In my ceramics class these past few weeks we worked on a coil project which required a lot of scoring and slip. The piece also had to somehow represent the human body.
After assembling the coils to look like a woman’s torso, I wanted to carve in a design so I added a thickened layer of slip to the outside of the piece. As I added slip I had to make sure the piece wasn’t getting too wet because then it would fall apart, so I used a hair drier to dry the slip. The siren scales and seaweed that I carved into the slip wasn’t planned but just sort of happened as I was messing around with it.
After the design was carved into the slip, I put it on the shelf to be bisque fired. The piece fired nicely but how I wanted it to be glazed was another project. I wanted to make sure that the design that I carved into the slip would pop out against the colored glaze. My teacher suggested an iron wash which would show through the glaze after it was fired. I painted the iron oxide onto my piece and then used a sponge to wipe away the extra so that the iron was left in the crevices of the design. Before I could pour or spray any glaze onto the piece I needed to make sure it was dry.
The next step after it dried was to glaze the inside of the piece. This processes involved pouring the glaze into the piece and then turning it as you pour the glaze back out, making sure to get the inside completely covered. It has to be done quickly so that the piece doesn’t become too saturated. Before spraying the outside, I cleaned off the extra glaze that dripped out and let it sit to dry. Spraying my piece was a lot of fun because it gave it a nice even coat. After it dried I made sure to clean the extra glaze off of the bottom and sides of the piece so that the glaze didn’t melt it to the shelf of the kiln.
I really like the colored glaze that I chose because the variation in tones is really nice. The design that I carved into the piece showed up pretty well but some of it didn’t pop like I wanted it to. Besides the little details, I really enjoyed making this piece and hope to make something like it again very soon!