Nothing messes up getting new molds into production like damp, rainy weather. I had almost forgotten this possibility, and was sure I’d get my Christmas gifts completed early enough that I wouldn’t have to claim my “Episcopalian Exemption”. (Episcopalians observe the twelve days of Christmas, so our holiday season runs until January 6.) After weeks of rain – and a little ice – it didn’t quite work out that way!
But the molds are truly dry now and I’m really pleased with how they have been casting. I haven’t gotten a chance to do a realistically glazed one yet, but I’ve been experimenting with the colored glazes. Each piece is different, so it takes a few tests to see which glazes are flattering. When I sculpted “Inspire”, I envisioned the horse in realistic underglazes and the background in colored art glazes. That’s not practical for my Christmas list (even with a 12-day extension!), so I needed to find a workable colored glaze. The horse is a bit problematic because he’s not textured enough for the commercial art glazes, so they tend to pool irregularly along his neck and shoulder.
It’s had me thinking about tiles and what glazes work best for me. I’ve long been enamoured of the bare stoneware and oxides that fellow tile artist Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Pottery uses. I love that look, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my own sculpting style isn’t bold and chunky enough for those treatments. It’s tempting to come up with some designs that would work, but I am afraid those will have to remain things I muse upon while I finish up these pieces. Once they go out the door, it’s back to casting, cleaning and glazing three-dimensional horses!
Getting back to Imps and Vixens is my next project. I’ve told my husband that his next project is to make some small wooden easels. Either that or I’m going to have to find somewhere that makes smaller acrylic ones!