Friday, December 7, 2012

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

These are, of course, a few of my favourite things. 

I've written about my firing cycle before.  Well, I'm just at the end of a making/firing cycle and had a lustre firing on Wednesday.  Yesterday was unpacking, photographing and then making up some deliveries and today I'm just going to share a few of the things that came out that I particularly like.

So here are some more lizard cereal bowls.  All of these pots are unique but I have returned to certain colourways which have been particularly successful.  On the left is a blue lizard and leaves with red spots, which does look like the first colourway but isn't.  That had silver lustre and this has gold and that one had red spots made with carmine lustre, whereas this has red spots made with red lustre.  The carmine spots had been so successful that I ordered (at some expense) 25g of it to replace the first 5g I'd bought when it ran out.  But then ....  it came out a completely different colour.  Some research suggestst that my first bottle was the weird one and should never have come out as red as it did.  Further research identified another supplier with a different selection of lustres.  Talking it all through with them confirmed that of all the materials potters need to buy, lustres change most often, possibly even every batch is different in some colours.  Ah well.  Something you just have to go with.  So I ordered 5g of red and applied it merrily to pots.  I also accepted samples of tangerine, purple and emerald.

The red, as you see, is lovely and red.  Success.  The purple is ok too, though as I've mentioned before, I already have a dark and light purple which arrive under the pseudonyms of dark and light green.  I had hopes for emerald, but alas, it is only a duller sort of mauve.  The centre bowl above has emerald veins on the leaves.  I think you can just catch the mauve.  There's some on the lizard too, but it works fine.  The one on the right was just another colourway, going for something a bit darker for those who prefer that, and all in all I think it works.

The tangerine is delicious.

Here it is the darker of the leaves, the lighter ones using "real orange" underglaze colour (this time actually used under the glaze) and gold lustre spots.  I love this mug and these colours.  I expect to be using more tangerine.  I also expect to be asking for some more samples of the large number of colours this new supplier has in case some of the others turn out as zingy as the red and tangerine. 

I'm slightly worried about my favourite things, though.  They seem to be lizards, closely followed by ivy, with or without the lizards.  All of which is fine, but does it matter that most of my new work is still dominated by them?  They may be my favourite things but are they everyone else's?  And again, the colours.  If I think back to the wallhangings I've made over the years, my favourites have often been in the red/rust/orange/cream range.  They've sold - eventually -  but I sense that the majority of people like the blue range better.  So should I be planning to go further with the red/tangerine/gold/yellow idea or will I end up with shelves full of pots nobody wants?  My policy has always been to make the work I'm most passionate about, though.  I always said that although I could make patchwork cushions for sale, I never would because I would be bored.  This is the work I do and if you don't like it you don't have to buy it, kind of thing.  On the other hand, of course, if you don't buy anything, I won't make a living, so I do make more commercial decisions.  I work hard at maintaining my stocks of "everyday" designs. I think this means I'll continue to follow my heart so lizards and leaves will be it for a while longer.

And finally, talking of hearts, I wish I'd made more of these:

I've made one with the silver hearts before but really like the gold hearts.  I think they'll go soon, but I'll definitely do some more next year.

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