Good morning! I ran a glaze firing last night, full of work the Grand Tasting (and shopping!) day at the Vintage 901 wine festival this weekend. Early this morning I pulled two test pieces out of my little kiln (chock full of tiny vases and herb markers for the market) and mused about the continuous changes in my speckled egg line.
I developed these pieces over 10 years ago, throwing egg -shaped vases out of white stoneware, and speckling them with iron oxide between glazing and firing. This worked well for years, until my commercial glaze became unreliable a few years ago. The process was tedious, and the oxide would fly around the kiln, landing on pure white pieces, necessitating a thorough vacuum of the kiln after each speckled firing. Last summer I decided to bring these pieces back. I developed a new aqua glaze and added granular rutile to the glaze. The look was much softer, not quite what I wanted. In the fall, I grabbed an old bag of speckled clay that ran with it. So much easier. I didn't have to worry about adding the speckles, but my process of slip-coating the leather-hard pieces was troublesome. If the work was too pliable, it warped in the slip-coating. Too dry, and the slip cracked off. I loved the look, but it wasn't right.
Knowing that I wanted to make a set of dinnerware out of this work, and frankly missing having a reliable aqua for other pieces, last week I mixed up several new aquas and tested them again. I tried three bases, and here is my favorite of the three (and appropriately, as I took this photo in the morning drizzle, I noticed robins beginning to build their spring nests):