Renovate It, I Say

Some time ago, back in spring of 2017, in fact, I made a whole group of largish handbuilt clay bowls. I colored them according to my usual techniques of using Velvet underglazes and scratching into the layers. They were quite nice, but – you know, they are bowls, and yet they are not functional. Here are a couple of the bowls:

Bowl #3
Bowl #7

Since I didn’t glaze them, they were not food-safe. They could not be cleaned well enough to prevent bacteria from growing in the porous surfaces. Now you know why foodware is glazed, as are tiles for walls and floors. They need to be washable.

Well, the bowls sat around for a long while; some I gave away, and finally, I’ve come to the end of the road with the ones that are left – I’d like to sell them and move on. But I can’t do that because, even if I warn the purchaser they can’t be used, well, who’s gong to remember that kind of thing for any length of time, or – if the bowl changes owners…Because a bowl is meant to be used – it’s not a sculpture.

Bowl #2

So I decided to glaze them. Now, I am pretty sure I will not like the look of them as well as I do now, but – they are stuck in limbo and I like that even less. I got out my glaze and coated the whole group of them.

Then I loaded the kiln.

The lovely green color will turn clear in the firing. Wait and see!

You may notice I also have a large vase in there. It’s this item, below. Once again, it won’t hold water unless it is glazed.

I had a little bit more room so I added a tile, and I will re-fire a dish that didn’t do well in its first glaze firing.

I’m not great at glazing and I don’t love the look, as I said – it changes the colors and I also don’t like the reflectiveness of the surfaces. Well, if things don’t go so well, I won’t be heartbroken, will I? I’ll get that kiln going in the next day or so and see what happens.

10 thoughts on “Renovate It, I Say

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. These poor bowls, I’ve known all along I would be doing this someday. I’m crossing my fingers and I appreciate your encouragement. And if results are not good enough well , then we’ll try plan c. !!!

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I never would have guessed that the glaze went on as such a lurid green. I learn so much about clay working by reading your blog. I look forward with interest to see how the glaze changes those bowls.

  2. Jeanette Clawson

    I love your see what will happen attitude. It inspires me and I love seeing what does happen with your art too! Beautiful bowls. I would not be able to resist using them so good thing they are getting glazed.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Yes, I liked the first look so much but – bowls are functional objects and I have to let them be what they want to be. Next time I do this kind of thing I will plan ahead more, but I think these did fine and I do like it that now there is no disconnect between looks and usefulness.

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