Thursday, September 24, 2015

Back in the Studio Again, with Mud in My Eye

After what seemed an unbearably long wait, I'm back in the studio again, taking a course with Jay MacLennan called "Here's Mud in Your Eye".  I just learned that this as an old English drinking toast.  Weird, but appropriate, since we are making beer steins and mugs and pitchers and goblets and other vessels related to storing and drinking alcohol (or substitute your favourite drink).

I was quite pleased by my ability to get back on the wheel, and coax the clay into shapes which were close to what I was trying for.  Jay demoed a number of pieces, which he always makes look so easy.  The one I liked, and tried to replicate, was this "weisen" beer glass, which is apparently for drinking wheat beer.  I don't drink beer, but I sure like the shape.  This was Jay's demo, using some wonderful new Yellow iron oxide clay, which will turn reddish brown when fired, to which he added strips of grey clay, and marbled it in, and then added a piece of glass, which will become a drip of glaze when fired (or at least that's the theory) :

So with this shape in mind, I threw 4 similar shapes, as well as the shorter "stein" shape, to which I'll add a handle next week.  Mine are thrown in white clay, with a bit of Jay's yellow clay marbled in (I'm so hooked on this effect, I am dreaming of the day he'll make it available for sale, and I can marble like crazy) :
Good thing that even though I don't drink beer, my husband enjoys it.  So I'm thinking there may be a Christmas gift or two in that set...

I was pretty happy with that result and output for our 3 hour class.  Then I stayed on for the next 4 hours, and made another 4 vessels, this time focusing on 3 vases where I was trying for a narrow neck at top (mine have so far been fairly open-necked), and then an attempt at a beautiful spherical shape.
I just realized I didn't take a photo of the big sphere.  I am toying with the idea of carving that one.  We'll see.

For one of the vases, I decided to try the "medieval" base which Jay demo'd during class.  So I intentionally finished it fairly straight, and gave it a rim which I could also alter, to match the feel of the base.  I'm really liking this one.
I can't wait until next week.  Except for that handle.  I don't like making handles.  Although I could make an exception for a marbled one...  :-)

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