Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dragon Collection and More Ceramic Sunflower Leaf Dishes

Shadow Splash came home today, after being in the student exhibit these past few weeks.  I have now officially started a dragon collection.  Although based on the amount of remaining space on the family room fireplace (which is the only appropriate space I could think of), it will remain a pretty small dragon collection.
Dragon collection, featuring my handmade stoneware sea dragon.

The first few bowls made from sunflower leaves have survived the bisque firing, so it encouraged me to create a few more today, while the sunflowers are still thriving.  They won't be around too much longer.
Ceramic sunflower leaf bowls, in progress.

Every time I've made these bowls, I've learned something new.  I learned to shave down the big veins at the back of the leaf before pressing it, so the clay leaf would not split in half.  I learned to use a bowl as a mold, and remove it before totally set, so I could curl the tip of the leaf.   I learned to add the stem / handle.  Today I rolled a little spiral into the stem, which I think makes it look even better, sort of vine-like.  I have yet to attempt feet.  I am hoping to add a sort of spiral-like foot to the bottom, if they are not too dry next time I go in.  I also learned to keep the actual leaf on as long as possible, to avoid fingerprints on the top while handling it, and while pressing my artist stamp onto the bottom.
Handmade ceramic dishes made from pressed sunflower leaves, in progress.
So these are the leaves as I worked with them, adding the stem.  Just before I took them downstairs to dry slowly, I removed the remainder of the green leaf.

Today I trimmed a number of the vases / containers from the previous session.  I have not done much trimming, so I was reminded how much of a challenge it can be.  Especially if your rim is off-level, or you don't center your piece well before trimming, or your stamp is so close to the bottom that you have a hard time trimming it without obliterating your stamp, or if you don't anchor it enough, so it pops off during trimming (good thing I caught it, so that one ended happily).

I am told that it may be a couple of weeks before I can glaze and have my pieces fired to Cone 10.  I am a bit anxious to finish a few of them off, I have so many in progress in the moment.

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