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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Laniakea: Final work photos 1

I took some photos of the each piece of work in the portable lightroom. More will be taken after I fully set up the work in the show space. 

I like how the quality of the glazes appear on the photos. There are many wonderful details on the glazes, which I only really notice them until the day I took these photos. I love the way that they followed the structure of the work and the gravity, forming beautiful, organic, and unpredictable colours and patterns.

Someone said to me that my previous works are more fantasy. But seeing the following work, I think the current one is not that bad. The darker colours can bring some stability to the work. The blue and orange form a strong contrast, building a sense of fantasy.

I can feel these are the universes in my mind. Each of them is individual, and I just want to hold them, turning around and observing the changes.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Laniakea: Final Glazing 2

I got all my final pieces for the aquascape bisque fired and glazed.

1. Forest

To give a sense of night sky to the inner area of this piece, I used the same glazes as this one which shown in the image.

I built small dots in certain height with BOS11; applied other glazes and sanded them off.

The glazes outside are ASO1+6.

2. Cave

For the inner background, I used the same glazes as the following tests, with the rest part of the work glazed with ASO1+6.

Glazes in the left part, with small geographic patterns,  are from the first image. The glazes around are from the second image. The bottom of the work is going to be covered by sand, so I used some less crucial glazes.

These 'universe bubbles' are all covered by ASO1+6. The forest piece, the cave piece, and even the bit aquarium are the 'universe bubbles' as well. So I give them the same glazes to unify their looking.

I was planning to fire all of them before the final week firing to leave some space for unexpected troubles. Then the unexpected trouble happened.

The kiln broke during firing, stopping at 900+ ℃. After it had cooled down, I took out the works and found that the glazes were peeled off like the paint coming down from the wall. I carefully removed the loss parts of glazes and re-painted the glazes. I was worried that the new glazes are not going to do well with the old glazes. Not to mention there were a lot of cracks on the old remaining glazes. I was so panic when I sent them back to fire again. I have neve done something like this before. I didn't remove all the glazes because I had no time and no sufficient glazes.

I have been thinking about why the glazes cracked like that. I cleaned the clay body well before glazing, so it shouldn't be the problem of dust. Tas said perhaps they soaked at that temperature too long. Then I was aware that the temperature for the outside glaze melting is lower than the inside glaze. Maybe, when the outer glaze starts to change from powder to a more intensive form, the inner glaze is still staying in power, which cause the cracks appear. But during a normal fire, this process happens in a quicker speed, there will be no chance for the glazes to a tragedy like this time.

Well, surprisedly, the outcome are beyond my expectation. Surely, things could be improved, like the control of the thickness of the glaze. I found the glazes on the top part of the middle-sized pieces were quite messy, mainly because I applied one more layer of ASO6 before the firing. But they are actually like the universe! I am so excited that I make sure I have works that I feel happy about to show in the final show. 

Since I fired them on the props, I need to sand down the top of the props that got stuck to the work, and retouch the work with Milliput, acrylic paints and nail varnish. But I won't do this to the works that are going to be in the aquarium. I don't think acrylic paints and nail varnish are safe to the living beings in the tank.

Here are some pictures I took.

The dog like pattern in the middle reminds me constellation, which was caused by the crack of the glazes. It is more like a happy accident to me.