The Complexion Blue

I love using the “naked raku” technique of firing.  The surface of the raw clay is coated with a thin layer of slip (known as terra sigillatta), which is then burnished smooth with a soft cloth.  The surface is glowing but not shiny; truly reminiscent of a skin-like quality that I love.  Lately I’ve been experimenting with colorations added to the terra sig.  And I especially love this blue.  Though light in shade , it’s no baby blue, but rather something smoked and crackled and lined just as any aged face ought to reveal.

Before…and After

I always have to hold my opinions in check after a piece has been glazed and before it’s fired.  It’s raw, monochromatic, somehow very flat-looking.

And the reward (hopefully) comes after the raku firing when all the painterly impressions of fire, wind and weather play over the surface.  A human face appears….