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Details [ceramics]

There was a request up at the ceramics studio yesterday, asking participants to please work on glazing pieces because of a large backlog of bisqueware. I'd been intending to wait until the last session (this is week 6 of 8), but on the other hand I also want to be a good studio member. So after trimming a couple of pieces, I started getting organized to glaze a few things.

I try to keep a reasonably detailed log of pieces I've made and how I glazed them. In the beginning, I just haphazardly scribbled notes in colored pencil on the back of handouts, but eventually I figured out that I wanted to have a better idea of what to expect from each glaze, because they all behave differently on different clay bodies.

Looking through my old notes, I wound up favoring Steven Hill Yellow and Plume on many different pieces.

The trouble is, over time, some glazes get cycled out of use at the studio for various reasons. Yesterday, there was a quarter-bucket left of the Plume, so it's on its way out. No signs of Steven Hill Yellow. Another one I liked, Purple Haze, is almost entirely gone, probably because although it is beautiful it runs like crazy and probably caused the studio to lose way too many kiln shelves. So I worked with what was available. But it again made me think that I need to talk to the instructors and see whether they're willing to share some of the glaze recipes with me, in the hopes that some day I can develop my own.

Glazing also made me really miss Bridget, because she put her heart into the development and maintenance of the glaze collection at the studio, and it showed. A certain vibrancy is gone. Good glazes can transform plain, homely pieces into something magical, and Bridget always found a way to see and share the beauty of the things people made. In the last two weeks I have finally been able to talk to a couple of the people who were present when her health started to dramatically slip downhill - none of them are in the Thursday evening class. A small handful of those familiar faces are still around, but opportunities to bump into them are limited. Towards the end I'd tried to arrange to visit with Bridget, but I didn't try too hard because I knew she was surrounded by a caring community, and when you're sick and dealing with cancer everything becomes exhausting.

I feel it's important to help carry Bridget's legacy forward, though I don't always know how. Part of that legacy involves continuing to learn about how clay and glazes work, continuing to experiment, and continuing to see beauty everywhere.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1222164.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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