Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Blues

One simple phone call yesterday afternoon left me overwhelmed by the blues: navys, royals, and other variegated shades, all highly anticipated, and none quite as I expected.

I waited impatiently all day for word that these azure tiles were ready to emerge from the kiln where they’d spent the holiday weekend intermingling with some yellows and limes and a few stray reds and tans.

As excited as I was to receive the citrus shades, there’s a mosaic crab with a looming deadline whose future depends on some fairly immediate indigo, sapphire, and navy. Besides, I’ve fired so many lemony hues, I’m seldom surprised by the results. But my blues? Coated with a less-than-familiar paint, every last one was a wild card. And every once in a blue moon, I get a bolt from the same hue when I open the lid of the kiln, post-firing. Yesterday was one of those occasions.
The yellows and greens didn’t disappoint: their true blue performance matched my expectations. But my experimental cobalts suffered from a distinct lack of shine, not unlike a wall sporting a fresh coat of flat paint when a high glossy sheen was anticipated.

Upon sight of the muted tiles, my hopes for finishing my crab by deadline immediately began to dissipate into the blue. Fortunately, my trusted consultant –who happens to own the kiln—taught me a new trick of the trade. It is evidently possible to add additional coats of glaze—liquid glass that goes on green, or perhaps pink, depending on the brand and melts into a hardened sheet of crystal-clear shine—and re-fire the lackluster tiles.

So I tiptoed out this morning amidst the cool tones of first light with my freshly glazed tiles and had the kiln loaded and firing again an hour before I’m typically out of bed.

Late this afternoon, I will once again lift the lid, with high hopes of revealing some high-gloss cerulean. Otherwise, I will be…well, blue.


5thsister said...

those blues are quite impressive! when I was doing pottery I always looked forward to the kiln opening, especially if I was working with a new glaze. always an exciting time. can't wait to see your crustacean!

5thsister said...
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blueviolet said...

I hope the refiring works and the tiles turn out perfectly!

Gropius said...

You are bringing on a wave of deep creativity, I tell you! Blues are always a good choice. I love the variation in the ones you photographed.


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