Thursday 29 August 2013

Birthday Present

I have had the most wonderful childhood ever. One of the main reasons is that I have spent it with my two brothers and my sister. We didn’t spend our childhood years playing computer games like a lot of kids nowadays do. Instead we used to play outside, in the woods, climbing trees, driving bicycles, being chased by some rude village dogs, inventing all kinds of games with things we found in the nature and even steeling cherries from our neighbour. All of my three siblings grew into the most amazing individuals. Also, every one of them is very open, creative and visionary in their own way. Today I will mention only one of them: It is my brother Danijel Kralj who is a professional classical guitarist and a guitar builder. Can you imagine that he is giving his concerts on a guitar that he had built by himself (with the help of our father)? After he wrote his Master’s thesis about building a classical guitar he decided that it would be only natural to build one as well. 

My brother Danijel Kralj

Work in progress, building guitars.

Few months ago, he sent me a mail with a birthday present video. He was way too early, but he couldn’t wait. Well, afterwards I had to be patient till my birthday, which was last week, to show you this video. So, here it is: the most creative birthday present ever. Danijel both composed and played the music for the video. He also did all the filming and film cutting. He made this video on the sandy shores of Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedler See) in Austria with an assistance of the owner of my first turquoise soap dish. Thank you Verena! 

So, take a minute of your time and enjoy this dreamy melody. Also, you can check more of Danijel's videos here.


Friday 16 August 2013

It Worked!

In June I wrote about my experiment with the transparent glaze. I noticed that sometime the transparent glaze gets opalescent when I apply it too thick. Well, sometimes. The first time the experiment didn’t work. I have glazed the pieces very thick but nothing happened. The glazed cups came out of the kiln clear and shiny. There were no traces of any kind of opalescence.

Then, I gave it another try. This time I let the glaze mixture settle down a bit. I wanted to separate all the solid parts from the liquid. With a brush I took only the sediment of the glaze and applied it on the pot. I was so sure that this must work. It did!

As expected, the glaze got bluish and milky. If you hold the bowl in your hands and turn it around, you may notice that the colour changes depending on the angle under which you view it.

What happened next is a very typical for human behaviour. When you want something really badly and then finally you get it, you may realize that you didn’t want it as much as you thought you did. Well, the glaze is beautiful, but it is too much to look at. I couldn’t possibly imagine to have the whole set of bowls glazed this way. It would make me feel dizzy, I guess. I have realized that I had much more joy when this opalescent effect happens unintentionally. It seems that I had to be reminded again that sometimes it is the small things in life that make you happy. Also, sometimes those small things come to you on their own. You don’t have to search them all the time – you just have to recognise them.