Thursday, January 12, 2017

Back in the Studio Again

Yesterday was my first day back in the pottery studio, and I came home sore and tired in all the right ways, and so very happy.  It seems it has been a long time waiting to get back to it, so I am so glad to be back, even if I can still only spend one day a week doing pottery.

I had to be a bit patient with myself, since I am still a beginner at the wheel, and I needed to get my confidence back.  So I'm glad our instructor, Jay, had us starting with some totem pieces.  I'm happy to throw more pieces, since I have some finished from last year, but not enough to add a third totem to the garden yet.  And any pieces, no matter what shape, can be a totem piece, with the addition of holes at two ends.

I ended up throwing 7 pieces, and then drying them a bit with the hairdryer so I could trim and finish 5 of them already.  I ended up finishing the whole bag of Plainsman 550 grey clay.
Here are the first 4 pieces, just after throwing them :
Pottery by Lily L, in progress.

The one on the right, I threw with holes on both ends already, to be a totem piece, and altered it while still in the wheel, to have a bit of a pattern.  I hope to pick a glaze which will accentuate rather than hide the rings.

The one at the front, was meant as a garden ornament (upside down) or totem topper.  I intentionally created a few ridges in the shape, so I could alter it with a stick, to get something like this:
Pottery garden ornament by Lily L, in progress.
Not quite what I had in mind, but I still like the outcome.  Good enough for the garden, anyhow.

The shape at the back was originally going to be an acorn, thrown with the pointy side down, and the cap at the top.  But half way through throwing it, I managed to push the piece right off the bat.  So after that, it was too wonky to finish as an acorn.  It looked more like it wanted to be a swirl of soft ice cream.  So I helped it along a bit :
Pottery garden totem pieces by Lily L, in progress.
It has a hole in the base, so it can become a totem topper.  But then what is an ice cream without a cone to sit it in?  So I threw a cone, also with a hole in the bottom, to sit on a totem :
Pottery ice cream cone for a garden totem, by Lily L, in progress.
Then I added a bit of texture to the cone, so it didn't look like a flower pot :
Pottery ice cream cone totem pieces by Lily L, in progress.

The donut was a challenge to my throwing abilities.  I have made a donut in the past.  And then I've made a few pieces which were supposed to be donuts, but ended up not closing up, so becoming succulent pots, etc.  So I was pleased when I was able to make this donut close up.  And again I forced it to dry enough so I could trim and finish it :
Pottery donut by Lily L, in progress.
I've already added holes in it (not shown in the photo) to mount on the totem also.  Instead of centering the holes, so the rebar pole will show through, I added holes to one side.  So then it needed another totem piece which would sit at an angle to it (perpendicular to the donut), and threw another circular piece (not shown).  And also a vase / jug, to practice bringing in the neck, which is still a challenge for me at times.

The vase turned out a bit wonky at the top also, so if I'm up to it, I'll play a bit with it next week, and alter it.  But then again, I have some ideas in my head for some sodium silicate crackly pots, and Jay is talking about showing us that next week, so I suspect that will keep me busy instead.  We'll see.  I also want to make something bowl-like with a large ceramic mold he has available.

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