Hello again

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 weeks since I wrote on the blog.

I have to confess that I have been stalled on glazing work on china pieces since my last posting. I’ve been trying to understand what has been the cause of this chronic sore throat I’ve had for several years now. I was wondering if airbrushing ceramic glazes without using a mask or even a professional spraying booth might be irritating things in my head. It is so minor and comes and goes, that it was pretty “ignorable”. But we have been requested by Paul’s company to update all our medical records and get a physical before we go over there, so I took that opportunity to ask my Dr about it.

I got the full range of routine and diagnostic tests run, and we even decided to have a “heavy metals” test done. The materials data sheet for the overglazes I use show that they contain lead and cadmium, among others. Though in very small amounts. And I glaze in very small amounts. But even so, it was worth checking to see if I had any amounts of stuff like that in my system. Plus I was reading on the web that even the common rubbing alcohol I use as the liquid media for the airbrushable glazes, is an irritant to the sinus/respiratory system. Hmmm.

My Dr is pretty skeptical that the glazing is causing this issue; in fact we are guessing it is an allergy. Though I’ve never had allergies, I guess you can develop them. I’ve been on a nasal spray steroid for a week now so we’ll see. But all this has kind of put me off wanting to do any glazing the past few weeks! What a kill-joy for an artistic worklife.

During my little exile from glazing, I did instead get some critical work done on the “Clarity” sculpture. I think I am finally content with the back legs position. I know I said that last fall also… but I switched them completely and switched them back since then! So I pretty much had to build the back end, again. (It’s still not fully built by any means, but at least roughed-in). I sure wish I had kept it the way it was the first time around, when I look back at the photos. Well at least now I should be able to start refining and defining everything.

On the England front, Paul was back here for a (very fast) week. They kicked him back to the USA because in order to get a visa you have to submit your passports and you obviously can’t travel then. But we now have it, our official approval to live and work in the UK! WOOT! He went back there for good last Sunday. He landed early Monday just before they closed Heathrow airport due to the big snow storm over there!

Now I am doing the long solo slog to late May when the Boyz and I get to go over. According to the little ticker I put on my blog page, as of today I have 3 months 3 weeks 2 days to go! (I think I want hours and minutes too…!)

I did finally get back in the glazing saddle today. I found some really comfortable dust masks that I can actually stand to have on my face for a couple hours at a time. That plus the spray booth should be good I would think!
This “Caprice” in bone china is going to be bay! All that dappling detail had to go on first, because for various reasons I can’t use the air-eraser to dapple on a colored horse as the last layer. This is so opposite to the way I used to paint non-ceramic horses. I would shade each layer of the body color and hand-dapple with the airbrush as I went along, with the darkest dapples going on the darkest areas last. I spent a lot of the 6 years I’ve had my own kiln searching for a way to paint dapples with overglazes that way. But this is the way for overglazing to get the look I want, and I’m getting it more right with each piece I do.

Paul is gone and I no longer have any distractions or excuses for not getting work done. The days will go far faster when I dive into projects.

By the way, hello to new readers of this blog. I noticed an uptick in readership/feedburner email subs when I wrote a note over on the ModelHorseBlab forum the other week.