Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What is white?

They look white in this image, but actually these pieces are creamy colored. I am not sure if we have ever glazed a pot white. I know these pieces will not stay white, but as they are, it initiated a conversation about glazing pots with a clear or white, and the subsequent questions, thoughts, and responses. All imperfections are clearly visible when glazing with a clear or white glaze. One question presented to us was just how perfect does a pot need to be for this effect? These were made by hand in a studio that also uses red clay, stoneware, and color glazes which means flecks of this and that can easily find their way into the glaze or clay, which they did.

What is white?
If we were after a white we would test many porcelains with a variety of opaque white and clear glazes. Grolleg over tile-6 kaolin? Would we be after the creamier side of white or the blue side of white? When we dropped these pieces off yesterday we saw the porcelain works the Jingdezhen clay artists shipped over from China. Those pieces were glazed with a very pale ice blue transparent celadon glaze. The Chinese pieces were definitely sweet in color and smooth. High fired in a gas kiln makes a huge difference in a glaze. There is something about the melt between clay and glaze at over 2300 degrees F that just does not happen the same with mid-range electric firings. But there are qualities at mid range electric firings that you just can't get in high fire gas. Which is why we do both.
Our response?
Do we like white pots? Do we want to try to glaze some of our pots white? Probably not. But I do think we may pull out our bucket of ice blue celadon and try mixing up a few more celadon glazes in the future.

Bruce is glazing a platter in the image below. We transferred the glaze to the large metal container.

Where is Bruce going to go with the platter? All table tops are occupied.

He found a space

We let the pots dry over night and the next day Bruce brushed glaze over the places where his fingers held the pot


-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

I have always kind of liked clean, white pots; clear glazed porcelain especially. They are quiet, simple, uncluttered. I like that minimalistic sensability. Also, it takes some cojones to put everything out there like that. You have to have complete confidence in your form. Every curve, every detail, every mark has to be considered, perhaps even moreso than on pots with other finishes. Like you said, everything shows; nothing gets covered up. I like that.

Bulldog Pottery said...

working with porcelain and glazes with color and texture is hard enough. I think we'll leave the demands of clear white glazed pieces to those with stonger constitutions.