Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

“The Altered Gaze: Taking Back Control”

  • Photograph: Emily Taylor
    Photograph: Emily Taylor

Caitlin Allday
Faculty Sponsor: Mary Visser

After having worked on my project for the last few months I have run into some interesting problems. I spent all of last semester creating pieces with the intention of firing them in two different kilns, one a wood fired kiln and the other a soda/salt kiln. Sadly I was not able to fire either kiln last semester because of construction, but I continued to make pieces in order to be prepared to fire the kiln early this semester. I Texas weather, however, saw an end to that idea. The burn ban on central Texas has prevented me from firing the wood kiln, and it doesn’t look like that ban will be lifted any time soon. Luckily the soda/salt kiln is OK to fire even with the ban. So far this semester we have fired the soda/salt kiln twice and I have achieved some very interesting surface textures. I lost one piece between the two firing, which, while sad, is actually very lucky as you never know if a piece will survive, so one out of eight is pretty good.

I have begun to work with porcelain this semester which has been an interesting challenge. I clay seems to dry either too fast or too slow making it impossible for me to judge how many pieces I will end up with or how often I need to be in the studio or if I will even be able to work the clay. Even with all of this I have managed to begin to see some amazing results. I am hoping to see more interesting outcomes as I continue to work with various aspects of the porcelain, fuming and other techniques.

Some of my ideas have not paned out the way I hoped, either due to technical problems, a lack of time, or a piece just not looking the same in life as it did in my head. These problems have at times frustrated me to no end, but at other times have given me new insights into my work and new ways to try things. Right now, while continuing to make more pieces and work on different techniques, I am beginning to research geisha and create a response to my own religious upbringing.