Monday, August 12, 2019

Sky study in Pastel

"Sky study in pastel"
Image size 7" x 10"
I was still playing around with clouds this week, but using pastels this time.  This was done from one of my photos and it looks like it was taken as a storm was clearing.  I love how dramatic the clouds look.

I've set up my mosaic patterns out in my garage on my work tables.  One of the tables is 4' x 8' and I thought the larger mosaic would fit on that table, but it is about 4' longer than the table so I will have to extend it with another table as I get more involved with the process.  I've covered the master pattern with plastic so that the clay doesn't ruin it and have taped all of the background pattern pieces in place.  I will have the garage doors open as I work and I don't want the pattern pieces blowing around.  I need to cut the pieces out in numerical order so that whatever texture I add can run through the adjoining pieces while the clay is wet.  Here is the big pattern and you can see that a portion (about 4 ft) is rolled up, waiting to find its place on another table in the future.

And here is the small side on another table.
I also made a couple of color charts.  One is just the colors I'm planning to use and the second is the blues overlapping the colors I will be using for the fish so I can get a feeling of which colors might work best.  Some are semi-translucent and some are opaque so the effects will differ.
When painting with glazes, it's very hard to tell what the finished result will be since the colors change (some dramatically) after they are fired.  Here are photos of the charts before and after firing.  In the first set, notice how some of the greens were a rust color before they were fired.
Before firing
After firing.  I put two coats on the right side of each color to see the difference and can choose to paint a veil of color or a thicker layer for a more opaque effect.

Layered colors - before firing

This is turned a different direction, but you get the idea.  You can see where I let the glazes be thick and thin so I would have a good idea of what effect could be achieved.

And, of course, I don't think my kiln is working properly.  I'm surprised that these charts came out okay.  My kiln is supposed to turn off automatically when the correct temperature is reached.  From memory, I think it used to take about 3.5 or 4 hours.  After 5 hours, I turned it off because the temperature didn't seem to be advancing.  I thought that I would see unfired glazes when I opened it this morning, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I don't know if the problem was user error or if there is a problem.  I have called a kiln technician and hopefully, I will hear from him soon. 

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