My relationship with my pieces starts with wedging the clay. There seems to be a kind of conversation between the clay and my hands as to what form the clay wants to be. This is passed on to my creative side of the brain subconsciously. So, just as predicted my brain and hands form an insidious pact and cause the piece to be created. Any attempts at making alterations to it fail miserably.
After firing, the design side of the brain interacts with the piece to determine the final glazing sequence and design. It then becomes a collaboration of glazing techniques, tools and steady hands to apply everything.
The final firing step is the most exciting! The piece is fired to the melting point of the glaze, then removed with tongs and immediately placed in a can of shredded paper and covered. The resulting smoke being voracious for oxygen pulls it out of the glaze leaving behind pure metallic blushes on the vessel surface. Here is where the “kiln gods” exert their super powers in developing the glaze patterns. At this time I have absolutely no control and just wait to expose the resulting piece. It is a time of chagrin or incredulous joy. I try for more joy.
Silver Gloss Mazarine Vase with Textured Spiral Stripe by John Charnetski