Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Pottery Pieces

It's been a little slow in the pottery studio lately - bad weather has kept me away from the wheel and my general laziness has interfered with glazing the finished pieces I had at home. The cycle is turning, however. With spring in the air, my enthusiasm has returned. I'm back in class and playing in clay again.

Here are some recently completed pots.

From a workshop on faceting, my first piece. Don't ask me what you do with it, I have no idea.

chun plum on white clay

Actually, it's my second piece. I ruined the first one. Faceting involves using a taut wire (a cheese slicer actually works well for this job) to slice pieces of clay off the sides of the newly-thrown pot. If you cut too deeply, as I did the first time, you cut right through the wet clay.

The next piece went better. Using a wire coil, like the spring from a click-type ballpoint pen, you move your hands from side to side as you slice, leaving these wavy lines.

blue rutile on white clay

I shaped this piece basically square, then rounded it out at the base. It is a decorative salsa bowl, I guess. (Any small pot you don't know what to do with automatically becomes a "salsa bowl.")

I don't know what this is, either. It started out to be a pump dispenser, but the opening is too big to hold the cork/pump unit. Oh well, I like the "beehive" look. Maybe I can use that technique again some time.

goldenrod shino on brown clay

A project I am working on. I want to make a series of these small lidded crocks and fill them with homemade soy candles.Then, when the candle burns up, you still have a small crock to use for ... whatever.

texture kiwi on brown clay

I decided to make an urn for Grace's ashes, and this was the first attempt. It is too small for a Rottweiler, but my cat Manny fits purr-fectly. I was very happy with the shape of this piece, and the lid fits great.

The glaze is a new one for me, Mayco's "Green Tea." It has a nice semigloss finish, leading to a great feel in the hand, and I like the little flecks left by the brown clay. It really makes the final piece look like stone.

Another attempt at a larger urn, this piece decided to be a vase instead. Still, I think I like it.

green tea on brown clay

Finally, the piece my friend Holly has been waiting to see. Several months ago, she asked me to make her a salad bowl. "Just about 10 inches in diameter and 3 inches high," she sweetly requested, little knowing what she was asking. I was sweating and cursing, doubting my ability to get a bowl that large that wouldn't crash and die.

The first bowl looked pretty good until it warped in the kiln during glaze firing. Grrr - back to the wheel and bowl number two. This one was actually better thrown than the first one, but I was terrified to glaze it.

Here it is, Holly. It survived the kiln and I think it looks pretty good. It is just 10" in diameter, but only 2 3/4" tall. Do you forgive me the missing 1/4"?

chun plum on brown clay

I have a new cat stamp to mark my pieces. I like it better than the old one. This upside down view shows you the stamp, and the foot ring. Even that isn't too bad.

click to enlarge for details

I'll get your package shipped out ASAP, Holly! I promise.


Susan Gets Native said...

My Gawd, that is sooooo bourgeois, a salad bowl that is ONLY 2 3/4 inches tall.
Looking good, Kathi. I might need to commission something from you.

Susan said...

These are beautiful pieces! love the urn vase and the salad bowl - and I'd keep honey in the beehive one

holly said...

OMG!!! I LOVE IT!!! I am SO EXCITED! LOVEITLOVEITLOVEIT! (and yes, I'm hollering!!)

You are doubly and triply forgiven for the missing 1/4'. I can't wait to see it on my table. Now I'm debating if I want to use it for salad or just keep it as a centerpiece, with fruit or seedballs or somethin' in it. Because I really don't want it to sit in the cupboard the rest of the time.

You are best, Kathi. You rock!

(wv: stifie. Not gonna go there)

MjB said...

I like your work, Kathy. My wife and I took some pottery courses ten years ago and we got a sense of the basic skills one has to master--which we didn't. It takes a lot of effort and skill to make pieces like these.

Take care,

MjB said...

And one more thing . . . I'm sorry I misspelled your name in my first comment, Kathi! My apologies.

Take care,

DJB's Photo Adventures said...

These are so beautiful! I was thinking the same as Susan that the beehive one is perfect for Honey.

dguzman said...

You know I love your pottery posts!