Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Glaze Game

Somebody once told me to make all my lids for certain things the same size, and to keep any that didn't fit because then I'd have lids for any pieces whose made-for-them lids didn't fit. This same person also threw over 60 casseroles and didn't think about lids until the next day and when she made 60 lids we had hardly any that fit anything but that's another story. Anyway, I have quite a few lids of various sizes kicking around and sometimes if I have a piece with a lid that doesn't quite fit I go through the stockpile to see if there is one that will work. I call this the Lid Game and it's great fun on the rare occasions that I actually score.

This week Poor Helper has had the unenviable task of sorting out the many buckets of odd glazes that have been clogging up the space under the work tables. I have a bad habit of just adding some stain or oxide to a bucket full of one of my regular glazes and doing some project and then having half a bucket of whatever colour left over. Then I just slap a lid on (if I can find one, of course) and shove it under the table. Sometimes I remember to dip a tile so I have a visual reminder but not always. It was getting hard to walk around with all these buckets sticking out all over the place.

Turned out there were 28 buckets of Guess-the-colour glaze.

Poor Helper added water to the ones that had dried up and left them to soak overnight, and then started sieving each one and dipping test tiles of both the white and the buff clays. She numbered the buckets and the tiles, using duct tape to write on for the buckets, which is brilliant because I had been scrawling a number or name on the bucket, which meant that after I had screened the glaze into another bucket I no longer had a clue as to what it was but now we can, at least in theory, move the duct tape to the new bucket. If you think that's bad, I once started 50 or so herbs from seed in little plastic bakery containers and wrote the names on the lids. It wasn't long before they came up so I removed the lids to give them air and room..... yup, 50 sets of seedlings with no names. You can see that administration is not my long suit.

The test tiles showed some duplicates or near duplicates - we even had three of a certain teal colour - so we were able to put those together and reduce the number of buckets somewhat. Now there are only 19.

Warning! This is what can happen if you don't watch those dibs and dabs of oddball glazes!

I'm thinking planters, vases and maybe some mugs with only their outsides dipped into these cool colours. An excuse to play!

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