Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Critique: Swirl plate

            This week's Friday Critique is of a swirl plate that just came out of the kiln last weekend. This plate is 8 inches in diameter and 1.75 inches in height. It is made of porcelain (Laguna #15 for those who are interested), and was fired to cone 6 in oxidation in an electric kiln. It was glazed with Mottled Spice (the brown glaze) and Deep Firebrick (the red glaze).
            For the most part, I will talk about glazing in this week's post, but feel free to comment on any aspect of the piece. Click on the pictures to view them in a larger size.

            The brown glaze was applied with a brush, which produced the uneven coloration. The surface of the plate was not textured before glazing. The glaze is very shiny, which caused this piece to be difficult to photograph accurately. 

            The foot was made wide so that the plate would be stable when used to eat off of. 

            The foot and the rim were made smooth to echo each other. 

            This plate was a little bit of an experiment in terms of the glazing. I was not certain these two glazes would work together, but I think that the red is visible enough against the brown without being jarring. I was also not certain how the brush marks would appear, or whether they would be distracting. I think that they add depth and texture to the surface in a pleasing way. I do not think they detract from the swirl. The swirl interrupts the brush marks with its contrasting, smoother texture, and I think it makes the piece more interesting.

            I find that the foot in its stark whiteness is distracting, however. It is so snowy and smooth compared to the earthy body of the pot. I'm considering glazing the next piece in this style all the way down to the edge of the foot so that the only place the porcelain is visible is the very bottom of the foot.

            I do think I will make more pots with this glazing scheme. Now that I have a red glaze that seems reliable, I plan to use it. Red is a useful color; it is bright and warm and contrasts with most other colors. I feel lucky to have found one that performs well with my first try. It is often an elusive color. 
            What do you think, readers? Would a dinnerware set in these colors be attractive and enjoyable to use? Does the bright porcelain foot bother you as much as it bothers me?

Edited to add: Here is a picture that shows the glossy surface a little more.


  1. I never would have thought to put those two glazes together (brown and red) but I like the combo, you say the glaze is shiny but it looks more matt in the photos, I agree the white foot is distracting, with these muted colors I think the glaze should go all the way down the foot so no white shows and if you like to keep the glaze up a bit to prevent runs, a brown underglaze could be used on the foot.

    I've been using a white stoneware but miss a good porcelain for cone 6 for some glazes, I may check this one out.

  2. Thank you for your comment! Hmm, if it doesn't look shiny in the pictures, I've selected my pictures too well! I'm going to update the post with a picture that shows the shine a lot.

  3. The white foot does bother me... I like the almost accidental look to the red portion. *insert potter speak here* (I'm fairly ignorant, and will be paying attention... )