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Outcome of large "Middle-East meets South-West" piece

Perching on grid and batons over wide tray.

So, this figure is finally ready for glazing. I am very nervous as so much time has gone into making it and especially into decorating it with underglazes. How shall I best glaze it? First off I carefully paint on wax resist to the white band and areas wrapping around the figure. I don't want these glazed. After some discussions I've decided that pouring the slip over the figure would be best. I know that it is quite forgiving when it comes to drips and doesn't go cloudy where applied thicker. With Dave's help I actually get such a good overall coverage that I only need to need to touch up very few areas on the underside which didn't get glazed. I just used a paintbrush for this.

Pouring on clear glaze

It doesn't look to bad and the waxed areas have not all been covered up with glaze.

Making sure glaze is even and applied correctly

Next, I spent some time carefully scraping away any drips and excess glaze in order to expose all the waxed areas I want unglazed.

I carefully transport my figure into Dave's electric kiln in which gets fired slowly to 1260°c along with one of my other pieces. May the kiln gods be kind to them!

In kiln waiting to be fired
Glaze blemish

Yes, yes, yes - it has worked. I am so pleased.

There was only one little mishap and this was totally my fault. One of feet was resting on the kiln shelf and some of the bat wash has fused with the glaze. It took me quite a long time to figure out how that had happened as the first thing I did when designing the pattern was mark out the areas on which the figure would rest so that I would leave those undecorated and unglazed. So, how come it didn't work?

It happened when placing the figure in the kiln. I pushed it so far into the corner of the kiln to make space for the other figure that one unglazed foot was hanging over the edge of the kiln shelf. This meant it that it was standing on the wrong foot.

So, I chipped off as much of the white bat wash residue off as I could before carefully sanding the rest off by hand using a diamond sanding pad. That kind of worked (left) but I thought I might be able to improve on it by trying to integrate the fault into the overall design of decoration, thus disguising it. So, I bravely took a little rotary power tool to it and started sanding. To my relief I did not damage it or break it and it kind of worked. I don't think you'd really notice it if you didn't know it was a mistake. So, shhhh...

After using diamond sanding pad
After power tool sanding

Otherwise, I am totally happy with the outcome of this piece. The shiny clear glaze has a real luxurious feel to it that brings out the decorations and is a pleasing contrast to the unglazed bands. So, here are some photo taken of the final piece:

I am supposed to be critical about my work within this MA. So, what would I do differently, have I learn from this project or take forward?

  • Take more care when placing a piece into the kiln.

  • Maybe do another piece like this based on different pattern families and other colour choices.

  • Maybe decide not to have the unglazed white bands running around it but forfeit the possibility to position it any way I like by having a definite up and down by leaving only it's feet unglazed.

  • I still think going larger would be great but do I have the time or patience at the moment?

Anyway, I'm on the right way. Yay!

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