Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pottery Tool Making - Second Class

I'm still loving my pottery tool making course.  Today we continued to make tools, most of them wood or bamboo.  I made another paddle, this one with wound poly rope for texture :
The one I made last week, I left one side smooth, and instead of texturing it with saw cuts on the other side, decided to make lines with the hot glue gun :
They ended up as wobbly lines, but seem to make a pretty interesting texture, and when tapped twice, make wobbly squares, as seen above.

I created a couple more dragon scale tools today, as well as various shapes of ribs and other tools which could be useful for throwing, or shaping in various ways.  Some from searching Google and Instagram during the week, for more ideas on what tools people find useful in pottery.

One of the highlights today, besides using my favorite belt and disc sander, was applying tung oil to the wood tools.  Wow, what a beautiful transformation of color and visual texture, as the wood grain magically appeared.  Here is the large throwing tool from last week, with the oil applied :
It was interesting to see the different colors - some yellow, some red - appear in the wood, which seem to be various different varieties (I really wish I could identify them) :
One of the tools I wasn't excited to make, but I didn't want to be left out, especially since it involved many more steps, such as drilling and screwing and such, was this cutting tool, shown along with one of the funky shaped rib which I created from some of the scraps of wood :
The tool is way too complicated for me, for what it does, which is to cut clay.  I could use a simple wire for that, and this doesn't even seem to be a tool which I could operate in one hand.  Not to mention, it needs to be tightened by twisting that string at top, which I way too fiddly for me.  But what was cool is that if I didn't add the dowels to keep that middle piece in place, the whole thing could be pulled apart for easier storage (you just have to keep the 3 pieces together, or it's not useful).
Anyhow, I am the type that I never miss lunch.  In fact, I am known for slipping out of class at 12noon (it ends at 1pm) to have a quick lunch, otherwise I become light headed, and eventually get a headache.  Today, I was so carried away with making tools, that I didn't stop until 2:30pm for lunch, even though a number of people asked me before that, whether I had taken a lunch break.

By the time I pulled away from the tool making entirely, I had only 1.5 hours or so of useful time to play with clay.  I needed to at least finish that coil bowl I started last week.

I was very happy when I popped it out of its mold, to find that it looked good, and seemed to have held together very nicely.
Coil bowl in progress.
When I made it, I had considered giving it a foot which was a coil, or a number of little coils, or little feet which were decorated in coils...  But when I saw it like this, I realized that it already had enough coils, and what would balance the rim nicely would be a foot which was a similar smooth ring.  I didn't want to throw on the wheel, and then spend time cleaning it, but probably ended up spending much more time hand building and shaping a ring for a base.  But I am happy with the result :
Coil bowl in progress - pottery by Lily L.
I'm really liking the result.  I can imagine accenting the coiled part with stain, and then glazing it in a light color, but glazing the rim and foot ring in a nice brown to complement the stain.  Or maybe do something in a celadon / dark blue combination.  I can't wait to try this.  In fact, I may want to try a couple of versions of this type of bowl, until I get the combination I really like.  We'll see.

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