My infatuation with color

I’m infatuated with color.

I’m infatuated with several aspects about life and my art, as you’ll find out later, however color’s a biggie.

And it’s not just seeing the color of the finished piece, either, though that’s always quite lovely as well. It’s also the mystery of how color will turn out, working with it in its various forms, and manipulating it to do nifty things. This is one thing I love about working with glass especially (though I first experienced this when working with high-fire ceramic glazes) – the color I see initially isn’t what I end up with once the piece is completed. It takes going through the high heat of the kiln and then back down to room temperature for the colors to come through properly to their final state.

It turns out to be a bit of a mystery, and I’m never quite sure what I’m going to end up with. This mystery, this unexpectedness, is part of the thrill (as compared to paintings or other things, though even then I’m still infatuated with color, there’s just not quite the thrill attached). While I try and keep in my mind’s eye what the piece will look like after it’s done being fired, the end result is always not quite white I planned on, though (usually) still wonderful (though there is the occasional whoops! Again, with the thrill).

Also, depending on the glass I use, there’s even more strange and unusual things that can be done that can (potentially) change the color. Some I have more control over than others, some I see right away and some come out later after the kiln annealing process.

So what does this all mean? It means I can only control certain things in my art, I only have control to a certain point. After that I have to allow myself to let go and let things turn out how they will. I can plan and lay out and try to create something a certain way, but once it hits the kiln (or even the torch before that, if it’s a torch-worked piece) it’s pretty much out of my hands and will do what it wants, by the whim of the heat fluctuations and atmosphere chemistry of that moment in time.

And I’ve learned to become ok with this. As I’ve managed to learn to do this, I’ve also learned (though the process is much more difficult!) to do the same thing in my own life. I can plan and lay out and try to create something a certain way…but at some point I have to let things go and let them go, to pass through the fire of experience and trial, and then see how they come out at the end. Usually for the better, though sometimes a mess results. Either way I learn from and proceed onward to the next piece of art.

****

What are your infatuations?

Next post: