I have been experimenting wildly with all the new sawdust. These pots were fired together, but in different atmopsheres. The one on the left was deprived of oxygen whereas the one on the right was allowed to breathe. Other than that, they got the same treatment. Interesting! I knew all about how if you cut off the oxygen, you get more carbonisation, but I had never run an experiment to show it - and here we go. I like how they look complementary. The blacks have a purple note which is also very cool. I got quite excited about these.... I can see some more experiments flowing from this. The glossy surface is also a new thing. Some of the pots will remain with a softer look, but its interesting to bling it up a bit. It also requires a lot of care at the burnishing stage. If you stood outside the shed, you would hear a lot of swearing. A speck of dust, a missed microscopic scratch, a tiny hair or nick ruins these surfaces. Even in good light and with the glasses on, I am always missing something, which only turns up after the pot has been fired. I am getting into the habit of scrutinising them over and over in an attempt to spot every last lurking imperfection. I am considering investing in a table top magnifying glass. This is not something that normal potters have to worry about because glaze covers surface scratches - although getting glaze right is a skill in itself. But I still prefer the bare smoke fired surface. I just might need better glasses.
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So much of global and national backdrop these last few years has been mad, scary... and getting more mad and scary still. I don't suppose its going to get better any time soon. It would be too easy