On Wednesday, Aurora and I went over to Renata Wadsworth's studio to do some portrait work while she was in the middle of her glazing. For most potters, glazing can be a very private time. I found it to be the most precarious... everything is either wet or drying, powdery glaze was always so easy to dust off on someone's hands... and the pots themselves still so fragile. For me, glazing was also fraught with the anxiety of the upcoming firing; of making sure each pot for an order was ready to fire, along with some spares... just in case; and there was always that fear of having to relinquish control to the firing.
Watching Renata glazing was almost the exact opposite. She moved like a dancer through her beautiful studio. Pots stacked on every available surface. Pots waxed and waiting for glaze. Other boards full of pots that were glazed and cleaned but waiting for the wadding that would lift them off the kiln shelf during the woodfiring. Her apprentice, Sarah, had already finished glazing for the day by the time we showed up. Aurora and I quickly developed a rhythm between us... Aurora shooting details and closeups of the finished glazed pots and some still waiting for wax, while I was off bouncing light off the ceiling as I photographed Renata hard at work.
Renata was looking inside this mug to make sure that none of the outside glaze had dripped into the inside... potentially marring the next glaze that would be poured inside, creating a liner glaze.
One of Aurora's best shots of the day... clearly illustrating the marvelous fluid line of Renata's decoration on her Shino glazed pots.
As Renata gets ready for her next woodfiring for this year, I am so anxious to see how these pots turn out. She is nearly half way to her goal for her new kiln building project. Called the Fast Fire Fundraiser, Renata and Sarah are making Radical Mugs; one of a kind mugs, with the goal of building a smaller faster woodfiring kiln to experiment with more frequently. Folks who contribute towards Renata's kiln get one of the Radical Mugs from the upcoming firings. These mugs are going to be absolutely wicked. I can't wait to see some of these new mugs post-firing.
For more information about Renata's kiln building project, please check out her Facebook page and her FB community page. If you'd like to get involved, please join in now !! Renata also takes part in the Greater Ithaca Art Trail, where over 50 artists in and around the Ithaca community open their studios to the public, during the middle two weekends in October. Some potters have kiln openings or demonstrations too! Definitely worth traveling for. See you there!