Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bill's production

Here are the pots that Bill made during the raku workshop. I am sure that he will have something to say about them.

This one is about 13 inches across the rim

The bottom of this is what is called "naked Raku" where you put slip on the bare pot and glaze over top of the slip and the idea is that the carbon from the burning paper doesn't penetrate where the slip and the glaze are. Except that this one dried too fast and a lot of the slip fell off.

Here is a hand built pot not unlike my yarn bowl. Only larger.
This is a test piece mug. The idea was to mask out portions of the clay before you applied the glaze and you would get black areas.
A two tone vase.
What we call the Ming Vase. More on this one later.
And another naked raku. This one was much more successful.

It is really hot here and I am so glad that I am not firing raku today. It would be brutal!


Julia said...

Nice finish on some of those pieces. Almost looks like mother of pearl on black glaze. You'll be needing more shelves pretty soon for all those pots. JB

tanita davis said...

Ditto what Julia said about the shelves! You have so many beautiful pots you'll need to start eating cereal out of them...

...actually, that's the kind of thing I would do anyway. Why not have beauty surround even the most common things (except I guess they have to be glazed differently to be eaten out of, or else your food is gritty...)?

Jackie said...

T, we do use them, but the only one of this batch that is really bowl like is the first one which is HUGE! Even my 13 year old boy could finish THAT bowl full of cereal.

And yes, more shelves are definitely needed!

mira's papa said...

Due to character count limitations, I had to split this comment into two pieces.

Part 1

The first thing I have to say is that this pottery class was a superb gift from Jackie. She knew what I’d like, and she was right. An excellent choice. Best birthday gift I ever received.

Second thing to say is that these photos were shot under bad lighting conditions with no tripod and made in great haste as I was trying to leave for home (they are right now on display in my office at work, because we are packing to vacate our digs for something newer and larger, and we don’t need more pots to pack).

There were many lessons learned during this week, and since I was a Raku virgin, they were all new. But it's all part of the process.

I have to say that I really liked the big pot (first photo), but putting on that trail of white glaze requires some kind of artist’s steady hand, which I don't have. I can do drafting with instruments just fine, but free form drawing.... not my strength. I’m thinking of ways to get a better handle on this, but so far, just a few clues.

Second image. I like the shape of this pot, but the "naked raku" didn't work so well. I tried this technique twice, because when it's done the right way it's so very beautiful, but since it was my first time, I didn't have the details done correctly. I'll try this again next year, and should be able to get better results. I watched the mistakes unfold, and they are all avoidable, if only you know beforehand. Experience is the great teacher, so I got me some. But all that aside, I think this pot is quite nice.

Third photo. This was my one and only hand build. I enjoyed doing it, and would do more of them, but I like the wheel better. The one thing that surprised me about this was that it was so different from Jackie's pot, yet I used the same glazes. Such is the nature of Raku. Variation reigns. The flame paints the pot, and you have some, but limited control.

The mug was my first Raku piece. I rather liked it. In real life it looks even better than the photo. I learned a lot from this piece, and I eventually used the same techniques on the large bowl.

The two-tone vase was one of my favourites. It has purples, blues, copper colour and a great range of change as you rotate it. I also like the shape. There are ways to improve it, but I like it anyway.

The Ming Vase will be more thoroughly explored later, because it's about 6 different pots, depending on the viewing angle. Remarkable, really. And totally unplanned. Just the nature of the Raku process.

The last, small, naked raku pot has a better naked raku effect than the larter one (the black and white area looking like dried cracked earth), but it's not as nice a shape, and the top glaze isn't as nice. But it was also a learning experience, because I did something counter to the instructions, and that even added to the teacher's knowledge bank. So we all learned something with this pot. Naked Raku is tricky. I will try another one next year, and will do better, I hope, but one never knows with this stuff.

There was an eighth piece - a nice turquoise bowl - but one of my colleagues at work wanted it, so she bought it. So it’s not going to show up here. It was my first ever pottery sale. A cool $50 for a pot that a nobody potter made. If I could do this as a retirement hobby and break even with the firing cost and the clay cost, I’d be content.

mira's papa said...

I look forward to taking the course again next summer. Peter Thomas is a really good teacher and totally committed to imparting as much of his knowledge to you as he can in the time available. I’m a teacher myself, so I really appreciated his complete engagement with his students. And on top of that, it was fun for Jackie and me to be at “pottery camp” together. Even though we never left town, it was like a holiday from our normal lives. Very refreshing.

And while I also found the clay very stiff (and I’m stronger than Jackie), and even though it drew blood from three holes in my hand on the first day, it was tamed by the middle of the second day. I figure that if we can throw with this, we can throw anything. It will be interesting to go back to the evening class in the fall and throw stoneware clay again. It will feel like soft butter in comparison, but then it won’t be so stiff, so will collapse easier. It’s always a tradeoff. At least the stoneware clay won’t make your hands bleed.

As a first timer to take an EdVentures class here in Fredericton, I’d have to say that they are well worth it. A week of total escape from your regular life (even if you don’t leave home), and you learn something, make something that you can take home, and perhaps find a new hobby. It worked for me. I’ll be doing it again.

David T. Macknet said...

Those are some truly beautiful pots, and I'm glad that you've gotten to make them together! It's always amazing to me to do something with T. because our styles are so different - I, too, have trouble with freehand drawing, so when I glaze something I'm usually all about dots rather than lines, or if they're lines, they're more stylized rather than representational. I've wanted to do Raku for a long time ... and some day we'll get to. :)