February 26, 2016

From Bottle to Bowl: More Ceramic Revisions

At the end of last year, I had decided to cull through my collection of small ceramic vessels and musical instruments in order to revise what I could and discard the rest.  That project was finally completed with the last pit firing a few days ago.  The project took much longer than I had anticipated because I should have just thrown out more and salvaged less.  My proclivity towards art rescue  prevailed over common sense and everything that could possibly be restored by re-tuning, resurfacing and firing over again was “fixed” in such a way.  Some fixes were successful, others not, and a few were more trouble than they were worth. 
I post today a small example of a piece that overlaps a successful fix that was still more trouble than it was worth.  The pit fired bowl pictured above had started out as a reduction pit fired bottle with a strange stopper.  I didn’t like the surface so I sanded it down.  In order to make it truly a nice shape I sanded down quite a while - so far that the top part of the bottle fell off.  Now it became a bowl.  So I threw away the odd stopper, finished the edge of what was now a very different vessel, and added variously colored stains and terra sigillata.  This went back in to the pit for a smoke firing and a delightful little piece emerged.  But would such a piece recover the hours that went in to the revision?  I doubt it, unless it can be counted as hours spent in learning from experience.

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