Wednesday, 14 February 2018

spectacular failure!

Last month there was a very welcome surprise at my house, in the form of a florist bearing a magnificent bouquet of yellow tulips. The flowers were a post-xmas treat from my husband's uncle in the US and yellow tulips happen to be my favourite flower. To round the treat off, the bouquet was in a gorgeously simple white ceramic vase.

When the flowers had run their course naturally, I set about to design a composition to be glaze painted on the vase. I was hyped up by the previous success of my glaze paintings on pre-made ceramic tiles. I took measurements and did an idea sketch.

To me, the vase was a surface just waiting to be re-born in my ceramics workshop. But who could have suspected that the white glaze was, in fact, not a white glaze...

I had decided to make the tulips larger in my final design, and set about glaze painting the vase.

For the inside, I continued with some of the outer glazes, allowing them to spontaneously drip over the white. I spread glass pieces (stained glass left over from a mosaic commission of ten years ago) over the inside bottom of the vase for a big splash of colour.

When the kiln was opened after the firing, the glass on the bottom seemed to have survived...

...but the rest of the glazed decoration had turned to dust! What seemed to be a white glaze on the vase was probably just varnished paint. When it burnt off in the high firing it took the glaze with it. All is not lost, however -- there is still a fine ceramic vase beneath the wreckage. After a clean up and sanding, I will glaze paint my design again. I can deal with the déja vu, and may even look forward to it.

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