Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Glaze Tests

At the Clay Guild there is a Last Call shelf, where wayward bisqued pieces that haven't been picked up in a certain amount of time get set on their way to the Dumpster.  There's a myriad of reasons these are left behind, but mostly because they aren't "good enough" to be glazed by the original maker, they've been forgotten, or they were practice pieces.  Most of these are wonky and/or very thick and/or have cracks in the bottom.

We have 22 glazes made in-house, and combining them can result in some fantastic colors, but taking a piece you've put a lot of time into and possibly ruining it by glazing it with an experimental combination isn't the most fun.  So I took these orphan forms right before they landed in the garbage and started throwing everything on them.  And that lead me to a long project I'm doing for the Clay Guild of a large test tiles wall.

My work, as well as other members', has benefited from these pieces and tiles.  It's sad to see people use the same boring one-coat glazes over and over again... (It's okay if that's your thing.  No judgment.)

White on top of green equals purple?

Wow, I love this one.

That pink has made its way into many of my newer pieces.  Chun and Turquiose I think.

Drooollll.   This has some rutile wash striped over the top.

I added blue mason stain to shino for this one.  A beautiful metallic happened!
With all these glazes to keep straight, I made many, many notes. (#orphanforms on my Instagram)

I cannot stress enough how important glaze notes are for your everyday work!

And in the spring I was able to start making actual tiles that I have been installing in the Clay Guild glaze room for everyone to use.  I have been getting a lot of big THANK YOUs, but to be honest, you guys, I did this for me and decided to share.  Happily, I've been seeing the combos coming out of the kiln by members far and wide and love how it changes the attitudes around glazing.  It took me three years to get only marginally comfortable glazing my work.  And I have SO MUCH to learn.
I'm filling in those holes as time allows.
In just a couple days I'm opening up my studio (well...mostly my back yard) and having a huge sale.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (event page here).  Fun thing: four kittens and a mama (who is a kitten herself) showed up at my house last week and I've been trying to catch and tame them.  Three and mama are currently living in my studio (got mom fixed yesterday!) and they are a speed bump in my preparations.  These babes are about 10 weeks old and rambunctious in the cutest way.  So, if you're interested in a kitten, hit me up!  I'm looking for shelters that will take them because I'm in over my head a little.  

Anyhoo...see you this weekend?

Friday, September 6, 2019

Footed Bowls

I started making some footed bowls during the Pecked phase, and I decided to try to expand on that with a bag of clay I found and reconstituted.  Free clay = no waste if it turns out terrible.

Turned out GREAT, MAN!

Pushed it out almost like it was on the wheel, but slow and on a lazy Susan instead.  The outside made a kind of crust (I refer to these as Bread Bowls) when the surface cracked as I expanded it out.
Yeah, I know what these look like.  They're feet.
With the width being what it was (big bottomed) I wanted to make sure it was stable and supported.  So six feet did the trick!
Bottoms Up 
I tried some new glaze combos I was experimenting with and am really happy with the result.

Maker's mark made with typewriter hammers.
Here's another

Only five feet this time.
 This one cracked on the bottom but not all the way through.  I've been having issues with cracking and it has to do with the clay and the craftsmanship...still learning!  If they crack all the way I just turn them into planters.  Problem solved!

I formed the so-called Cloud Bowl over a mold, then added feet and flipped over when appropriate.  You never know if it will survive the flip, if the clay is hard enough, if the feet are connected enough or centered right.  You just have to keep making them until you figure it out, and even then you can put a lot of time into a project and it just dies.  But this one survives!!  I love the glaze, it's the same combo as the Six-Footer.
Cloud Bowl
Not only did this wide thing crack, but there is a big whammy, too...probably my fault.  It showed up when I picked it up from the bisque fire.  I left it to dry a long time, but there could have been a piece of debris in there that caused it to pop off during firing.  But I wanted to play with glaze anyway and spent quite a bit of time constructing it, so I just persisted.
 Now my Aldi cacti and succulents live here.

I'm prepping for my open studio sale!  Follow progress on Instagram and share the event on Facebook, please.  This thing is counting on word of mouth!