Saturday, November 19, 2016

Finished Items from the Fall (and Prior) Session

I was pretty pleased with the finished items I was able to pick up on Wednesday, hot out of the gas kiln.  There were 4 platters (1 of them broken), 2 African men, 2 other vessels, 1 mother dragon mask, and 3 dragon hatchlings.  All bear my signature stamp.

I finally had enough daylight to photograph these, so here goes with some photos, and notes (mostly for myself, so I can remember clay and glaze combinations).  The hands are my son's, I borrowed them since these pieces are too big  for me to hold and photograph at the same time :

Dragon scale textured ceramic platter by Lily L.
1) I like to think of this as a dragon scale platter.  It came together very nicely, and is a practical size and weight for serving food of some sort.  It is created from a textured slab of B-Mix clay, formed over my 1" deep oval handmade styrofoam hump mould (see this post for more information).  I highlighted the texture with black overglaze (works the same as black underglaze), and sprayed it with Celadon glaze.

Oak leaf hydrangea textured ceramic platter by Lily L.
2) This beauty was also created in a similar manner, formed over my 2" deep octagonal handmade styrofoam hump mould (see this post for more information).  I highlighted the texture with black overglaze (underglaze), and a Reeves Green stain/overglaze on the leaves (although the resulting green tinge is very subtle), and then again it was sprayed with Celadon glaze.  It has a very smart looking foot, and has a nice feel, some weight to it, but light enough to be practical for filling and carrying.

Colourful textured ceramic platter by Lily L.
3) This was again created in a similar manner, also formed over my 2" octagonal styrofoam hump mould (see this post for more information).  It features a glaze combination I discovered a long while ago, and I was happy to try it again. It was a dip in Deep Blue glaze, then a dip in Amber Celadon, to overlap.  I like the visual texture on the Amber Celadon side, which doesn't come through as clearly through the Deep Blue.  So future platters may feature more of the Amber Celadon.

Here's another look at it, from a few different angles :
Colourful textured ceramic platter by Lily L.

4) This one was formed from my 3" deep hexagonal styrofoam hump mould.  When I was forming it, I could already feel that the clay was resisting being stretched so aggressively from a flat slab into this deep shape.  But it seemed successful, until it came back from the bisque firing with a small crack.  I decided to continue with it anyhow, if nothing else, to have more chances to experiment with different glazes.  The crack has deepened, so the platter will be unusable for anything other than perhaps a garden decoration (I'll figure something out, I'm sure).  It is glazed with a few dips of Deep Blue glaze.

One remaining platter is still awaiting final gas firing.  It is the triangular one.  I hope to have it soon.

Okay, on to my two African men.  These are fun pieces.  I really like how they turned out, with the rich brown colour of the Little John clay.

African man in colourful boubou, ceramic sculpture by Lily L.
5) I am pleased with the result of this first African man, with his multi-coloured boubou, and his missing finger (but he doesn't seem bothered by it, so nor will I).  Although I wish the colours were more vibrant and cheery.  But this is what I can achieve with a Cone 10 gas firing.  The glazes were Deep Blue, Tam's Green, Amber Celadon, Celadon and Copper Red.  His eyes were glazed with Amber Celadon, I believe, with a dot of Black Overglaze for the pupil.  I also touched up the unglazed parts (e.g. on the eyebrows and lips) with a stain.  I don't seem to have it in my notes, but it was either the Kingsmill wash or the Red Iron Oxide wash.  I think it was the Kingsmill wash.

"Why Lord?" African man in colourful boubou, ceramic sculpture by Lily L.
6) I think I enjoy this character even more.  He is looking up to Heaven with a "Why, Lord?" expression.  It is also the same set of glazes (but in different combinations) and the Kingsmill wash on the skin parts.

Another time, I will have enough courage to risk one of these pieces in the raku firing, and then I think I can achieve some brighter colours.  Although it has the backdrop of the dark iron oxide rich Little John clay to compete with, so it's hard to know.

I think I'll save photos of the dragon pieces to post another day.  Stay tuned.

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