Tuesday 31 December 2013

"Think Pretty Pink And Blue Thoughts"

If I were writing a food blog I would give you the recipe for this pink salad dressing. Maybe I would write about my adventurous recipe testing and finally I would announce that I have the world’s best and prettiest salad dressing to share with you. You would probably comment that the pink dressing looks lovely in that blue bowl and that would be it. However, this blog is about ceramics so all the testing I did was about my blue ceramic glaze. And yes, it was adventurous testing.

I've been using this turquoise glaze on my ceramics for more than a decade. It functioned great when applied on stoneware. When I started to work with porcelain, I used the same glaze again because I was so sure that it would be brighter and more intense. I was right. When I decided to glaze the porcelain tableware with this glaze, I just had to test it first. That was a good idea because it turned out that this glaze is not stable on porcelain. I put vinegar in a turquoise glazed porcelain bowl and let it sit for a few days. A good glaze should change neither the colour nor the texture. Unfortunately this glaze failed the test. So from now on I will have to use it only on porcelain ware that isn’t used for serving food, like vases and soap dishes.

This small misfortune reminded me why I love porcelain in the first place: because of its whiteness and purity. I guess I should think pretty pink and blue thoughts and let my porcelain stay white.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Making Of

The idea for this video was born this summer during our holidays in Croatia. I told my brother Danijel that I would like a simple, funny but classy video including my new porcelain soap dish. So, my brother came up with some plans how to produce it. I loved them immediately. Few months later, Danijel came to visit my home in Switzerland for a weekend. He brought the camera and a huge collection of colourful soaps. 

This is how we did it: We used the trailer of my son’s wooden tractor to move the camera and to minimize the shaking. Isn’t it how professional film makers do it? 

Fortunately, our soapy leading actors had no airs and graces. They did their job very well. 

And finally we ate some delicious food during our creative breaks. 

Back in Vienna, Danijel put it all together and did all the cutting on his computer. 

You don’t need an expensive equipment to be creative. We had the most of the fun when we had to improvise during the process, especially when we used my son’s toy to move the camera. I think our low budget production is nothing to sneeze at. 

Thursday 5 December 2013

Soap, Soap Dish, Soap Opera...

My brother came to visit us a few weeks ago. Last time we saw us, we did some brainstorming about filming a funny video that would include my turquoise soap dish. This is the result:

Thursday 28 November 2013

The Importance of Time-Sharing

I share my studio with my son. The studio is much more messy at the end of the day, but I am able to work and he is having fun. He has his own small working place. He already knows the difference between stoneware and porcelain, which tools he is allowed to use and where to find my clay stamps. He also has his cosy area on the wide window bench where he can take the break from the clay. 

There are, however, some things I still prefer doing alone. Glazing is one of them. I don’t feel comfortable having my boy around while working with all these chemicals. Also, I need to be completely concentrated during the whole glazing process. So, when I have to glaze, I wait until he goes to bed at night.

A few days ago I had one of these glazing night shifts again. I finished glazing at 3 AM. Unfortunately I spent the rest of the night worrying about the pieces I glazed: Did I really clean the bottom of that cup? What if that glaze wasn’t a good choice for that bowl? 

The best way to clear my head from these silly thoughts is to go for a walk at a nearby forest. It works every time. So the next day we went for a walk. Here are a few treasures from our walk. Aren’t these colours amazing?

Also, I hope that my kiln will give me few gems as well.