Sunday, March 1, 2009

the perils of pauline

I am a longtime fan of Linda Ronstadt. Remember "Poor Poor Pitiful Me?" That was a real rocker, a song about self pity and opportunities gone awry, written by the late genius Warren Zevon.

Why this detour into musical metaphor? Well, the firing of my copper-and-glass older lady didn't go so well.
A few problems: one, when kilnfired, copper turns either a dark red or black, or a combination of both. My copper lady (let's call her Pauline) turned very dark, making it difficult to visualize her features, and giving her a sinister cast.

The second problem was more...shall we say...catastrophic. She was fine when I took her out of the kiln, but overnight, she shattered. The arrows point to the break points:
Definitely not usable...why did this happen? Possibilities: the metal and the glass cooled at different temperatures, causing thermal shock in the glass at the points where the two elements meet. In this work, two pieces of glass were placed over the copper.

I have had success with this method previously. The next time I will sandwich the copper between the two layers of glass, which will perhaps allow for a more even cooling.

At any rate, her name is now "Poor Poor Pitiful Pauline," and I am back to the drawing/stitching boards...

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