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!