Monday, April 30, 2012

shades of blue

My favourite colour since as long as I can remember has been blue.  In grade school periwinkle blue stole my heart as the perfect blue, then it was Robin's Egg blue in High School, then a bright cobalt blue in the 90's.  It's hard to find a blue I don't like, but I've taken searching for the perfect blue quite seriously for the Kindred in Blue show.  The painter in me feels the need to pull out all the stops, so above you see my most thorough selection of blue stains currently in my studio.  Yeah, I have a bit of an obsession.
A little bit of clay geekery for you- the little bits of powder above are nearly all commercial stains- (mostly Mason Stains) used for ceramics to colour glazes, slips, and underglazes.  The cobalt you see up there is Cobalt Carbonate, which is the milder form of Cobalt oxide, which turns an incredibly deep blue when fired to high temperatures.  It may look rather mild- all pinky purple, but don't doubt for a minute that even a small smudge of this  stain on a pot will show up as blue. 
So what I've been doing is creating glazes either from just one of those stains, or a mixture of 2 of these with my 2 base glazes (one shiny and one semi-matt).  I've come up with some pretty shades of blue so far, but of course, there will be a few more that I'll reveal in my next glaze firing. 

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