Thursday, February 25, 2010

Close Ups

As requested, here are a few close ups of a couple of my pots.

In the first few classes I threw two basic forms. One was belly forms that looked sort of like a honey pot in the Winnie the Pooh stories. Back a hundred years ago when I was a student, it was one of the forms that I enjoyed throwing. I made a number of mugs like this but over time they left my life in various ways. Some walked away in the hands of friends. Some were abused and eventually died. And a couple succumbed to temperature shock.
Here is the last one that I have. It was one of the ones that succumbed to temperature shock. There is a hairline fracture on one side so it has been holding toothbrushes for the last 10 or so years. 

I had fun decorating around the handle. I seem to recall that we had a workshop with a fellow named John Glick who showed us some fun decoration techniques that he used. I really wish that I had taken more photos of some of my pottery from this time. Most of the pottery ended up in the hands of others, and none of it was documented. I was still in the delusional land of "I made it once, I can make it again". At the time I didn't understand how children change things.

Oh, the lessons we learn.

Now I know, just because you can do something doesn't mean that you will.

My forms this time around were not quite the same. And as I said, I had forgotten (or didn't take into account) the whole shrinkage thing.  The little blue pot is 3 inches where the brown mug above is a respectable 4.25 inches. I was also in a bit of a rush and didn't really want to take the time to make handles. These cups would have had to be espresso cups anyway.
The second type of form that I concentrated on were bowls thrown off the hump.

The basic idea of this type of throwing is that you put a big chunk of clay on the wheel and center only the top of it. You then throw your bowl and cut it off the hump. The top part of the clay is centered again and the next bowl is thrown. This continues until the clay is all used up.

Here is one of my hump bowls.
I started to scratch words into my hump bowls. This one says "Truth". The glaze is one that doesn't  show up the words at all. Chris, the teacher, said that he was very interested in using "safe" glazes. And by that he means glazes that don't run too much and muck up the kiln shelves. I understand this totally, having seen what runny glazes that were over-applied by inexperienced people can do to a kiln shelf.

This is the one glaze that actually shows the words. I really like it but it is not the glaze that I would like to have on all of my pots. I would like a celadon. Which is basically a clear glaze with a little colour that shows up words and/or throw marks really well.
This cup says "Oh Dear". The reason for this was that it was still a little bit wet when I was trimming and I gouged the foot a bit. So...."Oh Dear.....I goofed"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Here are the first of my glazed pots.

We had 5 glazes to chose from so I did some glaze tests to see how they flowed and how the engraving on the pots looked. There were a few that I liked but I am persuing other options because none of them showed up any lettering.


Here are the two bowls that I glazed last week. They seemed so big when I took them off of the wheel but now that they are fired and glazed, they seem a lot smaller. I know that there is some shrinkage in the kilns, but it seems like a lot to me. All my post seemed to be really small. I guess that I will have to try and throw some larger ones so that they can shrink down to a normal size instead of these tiny little things that I ended up with.

In any case, I should have a few more things to show sometime next week.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pot progression

Now now. Not that kind of pot!

This kind.....
These are a few of my trimmed pots. I was going for a stemless wine glass shape. I think that I succeeded in most cases. There were two that managed to dry out a bit to much to trim and they ended up in the waste bucket, but the other 20+ managed to survive. I still don't know what glazes we are going to have available. I hope that they are ones that shows the trimming lines that you can see on the two on the left.
Last week I spent the entire 3 hour class trimming. NOT my favorite part of the potting process, but I generally like the results. On reflection, the dislike of trimming probably comes from my lack of confidence. I feel that I might trim through the bottom of the pot, or that I will not trim enough off the bottom and leave it too thick and it may crack in the kiln.
Practice makes prefect and I seem to have very little time to practice.

Monday, February 08, 2010

presumed lost.....

Last week, one of my colegues called me into her office and said that she had something for me. I magine my surprise when she handed me my long lost postcard! You can see it in it's humble begining here
There were quite a few things that happened to other postcards that not everyone agreed with and some people "fixed" a few things on the cards that passed through their hands. You can see the progression of the postcards that passed though me by clicking on the link "post cards" at the bottom of the post. There is one card whose progression through me is missing and I have to admit that it was so uninspiring to me that I forgot to take a picture of it.
Here is a detail of the front of mine.
And here is another detail of some fine stitching and a bit of bead work.
The one thing that seemed out of place to me was the small green object that was dangling from a red thread. Any one care to guess what it is suppose to be?

I was baffled until I looked at the back and saw this......
And actually, I am still a bit baffled. On something so rich with golds, why the funny felt lettuce? Maybe the guy on the front is suppose to be the laughing buddah who makes the lion go around and find the lettuce. The red string symbolizing the money.
Even though the lettuce is strung to the front, I like it better hanging over the back where it makes more sense when paired with the story. The green just, in my humble opinion, doesn't work with the front.

In any case, I am happy to finally have my postcard back. There is one, at least that was lost somewhere along the way and has not been seen since. Maybe it's hanging out with the handmade soap that I tried to send my sister a number of years ago. With Canada Post, you never know!