This past Sunday was the start of Advent, so the holiday season is here. I am one of those annoying people that just really loves the holidays, so I always look forward to Advent. I consider permissible to play Christmas music after the start of Advent. (In hopes of not becoming one of those crazy old ladies that keeps teddy bears dressed like Santa and plays Christmas music all year round, I set limits for myself.)
Normally I close the studio down for the season, and focus on making gifts for family and friends. I haven’t done that this year, mostly because I have too many work projects that have fallen behind. But I have been trying to squeeze in a little time for gift-making. This Celtic Pony got to be the guinea pig for a new crackle glaze I wanted to use on some of the gifts.
(Ooo – the big model horse photography no-no! I took his picture on the back deck!)
Unlike the glazes we use on the horses, glazes like that are supposed to craze. They start doing it almost immediately after you pull them from the kiln. And they are loud about it, making the most alarming pinging sounds. (Exactly the kind of sound a collector doesn’t want to hear.) Most of the sounds are done within the first little while the piece is out, but they do seem to save a few pings for later in the day, after you’ve forgotten the piece is there.
Once they finish the cracks get tinted with mineral spirit oil. It’s really messy and rather smelly.
(The scary part about this photo is that the other hand is holding the camera. What was I thinking?)
I liked the effect, but decided that it probably wasn’t going to work for my gifts. The smell seems to linger for a while. I’m told it eventually goes away, but I’m going to be cutting it too close with my production. I’d hate to hand someone a gift bag and have them toss it out because it smelled like something inside had turned! It’s bad enough that they end up with horse-related things all the time. So remember when you get something scary for Christmas, for every horse collector out there with family who give them really ugly horse-shaped knick-knacks because they know they “collect little toy horses”, I have a friend or family member thinking, “Oh. A… horse. How… umm, nice.”