• kevin_stafford_kbcs_38_17

I started out the week brushing the clear glaze on the bowls. I mixed 1000 grams of E_Base clear (see Instructor post for more details). It turned out to be the perfect amount to glaze all twenty six bowls. Barely a drop left over.

You might wonder why my clear glaze brushes on purple. I added some industrial dye to make it easier to see against the white porcelain. The colour burns away in the firing.

If I had wanted to dip these bowls, I would have mixed a 10,000 gram batch of glaze. The remainder would have had to be stored. With brushing, I use 90% less material and am left with nothing to store. I can have a one litre batch ready to brush in about 20 minutes. Seems the most efficient use of materials.

I fired the first load of underglazed mask bowls this week. The second load will be out tomorrow. Down to one kiln until I get an element changed.

As I examined these up close, I was quickly reminded of some of the reasons I got away from underglaze on porcelain. Most need touch ups and re-firing or an audience that is accepting of glaze flaws. The problem comes from the refractory nature of some of the colours. If you want that colour, you have to put up with its issues.  The pieces generally look better after re-firing but sharp lines can start to blur. These mask bowls have not yet been touched up or re-fired.

I think of both types seen here as animal spirit bowls. The black glaze can be seen as the night sky with the crystals being the stars and galaxies. The interior image is a kind of “Constellation of the Cat”. The bold underglaze painting of the clear glazed bowls is meant to speak to those who see themselves as having an animal essence. The bowl is a device to help people connect.

Will get the re-fires done this week if possible though I am already moving on to the next idea. Working on a wax model for a sculpted version of the mask bowl. Will be pressing copies in the mould made from the new wax model. I see the finished bowl as being a kind of ritual object.