Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ideas that slowly crystalize

(12199C) - whole lotta crunch goin' on

(82098I) nearly 3 days of cooling after a 4 day firing to cone 8 in a brick saggar

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it is that really ties things together, what sums them up, what leads to the solution, etc. I think that crystallization explains it succinctly. First off you have to give ideas, problems, chemicals...lot of room to flow, expand, explore. Then there's a certain amount of work that has to be input (heat! stimulus, $$). Time becomes a factor too. Too much time during the input end, and you just burn out. Throw too much money at something and it may as well be burned. But JUST the right amount... and at just the right time, and it is better than gold. Same with glazes.

Where it gets interesting though is when time becomes a MAJOR player. By leaving things alone, and not changing or inputting new information... sometimes this becomes the catalyst. With these glazes, the super-slow cooling of many days made such a huge difference. Crystals I have never seen before in ANY glazes, were not only happening, but they were popping up in ways I am still amazed by. Imagine layers of ice forming on a lake. Then rain on top, freezing. Then a cold snap, and more ice forming below the first two layers of ice. I have glazes with similar behavior. Stranger still, are the ones where there is still a very fluid and sometimes gaseous bubbly interior! Those are some amazing glazes.

So we are left with time. Time cooling. Time left alone. Perhaps that is what this time over the past few years has all been about. Time for me to solidify my feelings about teaching. Time for me to get my head into a space where I can focus on my student's needs. Guess that means it is time for me to get back out into the teaching sphere again. Workshops here I come!

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