This month has been, frankly, killing me. I haven't worked as much as I'd hoped because my grandmother has been in the hospital for the entire month, but happily, gratefully, she is leaving today. Family takes precedence over everything else in my book, so many of my work days have been spent with her and I've fit in pottery here and there as I can. My new assistant and I glazed the first batch of my work for the month on Thursday. I was tickled with how some of the pieces came out, but all of the cups I made were a bust. Something went wrong with the new batch of glaze (too much water and too much settling, I'm thinking) and all of the cups came out of the kiln feeling like sandpaper. But the plates were happy, so I'll share them here with you.
My first plate of the year was the final plate in a set I've been working on for some time. It is porcelain, 10.5" in diameter, and decorated with cobalt inlay in a cascading circles pattern. I've been making an entire dinner set in batches of four since early last year, with big breaks to work on other projects and to fix my glaze issues.
The second plate is also porcelain, a little bigger at 11". I decorated it with inlaid drawings of bluebirds from an English milk jug I borrowed from a friend a few years ago (and that I've used to decorate cups - more of these are coming). I have a set of underglaze watercolors that I like to use for these birds but not much else. They are a little finicky.
Finally, a smaller plate (9 or so inches) that I cut scallops into when it was still quite wet. I painted a bee and floral border with cobalt oxide wash on one side of the plate and finished the border with simple blue ticking. I think this one may be my favorite. I especially like how the cobalt moved a bit as we brushed the clear glaze over the surface of the plate, giving it a bit of haze.
This morning I did a hopeful reglaze of the cups that I made, many in the bluebird design. Plates four and five are drying, nearly ready for their bisque fire. I'm looking forward to more regular work hours during February and a shop update near the middle of the month (but sadly not before valentine's).
Happy new year, friends.