Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Out of the Flames

You never know who's going to show up at a firing.

This past fall I participated in a workshop at St. Petersburg Clay Company where we were firing pots in one of the wood kilns. There wasn't quite enough room for all the work, so we stuck my pot in at an angle -- just to see what would happen.

When my pot emerged from the kiln, most of the glaze had pooled near the bottom and, because of the angle, had collected in one droplet that never quite dripped from the pot. A few spots were totally barren of glaze.

Ah well, it's all a learning process, I had thought as I examined the pot. I turned it this way and that.

Suddenly, looking back at me when I held the pot upside down, was a face. The droplet, raised just enough from the surface of the pot, formed the nose and the bare spots evoked images of eyes and mouth. A bit like Edvard Munch's The Scream, but considering the pot had just come from the flames, also a bit apropos.

Still, I wasn't sure I could balance the pot on its flared neck to display it.

But my wife likes to create multiple pot displays. She found one of my first saggar-fired pots with an opening big enough for the neck of Mr. Munch-kin to rest in.

And the hat?

A glazed ring-holder, one of many I had made for an upcoming show.

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