Thursday, August 6, 2009

Glazing - My Process

Hi there!

I've spent most of the week happily glazing away in the studio. Many more Mini Sculptures and Tile Plaques in the works! And while I've talked to many potters and ceramic artist who find glazing/decorating tedious, this is my favorite part!
After the clay has been bisque fired, I organize the work by size and style and then get to work labeling. (Those of you that know me are laughing at the words 'organizing' and 'labeling' - I know, I know, I cant help it!)
Anyway, using a pencil, I go through each piece, decided which glazes will be used where, and then write a code or abbreviation for the glaze in that spot. I have about 70 glazes mixed, but really only use about 35-45 of these on a regular basis. So there are a lot of codes, most of which would look like gibberish to anyone else!
Then I go through each glaze one at a time, applying it with a small #6 brush. It becomes a "glaze-by-number" and I'm able to sit back and enjoy my favorite podcasts (This American Life, or Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, etc.) or listen to audio books. (Recently I listened to and loved Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Thanks for the recommendation Betsy!)

I've found that listening to podcasts or books during the day passes the time extremely quickly, I learn a lot of information, it keeps my mind focused on positive things rather than worrying (see previous post) AND I'm able to get tons of glazing done! A Win-Win situation all around.

Do you have any routines, habits, or techniques that make "tedious" tasks pass with more ease and enjoyment? Or, any podcast or book recommendations?

Well, those ceramic tiles and Mini Sculptures are in the kiln now, so I should probably go check on them. Thanks for reading a bit about my process.



Anonymous said...

i liked your post and am envious of the label and organize part but am unable to do that myself. i have very tedious parts to my process and try usually to figure out what music i want to listen to the most and then zone/zen out.

Meagan Chaney said...

Yeah, the labeling and organizing is what requires the most concentration. That's when I make all the decisions about color, texture, focal points, etc. Then I can look forward to the zen-ing out! (Like that term. Thanks!)

ang said...

hey meagan, your organisation skills make me smile..the closest i get to that level of process is when i'm glazing my teasets they have at least 4 glazes inside and out and need to be left for a day between dips, then there's the slip trailing over work but that's just which colour is in my hand and does it contrast with the outer layers and away we go..

Patricia Griffin said...

I like the IDEA of organization, and strive to make it happen. But, often fall short of the ideal in my head...

If you haven't listened to Radio Lab or the Moth Podcast, give those a listen too!

Meagan Chaney said...

Thanks Patricia and Ang!

Just downloaded The Moth. Excited about something new.