Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Production Potter

It has been a while since I have shared any pottery photos or stories with you, so let's catch up.

I don't think I ever showed you the shallow sun bowl I made to go with my sun-moon mug. Now, I just need another piece with a moon stencil and I will have a matched set of ... something.

While trying to throw a spherical shape (I am aiming for "piggy" banks shaped like bluebirds) I ended up with this pot. Don't know quite what it is for, but it's pretty. I like the throw rings.

chun plum

Messing around one night with the last of my brown clay, I ended up with this short, wide pot. To me, it looks like the perfect place to store your scrubbies next to the
kitchen sink. The glaze is a new one for me, called Sandstone Shino. The shino glazes, by Coyote, have this nice habit of "breaking" to a brown color, especially when used over brown clay. You will see more shino colors later in the post.

One of the things I love about attending pottery classes is the phrases I have learned from my fellow potters. When something is irregular and messed up it is not ruined, it is "organic." When something is lopsided, someone will assure you that "symmetry is over-rated." And, when you try and try to make a matched set of something and you can't make two in a row come out like the image in your head, a kind soul will remind you, with an air of superiority, that we are not "production potters."

Despite knowing all of the above, I was determined to make everyone on my staff a wheel-thrown pottery pump dispenser, for hand lotion or liquid soap, for Christmas. I started last winter, nearly a year ago. I had a few mistakes, a few keepers, and then a long run of "every pump dispenser I try to throw goes to hell." A couple of months ago, I realized I had to step up production if I was going to make my Christmas deadline.

These are some of my earliest efforts. The glaze on the right is called Grape Jelly. The one on the left, just for the sake of confusion, is also called Grape, but they are from different manufacturers. As you can see, the colors aren't the same.

I was very disappointed by my glazing on the next piece. This is my old reliable Blue Rutile, which I used on this pump specifically because I had stamped a pattern in the wet clay, and I thought I would get that lovely denim blue with brown accents showing up in the impressions. Unfortunately, I wasn't liberal enough with the glaze application, so all I got here was the underlying brown. A thicker coat of glaze would have brought out the blue (but too thick and this glaze runs. Got to get it "just right.")

This pump is glazed in Forest Satin. I find I don't care as much for the matte finish of this glaze, so when it's gone, I won't be replacing it. I also like it better on brown clay, and this piece is made of white.

Now, this color I really like. This is Textured Kiwi. The pump on the left is of brown clay, the one on the right is white clay. You can see some subtle differences in this photo, but they are more apparent in person. This color I will keep.

Here are two more of Coyote's shino glazes. We last saw them on the mugs I made for the Flock and took to Cape May. On the left is Sunrise Shino, on the right, Goldenrod Shino. I really like the effect of the brown flecks showing through.

The goldenrod pump is one of the last ones
I threw, and I think you'll agree my form is improving.

Finally, another pump in Grape Jelly. With this piece, I have finally achieved the shape I have been envisioning for the last year.

I had to scramble, but I finally ended up with nine decent gifts. Just when I thought I was done making pump dispensers, we hired a new employee. And, it is a guy in our all-female workplace. Wonder if a guy wants a lotion dispenser? Well, he can give it to his mom or his girlfriend if he doesn't want it. I hope everybody likes them!


Susan Gets Native said...

Good job, Kathi! That textured kiwi is rad.

bruss1510 said...

Nice! I like the Goldenrod Shino!


NCmountainwoman said...

Great pots! Lucky office staff.