I've been coiling clay for nearly 7 years. Historically, I've left the clay raw on the outside with just a hint of glaze between the coils to highlight the designs I painstakingly roll out with my hands. I love the natural look of the vitrified red clay, the texture and warmth beneath my fingers as I savor a cup of coffee. It's always felt so potterly to me. However, I know that the raw clay-ness isn't for everyone, and honestly, there's always been this little part of me that hungered for a bit more color in my work. Individually, my brown pots are intriguing; as a group display they lack that pizzazz that draws people over. Through the years I've experimented with different glazes and glaze thicknesses to encase my vessels, with disappointing results. More often than not the glaze has obliterated all or most of the coil lines, leaving a plain surface, which is obviously not the intent of my work.
2018 has been a chaotic year so far--around the world and in my personal life. I've felt the need for change, for hope, for simple pleasures to distract from the chaos. Not all of those needs are rapidly achievable, but in the grand scheme of things, some pretty quick gratification can happen in the clay studio. Over the last month I spent my studio time coiling a silky-smooth white stoneware--a soothing change in itself. I've been adding assorted shapes to break up the spirals. It's been a cold winter of late in Bellingham, bringing thoughts of warmer days to the forefront of my mind, thus flowers, butterflies and dragonflies have made an apperance, in addition to cheery stars and hearts. I did some research and selected glazes guaranteed to highlight the coil lines, in colors that sing out spring. Today I held my breath and opened my kiln and then, with glee, brought forth a new era of Kulshan Clayworks: Color Magic.