At the beginning of December I found a bit of time to get the clay out and allow my heart to rule my head, I decided to try some agate ware using mixed clays. Of course you should use compatible clays but I was taken over in my enthusiasm and went with what I had, the colours and textures were shouting out at me. I hadn’t given firing temperatures a thought until the time came to fire the pieces.
The first batch had a stoneware firing and unfortunately the pieces cracked and bloated, they are quite fragile and easily broken, which is a shame as I really really love the effect, I love the textures created from the bloating, I just love this pendant, it’s me totally, and what I want to achieve with my clay but was easily broken as you can see.
So I fired again this time a bit cooler, but the pieces weren’t vitrified so they went back in again a little hotter, the results are better but not good enough. So it’s time to order the appropriate clays and start again.
These pieces didn’t go as planned but I’ve learned so much from experimenting, I believe you learn as much from what goes wrong as what goes right. Maybe I can use bloating for some wall mounted artwork, I love the look. And maybe I can use some of these pieces to make something for myself and see how they wear.
If you have any ideas how I can achieve this look without compromising the strength of the piece I’d love to hear from you.