Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Pottery: Can you stand it?

Haven't had too much to blog about lately. Work, weather, and illness all have taken their toll on my blogging spirit. Still, the chance to play in clay and see the results can still pick me up.

Here are the latest things out of the kiln. I will try to tell their stories as well as show you their pictures.

This bowl is made of brown clay, which you can see from the side and bottom views below. All the pieces shown in this post were glazed by the dipping method. This bicolored effect was achieved by holding the bowl by the side, dipping it into a large bucket of glaze, letting the excess drip off and the pot dry, then repeating for the other side. I was hoping for a nice burgundy and dark green combo, and the view from the inner side of the bowl is close to what I was hoping to achieve.

Unfortunately, the side view shows that the burgundy glaze didn't take too well on the outer surface. When I got my piece back, I was told, "Oh, yeah. The reds tend to 'burn out' easily." Well, duh - then (a) Why do you have red glazes and (b) Why didn't someone tell me before I did this? Oh well, more notes in my photo album on what not to do next time.

By the way, this is an "S" crack on the bottom, a function of firing and not my fault, at least, I don't think it was. It doesn't go all the way through and the bowl still could be used to hold liquids of some kind. More importantly, look at that nice foot ring on the bottom. That skill is tough to learn, but I am getting it.

Now, this piece was also dipped in the same burgundy glaze, only over white clay instead of brown. This is the nice deep red I was looking for. I'm pleased with the shape of this pot, but the bottom is too heavy - I left too much clay at the base. I'm not sure what to use it for; perhaps a silk flower arrangement? It's about 4.5 inches in diameter by 2.75 inches tall.

The white clay tends to make the colors of the glaze show up darker and stronger, while the same glazes over brown clay are more muted. I'm learning. More notes taken ...

Symmetry - not quite there, but getting better. What the heck - "Symmetry is over-rated," as my instructor says.

This pot is also of brown clay, using the same green glaze as the first bowl.

Here, some blues appeared spontaneously, an affect I sort of like. The blue tones are especially obvious in the throw rings at the bottom.

Bad blogger that I am, I don't have any photos of these pieces while they were still wet clay or after bisque firing and before they were glazed. I will try to work on some step-by-step photos of my current project. My primary goal for this 6 week session is to make a mixing bowl with a pour-spout and a handle. To that end, I have thrown three bowls so far, one of which is about the size and shape of a small mixing bowl.

Also, this coming week, I am having a pottery party at the studio for my staff. I hope they will not be too shy to let me share their photos with you!


crazyforcinema said...

I really like that burgundy glaze on your small vase! Nice rich color. As for the bi-colored bowl, just turn the pale part away from the viewer when you use it. The foot ring is excellent. It's so hard to do; invariably, I'd put my tool through the bottom of the pot. Congrats!

Mary said...

Your pottery has come a long way, Katdoc. I'm already giggling with anticipation about seeing your first pour spout and handle :o)

Hope you are feeling better. The flu is spreading like wild fire here in NC.

Susan Gets Native said...

You know, Kathi...that really red vase-thingy is the EXACT color of our downstairs bathroom.

KGMom said...

I love the first bowl you showed--and I like them all.
That's quite a talent you are developing there!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I see great improvement with your bowls. I too like the red.

nina said...

I like that brown clay piece.
The green glaze over it gives it a very earthy appeal.
Like me.