Monday, February 13, 2012

Glazes for Dummies

I fully intended to write a blog post yesterday, but I just never made it to the computer. It was a really good weekend, though. I got to hang out with my friend Erin (of eef-etc), drinking wine and eating pizza, and not really watching stuff on Netflix because we were too busy yapping. It was our intention to get together to geek out over marathon episodes of Doctor Who and some other UK tv shows, but we just never got past talking, which was fine. Drinks and conversation with Erin are always a good way to spend an evening. Plus, we got to discuss my new website that she's working on for me, which I'm super excited about!

I've been thinking for ages that I needed a real website for my work, to serve as a portfolio, business landing page, and sort of portal to all my social media and photos scattered across the web. I considered building one myself, but then I remembered my last foray into webpage design... sometime back in the 90's when people still had Geocities pages. (!!!) Page after page of sparkly animated gifs, crappy midi music, anime drawings, and bad poetry! I shudder at the memories. I never did learn more HTML than how to make text bold and italic (and now there's buttons for those things), and I knew if I waited until I had time to teach myself how to put a simple blogger or wordpress page together, it would just never happen. Good thing Erin does these things for a living! I love having talented friends:) So as soon as I write the copy for the site, and update my resume, I should have a real website!

I also managed to study up on glazing a bit more, reading the appendices and skimming back over the rest of Mastering Cone 6 Glazes again. Once I started playing with the Glaze Master software, it all finally started to click. The Digitalfire Material database was incredibly helpful for understanding all of the materials I was using, and I wish I'd remembered it sooner. I realized that my brain has just gotten very lazy, and looking at long lists of numbers and chemical formulas just wasn't making sense to me without a lot of effort. Being able to look up materials and have their chemical makeup broken down for me in plain English really helped. (I always joke that I'm an artist - I don't do math!) I tell my students that everything worth doing takes hard work, but apparently I'm a huge hypocrite. Glaze chemistry doesn't come easily to me, and I was getting frustrated because I was actually having to do work and research to understand what I was doing, instead of finding some easy fix for our unstable studio glazes.

I think I'm on the right track now, and I've got a new set of test tiles sitting on the shelf, ready for tonight's glaze firing. I'll post pics of the results, and then on to more testing! If I learn anything useful from all this, I'll be sure to share it with you. So stay tuned, maybe there'll be some new fancy glaze recipes to share.


eef said...

yeah! we should hang out and drink and talk more. =]

i'm kind of the same way--sometimes i just REALLY don't feel like learning some coding thing, but in the end it's good to know... i enjoy the pretty stuff much more though!

Lori Leaumont said...