Ceramics, Classes, Inspiration

How do you get ideas for glazing? I think whatever inspires the forms you create might also inspire the way you choose to glaze.

I love the overlap of glazes to create a much larger vocabulary than the number of glazes that I am actually using. By overlapping glazes it is very easy to create multiple effects of color, transparency, opaqueness, texture and surface.

I think these effects appeal to me because they are very much like landscapes and light. I like the shapes of water and sky as they fall across a form. These are easy to recreate in glazes. It can also turn a small piece into a world of its own. A very tiny cup or bowl can hold the universe when looked at closely.

The above picture is the lake near my house with the ice melting. It caught my eye the other day – because it suddenly looked like many things besides the lake near my house. In that light it looked like the edge of the Pacific Ocean at Stinson beach. It looked like one of the most beautiful and natural curves in nature that we see all over the globe when water meets land. And, it looked like a very nice glaze combination!

I have an exercise for beginning potters where I ask them to create a cup form in the style of a well known painter, like Piet Mondrian, or Joan Miro, or Jackson Pollack. If those painters were to make a cup – what would it look like in form? Then how would they glaze it?

Finding inspiration for glazing is part of what makes glazing fun. It demands a little research, or trial and error to achieve what I intended, but it is mostly fun play.

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