the caramel in the marzipan color. The soak time at slump temp was also too long; slump gave way to a much more fluid result. Given it was only 12 minutes, that surprised me.

This mold makes a simple arced piece with a depression; perfect for a simple votive holder, an altar piece, an interesting serving dish, or a spot on a nightstand to place jewelry and other precious things so they won't get lost. When it works, anyway.

On to the next least attractive color combo. By the time I get to the last one I should have it right; that will be iteration #4. 

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