Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Everybody Needs......

A helper cat!

I was photographing a dragon and a fish when Aloysius decided that he would be my assistant.  I have just about finished glazing the dragon some may remember from last summer.  I've started painting the fish.  I'm trying to keep a better record of what my process is.  However, when I get caught in the moment I forget to stop and take pictures.
I sort of think of glazing as the necessary evil of majolica.  The glaze has to be applied evenly without drips and/or brush marks.  I usually scrape any imperfections off with a matte knife or a flexible metal rib.  I then spray the whole thing with hair spray.  Low fire glazes tend to powder and cause brush drag when decorating.  If it's a particularly powdery glaze I will even go so far as to mix a little acrylic medium in the glaze..  I try to be very logical about this but most of the time I just wing it.

There are two important thing to remember:
1. That the bisque has to be absolutely free of dust and grease before glazing.  If stuff has been sitting uncovered I spray it hard with a vinegar and water mix.
2.  Any imperfections that are in the glaze and decoration before firing will be there after firing.  I have had brush hairs show up as thin lines after firing.  

My amaryllis have started blooming.  They are a richer red in the pot.   My camera tend to make reds go a little orange or a little violet.  Most likely it's because I am not terribly camera savvy.

They were supposed to be apple blossom which is a white with pink highlights.  I bought these at Job Lot.  I have a feeling they were there because the boxes were mislabeled.  I can't complain about the price and bulbs were in great shape.  Someday I'll get some other colors.

The weather has warmed up considerably with lots of sun expected over the next week.  Predictions are for mid forties to low fifties, going dow into the mid twenties at night.  The snow is melting and it's quite pleasant when the wind isn't blowing.  I love being in my studio when it's like this.

As always, thanks for stopping by............*s*


  1. Thanks for the info about the glazing. I have students occasionally ask about majolica, the more I can help them the better for everyone.

  2. Hi Lori...aside from workshops with Linda Arbuckle and Walter Ostrom my knowledge of majolica comes from trial and error. If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me.

    Hi Gary...Yes! You know whereof I speak!

  3. Isn't it just like a cat to get in the middle of it, I try to keep my bisque in the kiln till I am ready to glaze it and keep it covered till I glaze it and then I wipe it off with a damp sponge before glaze, so far most of the time it works out. We are going to be in the 80s for ten days, I am firing now and will do some back to back firing taking advantage of this warm mild weather.

  4. Lovely photo of your sweet assistance with the creations.
    Happy new year and best wishes for 2013


  5. I really enjoyed your 12 days and now I am having a hard time letting go...
    That flower is beautiful!
    Good luck on your glaze and fire.

  6. I feel like when you talk about majolica I am in a whole new world... I know so little about the process. I think I am too messy (and dusty) to ever be able to do it!

    and Aloysius is adorable!

  7. Dearest Suzi,
    You were so right when you commented on my January 1 post: Let It Be A Happy New Year, where I pose with our Tiggy-Tiger girl. They look like cousins! Is Aloyisius also tiny?
    Oh, ours constantly want to fill in as personal assistant!
    Love to you all,

  8. LOL! Alway nice ro have an assistant in the studio! Glazing...... I find it the most distasteful part of my work! I will fill the studio until tripping over it! Takes me a kiln load to get my bearings then I'm off. And always putting tests in the kiln! Love the amyrillis, didn't get one this year and sorry now! Just love seeing that color in January. Today hiking and potting are in order, we have hit are January thaw! Yippee!

  9. Hi Linda....Aloysius just loves to be in the middle of things at all times. I load my kiln as I get stuff ready, so I keep bisque covered with plastic on closed shelves.
    I love the idea of it being in the 80's but hope your kiln is not in the house.

    Hi Carolyn.....Thanks for coming by. A good 2013 to you too!

    Hi Meredith....Thanks. The 12 Days started as a goof with our Christmas Dragon....then I decided to continue. Posting every day....which I did not really do is hard. Gary has my admiration for posting every day!

    Hi Michele....We're at opposite ends of the firing spectrum. When you talk about wood firing I feel the same feeling of a whole new world. Some day I would like to give it a try to see what it's all about.

    Hi Mariette....I love finding Kitty Cousinsin blogland. Aloysius weighs about 12 pounds. I think of him as a medium size as I once had a Maine Coon Cat named Zeke who weighed 24 pounds with no fat on him! He was huge!

    Hi Sandy.....What would we do without our helpers? I put off glazing with many excuses......and I KNOW I will be able to do lots of neat stuff in decorating if I just get past that one step! In the 40's today, possible 50's tomorrow.....with sun...yes!


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