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  • Writer's pictureKate Hopkins-Searle

Tiny jewel bowls

I've been glazing these tiny bowls. With each one I have used a plain coloured satin glaze on the underside and then tried to find interesting colour combinations with which to glaze the tops. These top glazes are all crystaline. I've tested them, but it's hard at this stage to get an idea of how they will look once fired. The satin glazes usually require about seven coats to give decent colour and coverage, the crystaline glazes need fewer. I have only been able to complete one coat of glaze on each bowl per day (to allow for drying) so it's taken quite some time to get these ready for firing. I worked out that, altogether, it takes about half an hour of painting glaze on each bowl which is quite a long time for something so small...but that's par for the course with my work.

The photo on the left shows how small the bowls are. They should have no function other than to sit on a shelf and look pretty. The right picture shows more clearly the chunks of crystals, in this case red on black glaze, that will melt together in the firing process.

Once I'd finished the glazing today I was going to continue with my latest pair of shoes for Marie Antoinette - but the work I did last week has ended in disaster. I needed to do a bit of a re-design and then I decided to just scrap what I'd made and start again or it would have become a bit of a bodge-job. Even then when I re-made the back part I dropped it and had to do that for a third time. No wonder these shoes are so expensive! I once did an interview for a magazine where the journalist said that I was giving away all my secrets in telling the readers how I make my shoes, but what she didn't realise is that I can barely make them myself and I've been doing this for 35 years, so I doubt if anyone else could manage the same from reading an article - ha ha.

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