Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last of the Last - Photos

As I posted the other day, I made sure I was there yesterday for the unloading.  Only one piece exploded (not mine) and left a small piece on the lip of one of my pots, otherwise my stuff turned out ok.
So here's what you showed up for - the pics:


Cups to match

3 piece set

A different cut to stop the glaze

Small Pot 3.5"

Hagi Porcelain

Experiment w/ Underglazes

The glazes didn't turn out exactly as planned, but then we are often surprised with the results - right?
I know the teapot is non-functional, but would appreciate any comments or critiques on the works.  How else will I learn?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last of the Last

Made a trip over to the studio at the University on Friday.  I had about a dozen pieces that were begging to be glazed... that and the professor was scheduled to load the last glaze run of the semester that afternoon.  So I used most of the remaining Licorice, threw in some Rif Red here and there, and a good measure of Floating Blue, and Oriblue (Oribe Green that doesn't turn green!)
Had a small coffee cup plate, a handful of nicely shaped yunomi, some guinomi, and a teapot with 2 cups.  I am just hoping the glazes behave and don't run past the wax resist... at least not too much.   I had one vase I didn't know what to do with... so I tried a variation of Luke Langholz's mountain vases.  However since I don't use slips, I used wax resist to see if I can get the same look as his... I guess I won't know till tomorrow!  I will post pics as soon as I can get the pieces out of the kiln.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Demos, demos, demos...

After seeing my finished pieces I had to get busy and wedge up some clay for demos.  The students have never watched as someone sat at the wheel and created a piece.  So I did several pieces for each of the 5 classes.  Below is a photo summary of the results... luckily, I didn't lose a single piece!

Now to see what glazes I can play with for these!

Two sets of Keepers!

Emptied the test kiln this morning, and was VERY pleasantly surprised!  I think you will be too.

First is the set of three yunomi, done in a root-beer float glaze, with a band of electric blue mahjolica in the top crease.

Next is a set with a guinomi, a yunomi, and a chawan, all done with a cool white interior and upper band, with the outside done in wintergreen glaze.  I love the way the clay shows through on these three pieces.

Comments?  Critiques?  Both are more than welcome!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Firing, Glazing, Firing

Wednesday I fired 5 yunomi and 3 bowls in a test kiln, and pulled them out Friday.  I lost one of the bowls, due (I believe) to a thick bottom of two mixed clays that didn't like being that thick together.  I was surprised to find that the two yunomi with the watercolor underglazes turned out wonderful!  The underglazes didn't lose any of their color at all, even with this dark clay!  So as not to try and push my luck, I just put on a good coat of super-clear, and put them back in the kiln.  The other set of three yunomi in the dark clay, I used a rootbeer float on the inside, as well as the outside to take advantage of it's ability to flow into the surface breaks and grooves, producing a darker line.  On the first groove I first put three coats of an electric blue majolica, hoping it will come through a single coat of rootbeer float.  I had another yunomi, a chawan, and a small bowl (all done in pink Los Altos clay) with a matching set of grooves cut around at the same height.  For these three I chose a cool white interior, with a wintergreen outside, and in a thin line around the lip.  The wintergreen is also a running glaze that collects in the grooves and surface textures to produce a darker line.  I started the kiln again this morning with all these pieces in it.  As of 1 pm, the surface was just starting to shimmer as I peeked in the peephole.  I will try and get pics up tomorrow - if they turn out.  Cross your fingers!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finished trimming

     Finally got a chance to throw a couple things yesterday, and finished trimming them today.  I tried doing several yunomi - attempting to make them look somewhat the same.  I also threw a 6-7 inch canister with lid, but the lid didn't survive the trim, and neither did the inset lip of the canister.  So I trimmed off the lip and finished it as a nice vase.  Now all I need to do is find some glazes that won't turn a matte, muddy brown on this clay...  maybe I need to go with cone 06 glazes.
     Let me know if you have any ideas on the glaze issue...
1 & 2 - outside and inside
3 & 4 - a trio, and a pair (somewhat)
5, 6 & 7 - a nice 6-7 inch vase, can't forget that all important foot, and of course - my chop

Any critiques?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Absence of Throwing

   Here it is, halfway through the semester, and I haven’t been able to throw more than a dozen pieces or so. If teaching the ceramics is going to keep me from the wheel, I am definitely going to have to get a wheel for home. 
   I noticed the other day that the University was throwing away 3 rusty old foot powered wheels. I checked them out and they all have smooooooth bearings, so I may ask if I can have one – or all of them. They all need work and cleaning up, but I could end up with 3 working wheels… maybe refurbish two enough to sell for a modest amount – at least enough to buy 50 lbs of clay. I checked on ordering some, and the cost of the clay was great! The shipping however, was over 3 times the cost of the clay! Sooooo… may be a while. Wish me luck with getting the wheels!

Edit: Tuesday - No luck on the wheels... the art dept. had a fire over the weekend, and they hauled them away with all the fire debris.  Nuts!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Teapots 'n Teacups

Having watched the video of Shoji Hamada making a tea set in under 4 minutes, about 20 times, and marveling that someone could do that so fast, I decided to try.
     I didn't get it done in 4 minutes, but did finish throwing and assembling in one hour.  I have spent another 30 minutes or so cleaning it up, smoothing it out, cutting the foot, and putting a handle on the teacup. The only thing I have left to do is do a little carving on the handle of the teapot, so it isn't just a bulky, thick, cylinder sticking out of the side of the pot.
     Next, I have been trying to decide on the glaze, and have settled (I think) on an Almond Spice interior, and a Mint Irish Creme on the outside... maybe drizzle a little Almond Spice along the top lip to flow down like foam - at least that's the thought process.  We all know how often the glaze turns out exactly like we imagine it in our mind's eye.  I'll post pics in a week or two when it's finished and glazed!

Edit:  Here's photos of the pot and cup...

The cup is dry and the pot is wet...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunlight 'n Shade

These were my last three pieces for last semester, but not the year. The glare of the tropical sun was so bad I had to place them in the shade to get these photos. But I like the effect of the natural surroundings, it helps bring out the glaze colors. This pot has a nice almond spice inside, and three blues on the outside. The lip is mint Irish creme, the first band a nice floating blue, the center band was a semi-matte light blue that almost went clear, and the bottom is an Oribe Green that went mostly blue.

I wanted to try a new shape with this one (thanks Mary, your pieces inspired this one). I also wanted to try our new Licorice glaze... and it is definitely a cone 6 or 7. At cone 5, it leaves a lot of gold looking specks throughout the glaze, almost giving the piece a yellow look. I dipped the blue first and overlapped the licorice. The blue is also a cone 6 or 7. At cone 5 it doesn't fully develop the full blue color. Having said all that, I think it turned out rather nice.

This one was experimental.  I used a Conrad Black stain on the top band (outside) and the bottom and feet.  Then I filled the inside with an Oribe, painting it on the outside with the same Oribe.  To finish it off, after the first glaze firing (cone 5), I fired it again with a very nice clear to cone 6.  The second firing gave it some very nice runs and color changes.  The feet turned out especially nice on this bowl.

Quick 'n Clean

Saw this video and couldn't resist posting it for encouragement.  You can do this too!