Several other breakthroughs happened. The first was a real glaze course by Hyperglaze guru, Richard Burkett, this Summer. It opened my eyes on the intricacies of glaze making. Something that was only intuitive before just clicked. I devoured several glaze books, including Hopper's, played with Hyperglaze and my test kiln, and soon I had some nice looking glazes that fit my porcelain work. I never get tired of opening my glaze loads with the excitment of a 5 year old standing in front of the Christmas tree.
The change to a fully operational studio brought a lot more of focus to my work. What do I need to do to survive ? What do I really want to do ? What are my goals ? "The Artist's Guide - How to make a living doing what you love" by Jackie Battenfield was another eye opener. I never dared asked myself those fundamental questions, and so I was free floating in the gray area between recreational and professional. But getting my studio set up was a big commitment, and not just financially. Suddenly it gave me a direction, a nudge towards setting up goals. And with that, the need to refine my portfolio. Low- and high-fired porcelain came more into focus. I spent more time developing my Saggar firing. And I changed my approach to include more pre-design work before sitting at the wheel, or rolling a slab.
Most of it happened in the last 6 months. It is still raw. 2013 is the year of refinement. And hard work. So here is my toast to 2012, a year of transformation and change. I embrace the new year with open arms and an open mind.
|The new kiln room|