Marking time

clock2 clock3

I need this clock for the new year to keep track of time passing. Recently I realized that my dog is a year older than I thought she was. She still looks like a puppy so people often ask how old she is. I have been saying 7 but when I was doing my New Year’s Day ritual of marking family’s and friend’s birthdays on my new calendar, I noticed she was born in December 2000. That same day, my dad told me he is also a year older than I gave him credit for. I guess I haven’t been adding up the years. I am fully aware of my own age, however.

This clock is painted with underglaze on bisque with Cone 5 clear over. Underglazes work for me because I like knowing, to a large extent, how the colors and patterns are going to turn out . I do a thumbnail sketch on paper to plan the overall design and work right on the bisqueware in pencil to develop the details and make changes to the composition. I do a lot of erasing. I work out the colors as I go. When I painted on canvas with acrylic, I loved that I could paint over what I had done if I didn’t like it. I’m not so good at planning the details. As soon as I get a picture in my head of what I want, I want to get started and don’t take the time to make more than a cursory plan. Luckily for me, underglazes can be washed off or glazed over if I really blow it .

I got some fun news on New Year’s Day that has nothing to do with time or ceramics. My son, Eli, who lives in Tokyo, is soon getting married to beautiful Junko. They both sound so happy. We talk over Skype so I can hear both of them at the same time and they can both hear me because they live in a small even for Tokyo sized studio apartment with their 4 bikes. They are getting “paper married” by themselves and they will later have a celebration with Junko’s family and me and whoever else in our family that can get there. I am getting excited about going. I have long wanted to see Japanese gardens and also want to go to some potteries. I’d love to hear any suggestions for either of these.


3 responses to “Marking time

  1. Hi Barbara, congratulations on your son’s upcoming marriage and your trip to Japan – what a wonderful place to visit. Love your ceramics. All that work on those beautiful platters. For the s cracks, you seem to be doing everything correctly, rolling several directions, porcelain sand underneath during firing, drying very slowly, perhaps let slabs rest a bit before working with them after rolling; bring glaze firing up very slowly; don’t put platters on bottom shelf; fire just a bit cooler than other pieces and cool down slowly. What clay are you using?

  2. I love your description of Eli’s apartment! I no longer have any clocks in my house. I’d rather not think too much about time or marking it’s passing.

  3. I appreciate the advice, Linda. I can use all I can get. I often fired flat pieces on the bottom thinking they would fire a little cooler, but not realizing they would cool off too fast. I have had serious cracks (split all the way through) when using B-mix. Sandstone Buff, Black Mountain, everything but paper clay. I am going to try to program the Skutt to cool more slowly and also try putting brick or posts around the tiles to slow cooling. How slowly do you bring up your glaze firing at ^6?

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