Thursday, October 18, 2012

Holes in the Sea - 93098A

This is another one of those platters that exceeded my expectations by first disappointing me, then frustrating me, until finally revealing something so amazing as to be sublime. Go figure.

Looking at the glazed surface now, you would have no idea that this platter had a very textured and rippled bottom surface. It appeared much like a tidal sandbar after the tide had pulled out. My plan was to glaze it with some opalescent blues and purples... expecting to see tons of depth and ripples. Yeah.... that didn't work out so well.

After a 16 hour firing and a 22 hour cooling, the unctuous opalescent glaze turned more matte, and bubbled. BUBBLED !!! DAMNIT! For over a week I considered giving this platter the business end of the hammer. One day, a fellow potter sat in my studio, dutifully popping the blistered surface as though he was popping zits in front of the mirror. No shame, no fear... just pop pop pop... and suddenly... WOW.

He looked up and asked if I had looked at the glazed surface UNDER the blisters. I allowed as how I had not, and immediately was wowed. Once we popped the majority of the remaining blisters, there was still an incredibly sharp edge to contend with,... and the last thing I wanted was to injure someone who wanted to buy this platter. So we took many MANY sheets of wet-dry sandpaper, and basically polished the entire surface. In the process, the blisters became almost like air bubbles, moving through water.

At my exhibition, this was usually the last platter than anyone noticed. It doesn't scream with color or patterns. Once it was discovered, people would linger, point... and sometimes, reach out to touch. In the end, I think this was one of the most successful of all the platters I made that year. Surprise!

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