Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Start of the Ceramic Sampler Course

Today was the first day of my Ceramic Sampler course, which has a number of instructors, each focusing on a different exercise.  In this class, Jay showed us how to throw a bowl using a "cow's tongue" tool to help create a wide bowl (a first for me!), and then use a stencil / pattern to cut a decorative edge on the bowl while it is still fresh on the wheel.  Pretty cool.  Here are some of the bowls which are on their way...

Next week we will trim the foot of the bowls, and I hope to play with some slip trailing or sgraffito, to decorate them further.  In fact, a few of my classmates are also taking a sgraffito course, and I was inspired by their work, so I also threw a simple container, which I brushed with Green slip, and hope to have time to sgraffito a pattern (I'm thinking leaves, but I have a week to decide) on it next week:
I also started another bowl with the Davidii Involuctra leaves, similar to #28 from the last course, since I want to try again with the glazing and hope to achieve a more realistic leaf texture.  I put it together fairly quickly toward the end of the class (when I was too tired to do any more throwing), so I will probably need to touch it up and smooth rough edges next class.

You will notice in the photos that there are 2 colours of clay.  I was advised not to try my usual white stoneware for these bowls, since it is very soft, and liable to collapse.  So I tried the B-Mix, but it was extremely firm, and I had a tough time centering the clay, so that I was exhausted even before I began throwing.  So when Jay offered that we could use some of his Recycled clay (which feels similar to the Grey Stoneware, but is grittier), I tried, and was much happier with throwing it.

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