Gabe worked on glazing some pendants for firing this week and it seemed like a great invitation to write a bit about them and the process involved. The pendants are the back bone of the Foxy-Wolff project. Our intention is to make beautiful, affordable jewelry for every day wear. The pieces are glazed in a range of colors and decaled with 16 different images.
This is a display of the pendants at a recent holiday trunk show we did for another businesses open house. It is a pretty good representation of color range, and many of the images are shown as well. After two years of research and development, we have the rules and process fairly dialed.
In the begging of the project we played around quite a bit with clay bodies, glazes and materials for generating images. We knew we would eventually use decals, but the printer was too expensive and we didn’t want to wait to begin. Out early best case scenario was black underglaze pencil on Laguna’s Babu porcelain. While we always intended to fire to cone 6, the cone 10 porcelain gave us the best white. It was also something that I had a bit of so we could proceed without having to make an order. Once the image was drawn on the bisque the pieces were glazed with a clear and fired.
We were not so systematic about size on the early pieces because the images were generated individually and could suit a range of sizes and weights. We still have a few of these very early pieces in mix, which is wonderful for showing another technique, though these are a bit more expensive as Gabe put a massive amount of time into each tiny piece.
In the early days we were very divided in the work we did for the project, I made things and gabe decorated, glazing has always been done together as it is so much work. In the photos above you can see a couple examples of the bits before their first firing. Now we are both pretty fully engaged in all aspects of production though Gabe still renders all the drawings. This allows the work to feel cohesive, and provides a sense of identity for the pieces with so many different image choices. Drawn decal images are not the only choices though, we are still developing stamped images that will better work with glazes that either don’t show the decal or recolor to badly in decal firing. Above you can see the only finished design, a relief version of the “Hail” image. Each piece begins with a specific gram weight so that the pre sized decals will work with minimal alteration.
Following the first bisque firing we glaze the pieces and prep them for the kiln. These “towers” were designed to allow the fully glazed pieces to hang in firing and maximize kiln space by pushing the pendants into the vertical space.
After firing the pieces receive their decal. Each one is hand cut and applied to the glaze surface then allowed to dry. They are then reloaded on the the towers and fired again.
After the third firing, they are ready to have the hardware applied and be worn. Here I am wearing two of the “Storm” swirls. If you are interested in purchasing pendants, please contact us through information provided on the About link. Each necklace sells for 15.00 dollars plus shipping if necessary.