I passed by the studio today just to drop off my leafy goblet. I can't wait to finish that one, and hold it in my hand.
While I was there, I peeked in the "cage" where all the finished ceramics are locked up, and tried to find my pieces that made it into this first firing. I can see that one of them turned out really nicely, much like I had hoped. But many of the others were a disappointment. In particular, the marbling effect on my early beer glasses / steins doesn't show well through the glazes I used. Perhaps I'll need to spray the glazes next time, instead of dipping, which tends to apply them too thick for my liking.
I also found my unnamed negro lady sculpture. When I was staining and glazing her, I was told that I might be applying the red iron oxide too thick, that it would end up looking metallic. I understood that to be a metallic sheen, but would have expected it still turn out a chocolaty brown colour. So I sponged the oxide off in many areas, but the result was still this :
I'll bring her home (hopefully tomorrow), and see if she grows on me, or whether she will be happier with Miranda. I have to say I am very pleased that she seems to have survived the two firings very well, with no cracks or accidents. That is a really significant success for such a large piece, and my first real attempt at a sculptural piece (other than my raku lady, which also amazingly survived her firings). I am excited about the prospect of trying something like this again. Watch out world!
Oh, and the other thing which really pleases me is that the red underglaze I used for her lips, turned out so brilliantly red, even without a glaze on top. I am very pleased, and will be using that color again! The yellow underglaze on the butterfly is also nice, although even a small layer of clear glaze on top seems to be adding an opacity which I am not sure about... Next time I'd leave the yellow unglazed. Good to know, since I really haven't done a test firing with these underglazes. (Although that would be the logical first step.)
I'm looking forward to a raku firing tomorrow, with three of my pieces ready and patiently waiting (unlike me, who has very little patience, but luckily is distracted by other things while I am waiting).