Majolica is a low-fire glazing technique used on earthenware (usually terracotta) that is known for it's deep vibrant color and the ability to keep the artist's painterly brushstrokes. This is because the glaze doesn't move as it turns from liquid to glass in the kiln. Last semester I tried my hand at the technique after watching Linda Arbuckle paint a piece and thinking it was a magnificent process. So I went to her website, lindaarbuckle.com, and printed out all of the handouts she offers (which are free)! I started out making some pieces from terracotta which is a sturdy clay that's great for building. That of course went well, but then there was the glaze making and applying to deal with. Both were incredibly messy and confounding. After applying the glaze I had to paint over glazes on the piece which kept causing the base glaze to turn to dust. Then once covered in my desired colors I fired the pieces at a low temperature. Unfortunately my hard work did not really pay off because when I pulled out the pieces they were all missing pieces of color and seemed to have actually moved during firing. I spoke to my instructor about it and he suggested that I remix the glaze and do lighter coats of over glaze. However, I'm pretty tired of this process and I think I'll just finish off what terracotta and glaze I have left, then hang up my Majolica hat for good. I tried, I failed, now I'm moving on.
My favorite things are small, bright, and cute. So of course that's what I like to create. Imagination and experimentation are key.