Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1st Five Finished Items from "Pots That Pour" Course

Today was a long, but productive day.  I ended up throwing 9 pieces, many of which need to be finished next week, and then after that, there is only 1 more class in which we'll be glazing anything we have left.  Wow, the course goes by quickly.

The load of finished items just came out of the Cone 10 glaze firing tonight, as we were leaving.  I found 5 of the 10 pieces I had glazed last week, and brought them home already.

I was really happy that Fredi (the instructor that I admire and hope to take one of her classes some day) asked me if I would be able to provide one of my teapots (the ones with the flower cutout for a lid) for a student ceramics display.  That would be awesome.  I'm very honoured.  Now I need to make sure I glaze them well!

I should note that in general, I feel a bit frustrated by the glazing process.  I am still learning how the glazes behave, and most of the time, it is not how I had hoped they would.  So the pieces end up still being "nice", but not nearly as spectacular as I had imagined when I picked out the glaze combinations.

1) This little piece started out as a bowl which failed during throwing, so I ended up cutting off the damaged top in a lily-like shape, just like #26 from the last course.  But in this one, I decided to make it look more intentionally like a lily, with red petals and yellow throat.  The closest I could find in our Cone 10 glazes was to paint the inside (throat) Bamboo, then wax it over, and dip the piece in Copper Red.  I remembered to add freckles of Black Overglaze.  I am please that the freckles showed up well.  I am not impressed by the Copper Red, it is too milky for my taste, but overall I like the piece.

2) This one also started as a failed bowl, which I cut, as you saw in my previous posts, this one after cutting, and this one the glazing.  I painted and then scraped off Tenmoku in the lines of the leaves.  Then brushed the leaves with Matt Green, waxed them over, filled the inside with Bamboo, and dipped the outside in Deep Blue.  I like the Bamboo and Deep Blue combinations.  I'm not sure the Matt Green on Tenmoku was the best combination, it didn't come out clearly.  Perhaps Deep Blue would have been a better companion to the Matt Green.  The Deep Blue came through very nicely in Fredi's demo items.  So I'll know for next time.

3) This is another of my signature lily-of-the-valley vases, but instead of finishing in Clear like I did last time, which caused the flowers to show pure white, I decided to dip the bottom (soil line) in Matt Green, then dipped the whole piece in Celadon.  Which gave it a slight greenish hue, and the whole thing looks a bit too faded to me (compared to the unglazed colour of the Green slip, shown at center).  Again, a learning experience.

4) This is the first of a set of 3 small pitchers I created, with a pinched spout.  This one was the simplest shape, so I hoped to make it more interesting with the glazing.  It is interesting, but not in the way I had expected or hoped.  It was dipped outside in Khaki, then the whole piece dipped in Clear.  I like the Clear glaze on the inside, but I don't know about the speckled effect on the outside.  I think this will be a love it or hate it combination.  It looks to me like freckles or measles.  But maybe over time, I will grow to appreciate it.  Or find someone who does.  :-)

5) I'd have to say the glaze on this one may have turned out even better than I had expected.  The original pot (which started out at a whopping 2400 grams, so has a good weight to it) was a very pleasant shape, but a bit too ordinary for my liking.  So I borrowed some flower and leaf shaped punches from my classmate and friend Roma.  As you may see in the middle photo, I also echoed the pattern lower down the pot, but to keep it functional, didn't stamp this through, but just made a small indent.  The top was dipped in Matt Green, and I needed to dip it a few times to get all the flowers covered in green.  Then I dipped the whole pot in Celadon.  I love that effect of the Matt Green bulging and wanting to drip, but being held in place by the Celadon (at least, that's what it looks like).  The effect is very 3 dimensional, but smooth to the touch.  I love it!

I hope to pick up more next week, and have lots more in progress.  Here is a sneak peak of a few items I was starting on today...

I think this bowl is going to turn out really cool.  I had an idea like this way back in my first course, and at the time (Summer) I made a ceramic mold from a leaf of my beloved Davidii Involucrata tree.  It is a tree I fell in love with long ago, but recently tracked down and bought for my back yard.  I call it my "David tree", which is special since my 13-year-old is David, too.  (I can't believe I don't have any more photos of it in my garden blog, since I bought it in 2011!)  Anyhow, I finally decided to test out the mold, whether it worked.  Next thing I knew, I had found this mold for a shallow bowl, and was assembling a leaf-ringed ceramic bowl...  As you can notice in the photo, I started with the tips of the leaves pointing out, but part way along, realized that there would be a good chance those tips would be broken off, so started overlapping them on the adjacent leaf.  I didn't want to go back and tear out the leaves I had places already.  I'm sure this will not be the last plate like this that I attempt.

This one doesn't look like much of anything yet, but it is a bowl formed by a slab pressed onto a beautiful glass bowl (made by Mikasa, apparently the pattern is "Bountiful") with cherries design.  Here is the pattern I am hoping to transfer into the clay:

Okay, enough of the sneak previews, you'll just have to wait for the remainder.  Stay tuned!

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