Hot Times In The Old Town…

So here’s the title of an article in the Louisville paper… “Louisville’s summer tops in nation in above-normal temperatures“. Apparently 80 days since June 1st… 29 in June, 27 in July and every day so far in August (as of yesterday) the temperature has been above the average for here. As I mentioned in the article I wrote in last month’s Pottery Making Illustrated, early on I got turned on to the work of Arne Ase. I decided to post a bit of eye candy of Arne’s today. Actually, I wanted to do this a long time ago but his website was acting funny and now it’s fixed. The way it got fixed is that the gallery section is a separate link that goes off to another section where it didn’t before so before you couldn’t enlarge the pictures of the work. Anyway, if you get a hankerin’, you can go here to see everything. So here’s a couple beauties…

Arne wrote a book called “Water Colour On Porcelain” which details his work with soluble salts (something I’d like to look into and have, enough to know that they are toxic and I don’t think I want to try with a child in the house) but the book is out of print. According to the website, he is writing or has written another book on the same subject which he hopes will be published this year. In other news, the online gallery for the “Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story” exhibition is live. Go here or click on the picture if you get a hankerin’…

The piece above is by Angela Walford from Australia and you can peek in on lots of fun stuff, including many raku firings, complete with groovy videos of all the activities on her blog called Ang Design Blog. Finally, here’s some beer glasses I’ve been painting (not shellacking)…

As you can see from the last picture, I changed the food coloring in the acrylic medium to blue… it’s a bit disconcerting when I walk into the studio and see the blue pots. What you cannot see from the last picture is that I changed the medium. I did this reluctantly. I had some acrylic gel medium gloss around the house that I used initially. This was leftover from years ago and one of my several times that I thought I’d give painting a go. Well, I didn’t have that much so I went to the art supply store and figured I’d go in, pick up some acrylic gel medium and split. Well, just as in every other area of our consumerism-run-amok society (here comes the curmudge), they had two brands of acrylics at the store and each brand had 20 different kinds of medium with hanging placards of what each might look like on the next Van Gogh you’re painting at home but neither had just plain acrylic gel medium gloss. So after two lengthy conversations with the store’s resident painting pundits, I was assured (although I didn’t believe either of them for a second) that this is essentially the same thing but it’s just called something else…

Well, it’s not the same. I mixed some up yesterday with lots of blue food coloring and it applies differently, it is not glossy even though it says gloss on the label and it seems to dry faster. Now, who knows, it might actually be better than the other stuff but I’m not at all happy about spending the time on these without knowing whether I’m just gonna end up rubbing away everything that I’ve painted. Of course I’ve decided to wait a week to be sure so everything is just sitting around drying while I paint more.


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9 Responses to “Hot Times In The Old Town…”

  1. Ignatius Says:

    James, the glazing liquid will not work for what you are going to use. It takes longer to dry!!! because it is a mixture of retarder and polymer medium! It is great medium if you want to paint in acrylic and slow down the process while you blend.

  2. Zygote Says:


  3. Brian Says:

    A word about gloss vs matte, at least as far as Golden is concerned. I was told that gloss is pure acrylic, matte has titanium dioxide mixed in. I’m not sure, but I’d think that might interfere with things later. If it’s gloss, it should dry clear. If it’s milky, that usually means its not fully cured yet.

    I’ve been experimenting a bit with various mediums we have around the house. some were too thick and seemed to dry on the surface before penetrating very far into the greenware. This seemed to lead to it peeling away too easily when wiping with the sponge. Not having used shellac, I’m working without a comparison. I’d think the solvent would penetrate the clay a little.

    I’ve had best results so far with Golden GAC 100 and airbrush medium. I’m thinking of mixing them together half and half next time. I’ll have to try food coloring next time. I was putting it on clear, which got tedious!

  4. meredith@whynot Says:

    you just can’t trust those people – I know I want it all to be the same and yet nothing is as simple as it once was.
    after all we live in the age of the “new” black.
    Black is black or so I thought- or just try to go buy white paint.
    I double dog darn you!
    Best of luck and even though we think you just might be ….. disappointed I know you have to try.
    Can’t they just say- the same but different?
    Thanks for throwing out the link!
    Love the blue… reminds me of bubble gum!

  5. Miri Says:

    Love that first Arne piece. Is it yunomi sized or larger?

    Good luck with the medium changes.


    • jim Says:

      hi miri,
      i have no idea on the size but before you left the comment, i had it in my head that it was bigger, like 8″ tall but it could be smaller.

  6. ang Says:

    Arnes stuff is super cool must have a search for that book i do have a feeling i’ve read an artilcle on his technique or something similar…cheers for the link i thought that piece looked familiar hehehe…:)) groovy beer tumblers…

  7. Patricia Griffin Says:

    your post about doing the trials of new acrylics, the food coloring, the testing, testing, testing… dang… just reminds me again of how challenging this field is. The learning curve just never stops. When I whine to my husband about the next big hurdle in my work, he just grins and says… “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.”

    Forge ahead, Jim!

  8. Eugene Hon Says:

    What a pain. Don’t you just hate salesman of nay kind, they are like plumbers, electricians and mechanics, always giving you the assurance that it will work; they always seem to convince me as well. Customers are all the same – I am forever spending money on products that don’t work and it is not as if we learn from our mistakes – we always seem to have faith in the new; something that replaces the old – something very green, useful and allot better. Mmmmm how we are fooled Grrrrrrrrr. Most of the recently installed plugs in my flat have blown (conveniently just outside the guarantee) – however the original set lasted almost fifty years.

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