Glaze testing’s an interesting mix of the precision of science and the blind trust of art. You have to document, experiment, document again, and expect 80% failure – like in science.
You also have to keep your eyes fresh, like in art (‘see with your eyes’, as I once heard the famous Anthony d’Offay say, in Llandudno). What ends up looking great is usually the last thing you made, the last thing you expect.
All these were tests on my new ‘holey plates’ – the holes and tears are deliberate, and I’m showing the 20% of tests that were OK. For one glaze test I used the two parts of a broken plate: and realise I really like it.
I also like the back of the plate – not sure quite why yet, but this unknowing is pretty normal. I know it’s partly because of the mark. I usually impress this ‘maker’s mark’, but on the fragile plate I used a ceramic pencil, as well as the test identifier (in binary, it looks better).
I have been collecting interesting sites to tell you about – a kind of curatorial role – but some of the online ones have been disappointing. Retronaut is interesting: a great resource for images. Lost at E Minor is a magazine style site, the taxidermy mice are, I think, great: but almost fall into the ‘cute kitten in a hat’ category. They are cute, but to be honest, I don’t know who has time for them.
I’m also intrigued by the Facebook versions Retronaut and Lost at E Minor. Wouldn’t you prefer a searchable, classified site? Any suggestions on ways to use Facebook more satisfactorily gratefully recieved!
My best find this week was a book, in the library, Quilt Me by Jane Brocket. I’ve added a few images of my favourites to the gallery below. Reading her sources, I became rather overexcited, and tried to buy a 12kg bag of Harris Tweed scraps on ebay at midnight. Luckily I failed, and the morning brought better sense. But there’s great materials at www.eternalmaker.com and www.deckchairstripes.com to make some of the quilts illustrated. There’s some more examples and ideas on my Pinterest board.