I resolved a couple of weeks ago – it wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution, but just an everyday kind of decision, to exercise every day instead of the 2 to 4 times a week I had been doing. For me exercise means walking – fast and uphill on good days, and I’ve been being pretty good at sticking to it, for the last 6 days, anyway.
Yesterday, though, I was busy with other things and it was getting dark and cold and the couch and my book were calling to me, but, and I’m proud of myself here, I grabbed Gerti’s leash and took her off for a night walk. I did this a lot last summer, walking up in the hills in the long summer evenings, listening to music, watching – between the houses – the sun go down behind the Golden Gate Bridge, but by 6:30 on a cloudy evening in January, it’s just dark. which doesn’t bother Gerti in the least and after the first chilly, ‘this is work’ few blocks, I started enjoying myself.
Some thoughts on walking in the dark:
Dark is pretty private. / Dogs see better in the dark than humans. / You can sing along to music and not be embarrassed because there is no one around to hear you and even if there is you can’t see their faces. / You can wear your old jacket with the paint on the sleeve. / Plants and flowers look really different in streetlight or porch light. / People store some funny things in their garages. (I went by a garage that I pass by often and tonight, with the lights on inside, I saw that it was full of humorously costumed mannequins – feathers, frizzy wigs, fairy wings).
Today I did another kind of walk I don’t normally do even though it was in the daylight. There is a road through the park that runs along the ridge above town that is heavily traveled except from November to March when the rains come, so that the newts can cross the road to mate in the creek. We didn’t see any but they were probably watching us from the dark under a log.
I spent much time this week preparing and firing test tiles, trying to figure out how to harness the good parts of layers of glaze bubbling up under majolica and also under underglazes. I didn’t get as much information as I wanted because there wasn’t much bubbling, maybe because they were lower in the kiln than last time, but I think I now know which white glazes are best for this purpose.
What made me the happiest in the end, though, was this little scrap of a test. It has just the amount of shine and watercolor matte sheen that I am after.
Here is a look at the other tests of all the white glazes I had access to, with majolica on the left and underglaze on the right in each picture.