The time was also used to review the passed year and the direction of the future.
My year was one of endurance and frustration as events beyond my control moved at glacial pace. These events have finally been resolved. One more hurdle to get over and onwards.
The silver lining of this cloud has been the time I have been able to devote to being creative - just playing.
Most of the playing involved enamel so thought I'd share some of my enamel tests and the direction my inner 'mad professor' wanted to take.
I have flirted with pretty enamel, but I was looking for rustic, grungy, raw and edgy. So began the journey.
This is a series using liquid white enamel and liquid copper. Was hoping to get copper nitrate, but the local pharmacist's eyes glazed over when I tried to order some. Lateral thinking and a trip to the hardware store yielded cupric hydroxide a gardener's fungal treatment.
(Note: copper nitrate and copper hydroxide can be a hazard, so sensible precautions to limit exposure are required)
Tile one was wet on wet. Tile 2 is wet on dry liquid enamel. Tile 3 is strong copper solution on wet white liquid enamel and the last is the same as 3 but high fired.
The wet on wet yields a rather nice dotted halo effect. Best results are using a weak solution.
Put this one in the useful file.
This is a test using borax which is a flux. Like the pink effect where the flux has thinned the enamel and let the copper show.
2nd panel was fluxed and high fired.
The third one is the craters left when the borax is quickly heated. Might be more effective on paler colours.
(Note: borax is also hazardous)
Next some more of my faves - toxic chemicals! This time in the form of salt glazing. Salt glazing in pottery gives a textured satin finish so thought I'd try.
(Note: heating the salt results in the release of chlorine gas soooo beware)
Love love LOVE the result on this tile.
Satin finish, great colours, fine texture and detail,but could I duplicate it?
Nope, nope, nope, and nope! More time and testing needed on this one.
These two are a combination of liquid enamel, cupric hydroxide and borax. The bottom one is high fired. Really complex textures and colours. Put this one in the useful file.
Next a dalliance with champleve. Need heavier copper, so that deeper compartments can be etched but I like the rustic bleakness.
Finally a sneek peek at a technique in Barbara Lewis's Painting with Fire book.
You will have to come back for more of the story and the full reveal