Well 2 months is waaaay too long without a Steven Hill fix! I was ready well ahead of time for the monthly critique as I had uploaded all my pictures a few days before, unlike most months when I am still frantically getting it all together the night before.
We talked about how my plates had slumped on one side - I guess mainly from being drier on one side. Steven says one way that he prevents that with his large platters is to keep the pots spinning slowly on his extra wheels. I also still have trouble getting a smooth continuous curve in my shallow bowls and seem to end up with a bit of a flat bottom and if my foot in not just outside the flat area the wall will slump. As Steven says with a continuous curve it does not matter where you place the foot. He explained how he makes the continuous curve and I will try his method. I really do need more throwing practice.
We discussed how to get more of a subdued contrast between the Stony yellow and Hannah blue on my latest fish plate. Finally got one that did not slump. I had thought of lowering the cobalt but not maybe adding some cobalt to the yellow. As well I could spray some yellow on the blue. Will try both of those - I could also spray more Hannah Ochre over the yellow than I have been doing - enough to get some ash rivulets which I am not getting now and that would give me a third colour contrast.
We again discussed feet. Unlike some potters whose work is recognizable by their feet, I don't really have a standard foot - sometimes they are round, sometimes narrow, sometimes wide. Steven felt that feet should be round as rims are round and so the foot should match the rim for a unified look. Also a round foot has less surface area to touch a table top and so also less area to sand/polish for a smooth surface.
I had used the center area for my signature as I find that often it gets obliterated by the glaze. I may try rubbing in some contrasting slip or underglaze to highlight the signature.
I had been working hard on my spraying and Steven felt that I had improved in my spraying - both the fishing lady and the cylindrical pot were well glazed, though the cylinder could have had a bit more contrast on the rim. He feels that whenever you have a strong feature you should emphasize it a bit - so a touch of darker brown would have highlighted that a bit more than the thinish layer of Stony Yellow.
In order to get the rim to be continuous and still go to form the loop I had thrown a wide rim, cut it and then added it to the top of the pot, forming the loop and joining the ends on one side of the loop for a continuous look.
Well I will write up the rest of the session next week as I need to go and make some pots!
Kazegama wood ash firing invitation details
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