Friday, July 10, 2009

When it gets moved from the studio to the living room, it's done.
So here is "Launch of the Lark", after a third and final firing to tone down
the sheen and to gain metallics. The real Lark leaves in a month!

We will get better photos of her and her piece. A couple of details, of the Van Gogh adaptation "Wheatfield with Lark", the white gold zipper, and the fireworks with Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

I've taken 40-plus in process shots of this piece, just to show how it was made and all the little decisions that go into it. This turned out to be one of the best pieces in awhile (in terms of the technique working properly), thanks to the kiln being fixed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5th...nothing blew up except real fireworks last night!

So here is how it looked in the kiln this morning.

No bad cracks! Everything shrunk 20 % as usual, and the boots seem tiny.
That's good, they belong to a third-grade Larkin....only problem is the Velvet underglazes turned shiny. You never know. But an overglaze will take care of that, and so maybe the zipper will also get a metallic, and a bit on the sparklers.

I am pleased that the Van Gogh "Wheatfield with Lark" color held up. A bit shiny perhaps...hmmm, did he varnish that painting?

One more round and it should all be finished.
Best firing I've had in quite awhile. It helps to get the kiln recalibrated every now and more overfirings!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July Firing of Fireworks

It is fitting that the "Launch of the Lark" receives its vitrification firing today, since this piece is full of fireworks....see above...these are bisque and underglazed, ready to meet the heat. Maybe they'll blow up! The kiln will go to Cone 6, which is app. 2300 degrees. Which is about the temp outside today in Austin, TX...
This is the piece for Larkin's graduation--see first post to view it as greenware, naked, poor thing. It turns out to be about Independence Day. Next post I'll show the sequence of handbuilding and underglazing the backpack and boots, a full technical disclosure. But I'll have to get the Larkin over here to show me how! Here's all of it in the kiln; too tall to sit on a shelf, so is on the very bottom of the kiln.

Tomorrow we'll see a big difference-- I predict the backpack will slump and will have a crack in the back, as there was a small one in the bisque. This will have to be repaired and disguised's porcelain, just have to deal with its limits. Hopefully the sparklers and rockets won't bend too much, but they'll stick to the alumina hydrate which I figure will look like gunpowder. Colors will both deepen and fade. Might need a low fire to attach some pieces and brighten colors; we'll see. Don't plan to add a metallic to this one, but could do the zipper and tabs in gold or white gold if the bronze bleeds out. Boots SHOULD be fine....they were the easiest part. Here they are in all their glory, with ancient Greek Olympian runners on the toes; some are distance runners with torches (to light the fireworks); the others are sprinters.

And one last shot of the backpack, fully loaded with fireworks. Note the rocket with Van Gogh's "Starry Night" on it. His "Wheatfield with Lark" is on the backpack pocket. One rocket is called "Panama Red Devil", the other is "Granada Grenade", for Larkin's previous travels. There is a parachute, a string of firecrackers and a pack of LEADER sparklers with George W. as in Washington. And of course, a Longhorn. And a tag that says "Sparky Larky Making Tracks".

Chlora has big plans for this. It better not blast off!