The first thing my daughter’s friend said when he walked into our house yesterday was “I love all the colors!” So, of course, I immediately loved him. Looking at vibrant color makes me happy, but sometimes I wonder if this series of plates and bowls is too bright, I don’t know, not potter-y enough. I’d like your opinion.
I started using underglazes early on because I have more of a feel of painting and making color decisions as I go. I don’t seem to keep accurate color in my mind very well. I’m not one of those people who can say, “oh, what that burnt sienna needs is a little thalo blue to wake it up,” like my studio mate, Joan (see February 28, Painting in Clay) I know what works when I see it, but the process seems to be more intuitive than organized. If the colors didn’t balance the way I wanted when I painted with acrylics on canvas, I could paint over almost immediately till I was satisfied.
Since the color of the unfired underglaze is usually just flatter and duller than what it will look like when fired, I can more or less picture how it will come out. I only fire to cone 5, so I can be pretty sure what will happen in the firing. While I am really drawn to the rich surfaces of soda glazed pots and the beautiful color variations from reduction firing, and I know beautiful glaze colors are obtainable from a cone 5 oxidation firing, maybe I am just wanting more control over my materials and using underglazes has been an easy way to get fairly consistent results.
Thinking about color led me to a couple of on-line color quizzes which I took for investigative purposes and with enormous skepticism. The claim was that these tests are often used by employers and they are reliable. Yeah, right. But I was surprised with the results. It’s easy enough. You just click on a series of 6 0r 7 colors by preference. When using my own straight out preferences what it said about me was pretty much correct – much better than a horoscope! A couple of the comments were things I don’t really like to admit but recognize anyway, darn it.
I redid the test backwards (this time black was my favorite color) and predictably my personality was seen as darker, (“Disappointed because her hopes have not come to pass and she fears . . .”), but it’s kind of a fun thing to do if you have about 5 extra minutes while you’re waiting for water to boil. (colorquiz.com)