Wednesday, November 25, 2009

End of Another Session

10 weeks have flown by and I am done with my first official beginner's pottery class. Previously, I have taken 2 sessions (4 weeks) of First Time Pottery and this is the official 10 weeks Beginner's Potter class. I still have some pieces that needs to be fired and then glazed so I will have some stuff to tie me over until the new year. This time around, there are some real keepers.

I made a wind chime using a cyclindrical shape with the belly pushed out. Everything is done with stoneware; including the hammer and the wind catcher. The only thing that is store bought is the chain to connect everything together. Given that it is stoneware and I am a beginner, it is a little thick and heavy and the sound is not too crisp. I will probably make another next year and try to make it thinner or use porcelain when I learn how to handle it. The piece is glazed in Luster Shino with Aviva Blue brushed on with a chinese brush. The details show the crackling effect of the Luster Shino, which I LOVE!

This mug I made for my brother. It is soda fired and I only glazed the inside and the lip with Yellow Salt. All the other colors you see on the outside are either flashing from the kiln or soda deposit. I really love it and would want to try a soda class in the future.

Yes, yes, I made yet ANOTHER BOWL. What can I say -- I love the bowl form. This one I had Woodland slip applied to the outside in a grid patter when the bowl was still leather hard and it was fired to the bisque state together. I then painted each square in the grid; alternating between Coleman Apple Green and Celadon. The inside I just dipped in Temoku. Notice that my skills at trimming foot ring has improved? It is more even now but I am working towards getting a gentle curve on the foot ring.

This is a small creamer jug that is suppose to be part of a set but I haven't gotten around to making the sugar bowl yet. Nothing special with the glazes -- just Matt Black with Waxy White. Notice that the handle is white with a black strip and it is not like the top half of the creamer -- which is just Matt Black. Took a bit of creativity on my part to get that effect. If you like to know how it is done, contact me. A hint -- resist.

This piece got quite a bit of buzz going around the studio. It sat on the shelf for a little bit before I could collect it and everyone was commenting on how sweet the cup looks and that the glaze was very suitable for the form. Well, I made it but it wasn't really my idea. It was an embellishment of the bowl that my instructor made. I trimmed the foot ring and gave it a double foot and glazed it with Aviva Blue over Shaner White over Iron Red. It is quite sweet and I really like it but I think nex time I am going to have Shaner White over Aviva Blue instead.

Finally, the piece that is, quite possibly, my favorite piece so far. The pedestal plate. Everyone in class loved it too. It is actually made in two pieces (the plate and the foot) that I joined. Then I decorated with cookie cutters and my needle tool before bisque firing. It is glazed with Coleman Apple Green over Celadon and then Spudomene over Coleman Apple Green and the I "drizzled" blue stain on one side.

As always, comments and criticism welcomed!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Salt Pigs

This is a series of three Salt Pigs that I made in pottery class. Salt pigs are used to hold table salt at the dining table in place of a salt shaker. You can also use it next to the stove to hold the salt for salting whatever you're cooking. I did some research into the function of a salt pig and something that I found out was that the inside of a ceramic salt pig should not be glazed so that the clay can absorb the moisture and prevent the salt from clumping. So, all these pieces are unglazed on the inside. I basically made a bottle shape and slowly collared the neck until it is closed off. Two of the salt pigs, I cut an access hole into the side to access the salt and the third one is a lidded form.

This is the lidded form. As you can see, the inside is unglazed. Again, I threw a bottle form that is closed off and has a knob at the top to lift the lid off. I glazed this piece in Temoku and Yellow Salt using a sponging technique.

The technique is the same on this piece and I glazed it in Aviva Blue and Josh Blue using tape and wax resist.

This final one is the smallest of the three and was also the first piece that I threw. Maybe that was why it is the smallest. In any case, this piece was glazed in Waxy White and Celadon.