Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Awesome Bonus Pottery Day

"Any day I can have my hands in clay is a good day." - Me.

The pottery studio at Shadbolt Center is closed (other than weekend workshop courses) for all of June, so I was super excited that Fredi, an accomplished potter and pottery instructor, was willing to open her studio to me for some "collab" work.  Here is her studio, tucked away in a gardener's paradise, in her back yard :

Fredi can throw pieces which are about a third of the weight of my best pieces.  So it was a pleasure to work with pots which were so light, I wondered how they could be clay, and to just indulge in playing and decorating all day.

The first part of the day, we experimented with mocha diffusion, trying both a green and a blue stain, in both apple cider vinegar and mouthwash.  We also experimented with different slip formulas, starting with a porcelain slip, and then adding a white clay based slip, and trying different consistencies.  None of the results were spot on to what I was hoping, but we got some nice dendritic growth, and it was at least encouraging that this could one day be another form of surface decoration.

We played with lots of test tiles :

When we were happy enough that we were getting somewhere, we decorated two bowls which Fredi had thrown.  I forgot to take a photo of one of them, but here is the other :

Then Fredi trimmed a few pots / jugs she had thrown, and I started playing with decorating them.  On this one, Fredi had pressed a beautiful curve across the vase, which made me visualize some sort of pot emerging from another form.  So I textured the top part (poked it with the wooden handle of one of my tools).  I wasn't sure about it, as I was poking, but I think the end result turned out pretty nicely:

The other two, I knew I would resort to my current favourite technique, of leaf imprints and texturing.  I started one with viburnum leaves while at Fredi's studio (finishing it while sitting in her beautiful park-like back yard).

The other, I took home, and imprinted with vine maple leaves.  Here are the three finished pots / jugs, on my kitchen counter :

... and with leaves removed :

I hope to fit all of them into the soda firing in July, or at least whichever ones I have room for.  I think I have more than enough now for my allotted 2 cubic feet of space.

I am loving these new pots.  There are so light, I keep walking by and picking them up, just to be pleasantly surprised that I can easily lift them with one hand.  And what a wonderful way it was to spend the day.

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