Do you recall when I first decided to create a mosaic of The Starry Night
by Vincent van Gogh? (See my Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain
Well, things are progressing nicely if a tad slowly. The reason for my tardiness is that I decided to give my piece a 3D element by using multiple layers of pressed board to represent the mountains in the mid-ground and the tree in the foreground. The current state of play is as shown on my kitchen table below:
The thing is that I've decided to create and glaze my own ceramic tiles, so I ordered a small kiln, which arrived earlier this week. I've also laid my hands on 50 pounds of white clay to start playing with and I have a load of different glazes winging their way to me as we speak.
I've also been fortunate enough to be introduced to a bunch of guys who do pottery here in Huntsville, so I'm getting a lot of advice (unfortunately, much of this advice is conflicting – it's hard to get artists to agree on anything, and it's even harder if they are all engineers and scientists in the daylight hours [grin]).
It seems that mixing different colored glazes is exactly NOT like mixing pigments – at least not when you are running at the multi-thousand-degree "Cone 5/6" temperatures at which I'm going to be working. At these "liquid glass" temperatures, we are talking about the potential for some very strange chemical reactions indeed.
If you mix yellow and blue paint, for example, you have a batting chance of ending up with a green-ish hue. By comparison, goodness only knows what you are going to end up with if you mix yellow and blue glazes.
The reason I'm waffling on about this here is that the guys I've been talking to have a huge amount of experience in this area. Take a look at this picture of three tin cans, for example (click here
to see a larger, more detailed version):
These little beauties, which now grace the shelves of my office, were created by a mathematician called Ned who specializes in chaos theory. I'm sorry about the slight fuzziness of this image – it's the best I could do with my iPhone. But irrespective of my poor photography, when you learn that these are made out of pottery you have to admit that they are rather magnificent. I just love everything about them, from their shape to their distressed look, and the way Ned has glazed them to look metallic on the outside and rusty on the top is incredible.
I have so much to learn and so much experimentation to perform. Watch this space…
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