Sorry this post is sooooooo image heavy, but they all seemed pretty important. The images are small for better viewing on the blog, but if you click on them you can see larger images.
This is what happens to shino when you dip it twice in what you think is a very thin shino concoction (too thin in fact) and then realize it was perfect all along and you shouldn't have done two 3-second dips.
It crystalizes. And you think to yourself 'holy crap what happened?' and 'how the heck am I going to load that into the kiln without crushing those delicate formations?' and finally 'damnit. I spent hella hours painting these things and now they're gonna come out really f*cked up.'
Then you get it back from the kiln along with these two pieces: same oxide patterns, same glazing, same firing... And you think to yourself 'at least I got two pretty pieces.'
Then you look inside, and it hurts even more. The insides are perfect and exactly what you wanted to happen on the outside.
But then you sit with them some more. People from your class start picking them up with 'wow, are these yours?' and 'oooh, how'd you do this?' You start to look at your pieces a little more carefully.
You remember what your classmate said about crystals and carbon trapping. You think 'that's kinda cool.' You remember the magic that happens in the kiln.
You remember last semester when another classmate got a bowl out of the kiln that looked like one of these cups and how gorgeous you thought it was, and how much she hated it.
You start to notice all the details on the cups. The deep kelp greens, the shimmering smokey grays, the freckled salmon... You notice the crazing and the run of the oxide. You notice the gorgeous contrast between the outside and in and the point at which they meet.
Before you know it you've picked your favorite one and decided how you can't wait to give them to the friend you know will love them most, but are slightly sad you can't keep them, too.
The lesson, which many of us know but often forget? The kiln is a magical place... a place that you can't begin to affect or imagine... it is silly to become attached to the idea of what you think something will be, and important to be open to all the possible things it could be.
The kiln is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get.
P.S. Sommer Olvia wanted to know how I get these patterns. It is very simple. I paint them on by hand with RIO (red iron oxide) and then dip them in shino. I'm now starting to think spraying might be a better way to go, however.