Last night I spent a couple hours editing photographs for my Etsy shop. I have a fairly elaborate set-up for photographing my work– there’s a light tent, and couple good lights, a gradient background and so on. My digital camera is getting old but it still takes high resolution images. Lately I’ve been trying to include a close-up shot of the glaze for each piece. Because the camera’s resolution is so much higher than is needed for web applications like the shop, I can zoom right in and get images that can be pretty amazing. For example, this is a zoom of a mug I photographed last night. The mug was fluted by cutting a flute in every other slot around the mug. Then I dipped the mug in a blue slip. Once the slip stiffened and became part of the leather-hard piece, I cut the remaining flutes between the already-cut flutes. This gave me a strong striped effect, with the glaze breaking green on the edges. The crystalline effect that you can easily see here is one reason I like this glaze a lot.
Here’s a close-up of a hand-sized simple water pipe. This was a fairly complex decorative effort. I sprayed the leatherhard piece with a lavender slip, and then incised a pattern into the slip. I glazed the bisque pipe with the white titania glaze above, then lightly sprayed the pipe with blue ash glaze and a saturated iron glaze. I was happy with the way it came out, but in the zoom, I was even happier, because it revealed details that were not as spectacularly obvious as they were in the enlargement.
This small bowl was fluted, dipped in white titania glaze, and oversprayed with blue ash. A pale, almost iridescent blue was visible in the close-up, where the glaze had flowed down the flutes and collected. Again, the crystallization is much more obvious in the zoom.
Sometime the enlargement even reveals interesting details about the texture of the glaze. In this hand-sized water pipe, it’s surprisingly clear from the image that the glaze is a very smooth buttery matte, and in actual fact, the tactile quality of this piece is wonderfully satisfying.
I’m enjoying this little touch of technology, and I think I can use it to improve the quality of my glazes.