Porcelain, the risks and rewards considered…

I’ve been looking at those porcelain pots for a couple of days now.  The best of them were priced and packed off to my show yesterday.  During the process of sanding the traces of wadding from each foot, and checking for the “salt glitter” that sometimes pokes out of the glaze like a tiny nail, I had plenty of time to reflect on their qualities.

I like them a lot, the good ones.  There are about six pots – two plates, two open bakers, and a couple of bowls,  that are warped to a degree that is pretty crazy.  They’re not just warped, the entire piece softened and slumped over the wads in a manner that I couldn’t have imagined.  They are not from the hottest part of the kiln, which produced perfect porcelain cups with the cone pack recording a top temperature somewhat north of Cone 11.

Cup 1

I’ll be keeping this particular cup…  it’s a form I like – unfussy – and I like the flicker of cobalt that fumed out of the top.  There wasn’t as much cobalt fuming as I anticipated, but I can definitely see tiny dots of pink that I has gotta be copper that was circulating through the kiln on several of the pots.  At worst, it looks like pink dirt because it wants to be orange peel as much as it wants to be copper, pretty interesting….

Dogwood Tea Thrown Small

This little two-cup teapot show some of the copper contamination, but not enough to be icky.  There are a few pieces where I simply missed a glaze dribble; not a good thing when the glaze is dark blue and the pots is naked white.

Geo Box (2)

The hand built pots came through just fine.  There was a little bit of that “squeezed” effect at the top that sometimes happens in high fire hand building, but not enough to make the pot a second.  There were four big rectangular vases…  all are nice.

Med Thrown Tea PThis teapot was one of the nicest pots in the load.  Somehow I feel like the white surface; the modest gloss; the dense, almost milk-glass like quality of the surface – there’s a property to the skin of this work I can’t quite describe – moves me closer to what whatever it is that I am really wanting to make.  You know, closer to those pots you see when your eyes are closed.


But then there’s this….  wild warping.  On the other side of this ceramic frisbee is some of the most beautiful carving I have ever done.  BAH!  I didn’t even mentioned that the casserole lids slumped over their wads, autodestructing and spoiling three otherwise perfect pieces….

Enough snivelling!  There will probably be more white pots…. especially if those Exceptionally Special, Clever, Educated, and Generous people who buy my pottery want to pay money for it.  I will trial other porcelains, no doubt, and maybe I’ll find a perfect porcelain for my salt kiln.


One Comment

  1. I’m biased, but can I recommend Porcelain for the People by Matt and Dave’s Clay, It is designed to perform in all those ways that it looks like your current body is coming up short.
    And we ship!

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