Sunday, February 22, 2015

Totem Pieces from Spring Ahead Course

I was happy to pick up 9 of the pieces for my garden totem today.  I have more on the way, and once I have time to assess where I'll put them in the garden, and how many I'll need for the totem height I choose, I'm sure I'll be making many more.  It will be my summer project.

Here they are.  All bear my stamp somewhere, so I won't mention :

Base for ceramic garden totem stained in iron oxide
#8 - This one was going to be the base for my totem, but since then I decided to make a base for my base, to be in better proportion to the other pieces.  So we'll see how that turns out.  This one was thrown on the wheel to be quite thick, then faceted with a cheese cutter / straight wire.  It is finished with Iron Oxide wash, which was wiped off, to leave more oxide in the cuts.  I like that effect, and the chocolaty color (yes, it's all equates to food for me!).

Ceramic piece for garden totem - crackled with sodium silicate.
#9 - I just posted my 7 sodium silicate crackle vases.  This is the first one I made, when I was still too timid about pushing out the sides.  So because of the shape and lack of crackle, I decided to make this one into a totem piece.  It was coated in Brown slip before crackling, but like my other vases, the Brown has mostly disappeared.  It is sprayed in Clear glaze on the outside.  The inside is unglazed.  I think it will handle the weather better than way.  Let's hope.  I am hoping, since I'm inherently lazy and don't know where to store them otherwise, to keep my totem out year round.  Maybe only draping it in plastic when Winter hits, so it won't get too wet (we don't really get cold in Vancouver, only wetness).

Sgraffito floral ceramic piece for the garden totem.
#10 - It is hard to believe this was Black slip applied to Grey clay, and then sgraffito'd.  It ended up a deep turquoise color.  But that's why I keep notes on all my pieces.  It is sprayed Clear on the outside.  I think the bold pattern will show well on the totem.  I carved a pattern that will look good right side up or upside down, since I don't know which way it will end up being added to the totem.

Ceramic piece for the garden totem, textured with wiggle wire.
#11 - Although my instinct is to decorate and use lots of colors, I tried to create some simple colored pieces for my totem, which will look clean from a distance.  Believe it or not, this piece, which was textured via wiggle wire, was sprayed in Sombright Green glaze.  The glaze shows a medium green where applied rather thick, and brown in thin areas.  So I guess I sprayed it pretty thin everywhere.  Again, good to know.

Ceramic piece for the garden totem.
#12 - According to my notes, I enhanced these scratched marks with Deep Blue (nice!) and Copper Red (??).  But Copper Red is quite finicky, and depends on the level of oxidation or reduction, and thickness of application and who knows what other factors.  So it ended up white.  Next time, I'll use Tenmoku or Khaki, which are much more reliable!  (See in comparison my jeweled vase #27 in this post.)

Ceramic piece for the garden totem, glaze in beautiful blue and brown.
#13 - I discovered the magic of combining Amber Celadon and Deep Blue glazes with this tray.  So I decided to use it again for this totem piece, and the combination did not disappoint.  I think this will make a nice chunky link in my totem.

Carved and colored floral piece for the ceramic garden totem.
#14 - This one features a carved floral pattern, enhanced with Teal overglaze (leaves), White glaze with Black overglaze (on the lily), Red underglaze (that underglaze performed!), Purple underglaze (which turned out pale blue), and a Yellow underglaze (which turned out white).  All sprayed with Clear glaze.  See this post for the colors when applied.  The colors may not have all worked as plan, but the overall effect is still a good one, and should go nicely on the totem.

Ceramic floral disk for the garden totem.
#15 - I made a couple of these slab-formed floral pieces to fit between the larger round and cylindrical pieces.  I would like to make more of them, when I have time.  I'm pleased with the result, the fact that it didn't crack at all, and the color (Carbon Trap Shino glaze) is quite pleasant.

Ceramic cap for the garden totem, with mosque-like dome spiral and ash yellow color.
#16 - For the cap for my totem, I was inspired by the gold dome (what's the proper name for that?) on some mosques.  The Amber Celadon glaze, applied quite thinly, was the closest to gold that I could think of.  I like the effect.  However, I fear that the cap may look a bit small in proportion to the other totem pieces.  We'll see, once I plant a rod of rebar in my yard, and start playing around with the pieces.  At that point, I'll know what worked and what didn't, and know what pieces to create next.

And finally today, I picked up some pieces which didn't meet the glaze deadline in the Fall, so continuing numbering from the #28 Mickey bowl, ....

Failed piece turned to ceramic crown, maybe for the garden totem.
Fall #29 - This was my first coil-built bowl which I didn't combine together carefully enough, so the bottom part fell out.  I decided to glaze it anyhow (Carbon Trap Shina), and then figure out what to do with a crown shaped piece like this.  It may go in the garden somewhere, maybe even as part of my totem.  We'll see.

Ceramic vase with ornate tile-imprinted design.
Fall #30 - This piece used imprints from the special tiles in our bathroom (which supposedly were imported from Spain).  The intent was to make a toothbrush holder bearing the same design as our tiles.  But the Bamboo glaze doesn't look anything like the Bamboo I've seen before.  So I don't know if the batch has changed that much, or I made a mistake and dipped in something else.  So it ends up not really matching our bathroom, it is more the color of the cabinetry in our kitchen.  So we'll see where this piece finally finds it place in the world.  When I solve the Bamboo mystery, I would like to try this one again, since I have some more ideas on how to create it.  And it could be a pretty awesome effect, if I could match closer the tile color.

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