Coasting into Color

Where to put my drink?

Looking for new ways to explore techniques with colored clay, drink coasters were suggested as a fun transition. I was skeptical at first, but working in such a small scale does bring out every little flaw, and allowed me to focus on improving my process. In total I created 6 different series, each one offering a slightly different approach for stamping the designs and applying the colored clay. Some techniques definitely worked better than others, but all gave me a better understanding of my craft.

Feeling like a kid with a box of crayons, I learned to refined the pieces and they started to feel more polished.  Edges were smoothed, the colors more even, and I applied cork to the backs of each piece. But during this process I did crave a more refined color palette.


Colors, Colors, and more Colors

I have spent countless hours mixing stains and testing samples. But all this time was well spent, and I now understand which base stains work well with the temperature of my kiln, clay body, and cover glaze. And from these stains, I have started to discover a rainbow of colors waiting to be explored for a new balanced palette.


And as my eyes learn to distinguish similar colors, I appreciate a little help from technology. Starting with mobile apps, I tried to capture the “coordinates” of each color. But changes in light and shadow can play havoc on getting consistent readings. And while most hardware tools are can be expensive, I did find a balance between cost and performance with the Color Muse. There are many features I will never use on the phone app, it does give me clear, consistent readings and will allow me to refine my palette. The future is looking bright.


Coming Soon… my final play of 2016, a series of small, colorful bowls.