Coasting into Color

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.

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