Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trimming and Decorating

I was happy to have the opportunity to go into the studio today, to trim and decorate the 7 items I had started Wednesday.  Just in case I still had more time, I brought a few more partial bags of stiff clay from the garage, which I could revive.  I didn't need them.

I had fun today, doing the type of decorating that I enjoy so much.  I'm particularly pleased with this little piece, with three vines growing on it :
Slip trailed and sprigged pottery / ceramic vessel by Lily L, in progress.

Slip trailed and sprigged pottery / ceramic vessel by Lily L, in progress.

Slip trailed and sprigged pottery / ceramic vessel by Lily L, in progress.

I enjoyed slip trailing the little swirly design, so I indulged in a few more pieces :
Slip trailed pottery / ceramic vessels by Lily L, in progress.
I know this slip trailed design can hold up well, see the 2nd item in this post, from the last soda firing.  I think Amber Celadon glaze (see the goblet in this post) will also show nicely.

I ended up finishing 3 items and taking them to the kiln shed.  2 more are finished and in the cellar for slower drying.  The 2 last ones are not yet trimmed.  So I will have enough to finish on Wednesday.  Glazing the ones which are hopefully out of the bisque firing by then.  Moving others to the kiln shed.  Trimming and decorating the remaining ones.  And if I have extra time, I will soften and rework some of my old clay.

I had two noteworthy things happen today.  One was that I managed to throw and trim these latest few items so thin, that when I slip trailed one of them, and then tried to flip it over, it nearly collapsed on me.  I had to take the hair dryer to it to firm it up.  I couldn't believe it.  A second one, I had been able to handle it to trim it, but after I slip trailed it, and tried to pick it up, I managed to leave fingerprints in it.  Wow.  Cool.

The other was that a young man, whom I haven't met previously, stopped beside me toward the end of the workshop and told me he loved my work.  I commented that I enjoyed "fiddling", and he commented "that's where the magic happens".  Wow.  I thanked him for the encouragement, and told him that many people shake their head at me, and comment on how time-consuming my techniques are.  He told me about the piece he was working on, a fairly complex two-piece sculpture, had already taken two 4-hour sessions, so 8 hours so far, and he wasn't even sure it would survive the bisque firing.  It was pretty cool to receive the compliment, but also find someone who related to me.  Not that it doesn't happen.  After all, there were two ladies making pierced vessels in this workshop also.  But it's not so often that someone expresses my sentiment so well.  The magic for me really IS in the fiddling and decorating, and taking the pieces well beyond functional vessels.

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