Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Applying Terra Sig and Student Exhibit

Today was a long day.  I applied terra sigillata (basically a very fine clay slip) to 14 of my raku pieces.  The 15th I only trimmed today, so it was not dry enough to apply terra sig.

Here are 9 of my pieces, waiting on the bisque shelf, after the terra sig was applied :
Ceramic pots ready for raku firing, with terra sig already applied.
The star-shaped plates, I finished in coloured terra sig.  One in turquoise, and the other two in yellow.  The vase at the back, which I plan to use for the naked raku, is also finished in turquoise.  The others are finished in white.

Here's my little penguin, the part I finished in terra sig is still gray (moist) since the photo is when it was freshly applied.  I didn't try to polish the terra sig, I don't think the penguin should be shiny, just smooth, and I didn't want to take a chance that I would break off his beak.  I was fortunate that none of my pieces broke during polishing, but a few classmates were not so fortunate today.  The penguin's tummy I plan to finish in crackle glaze, and the remainder of him will turn black from being placed in combustible materials.
Raku pottery penguin in progress - after terra sigillata has been applied.

Here are the next 4 pieces, also waiting on the bisque shelf.  For the sodium silicate crackle vases, I didn't apply terra sig to the vase at all, since I want it to be rough for the obvara raku, but I applied terra sig (at least I think I did) to the bottom/foot, so it will be smooth.

Finally, my "princess for an evening" lady, whose dress will be finished in a glitzy glaze, and the rest of her will either be black (if I am able to remove her from the kiln with tongs, and place her in combustibles), or white (if I can't lift her out, and just leave her in the kiln to cool down).  I finished her skin and the base of the sculpture in terra sig.
Raku sculpture in progress - after applying terra sig, and leaving the remaining areas for later glazing.

I had time left after applying the terra sig, so I glazed two of my pieces from early April.  One of the big vases was cracked on the bottom.  Probably since I left it too bottom-heavy, should have trimmed much more.  But I glazed it anyhow, just to see what happens.

I found that my rolled plate/bowl also was cracked.
Crack in slab made roller pattern ceramic bowl.
I was not too surprised, since I knew about this weak point when I was forming it.  On the advisement of our instructor, I decided to let this one go, and not finish it, even though that is a strong instinct of mine.  So I took a photo of the bowl, and placed it in the discard area.  I have to say, when I did that, it was a nice feeling, not to feel obligated to save it.  I need to learn how to let go.  Today was a an important first step for me.
Pottery bowl with roller pattern which was not meant to be.

Next week I will terra sig that final raku piece, and glaze a few of my remaining pieces.  Then I'll be ready for the 2 sessions of raku firing.  I can't wait.

Oh, I almost forgot, I also visited my large swirly platter / bowl which is on exhibit at the moment at the Shadbolt Center in Burnaby, BC.
Swirly pattern stoneware pottery bowl / platter by Lily, on display at Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby.
Here it is in its display case.  It was surrounded by a lot of really talented work by fellow students, many of whom I know and consider to be friends.

Here is another shot of it, from behind :
Back of stoneware platter by Lily, on display at Shadbolt Center in Burnaby.
That's a bit plate holder!  I should find out where I can buy one like that!

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