Saturday, October 25, 2008

Journey Oct 21 - 26 - Wider rims

At Center Street clay Steven's and Kenyon's platters had very wide rims. I love them! Compared to mine, mine are way too thin to my liking, so have been working on getting more clay into the rim. This really frames the pot and gives it what Steven calls a generous look - have been generous with the clay and not stingy. In our firing at the Guild we pay by the pound so we tend to aim for thinner pots. However, a thicker rim does not mean the rest of the pot has to be thick.
I still have a long way to go - somehow by the time I stretch out the rim, it is back to a thinner edge. So will work on that.
I spent Sat and Sunday glazing as there may be a gas firing while I am away in Toronto next week. Looking forward to visiting my daughter there as well as lots of galleries and the annual Fusion Clay and Glass Sale. Fusion is the Ontario Association for clay and glass artists.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Journey Oct 13 - 20 Second Consultation with Steven

The weeks go by so fast - and so few pots made, but having a deadline is really helping. Had a great feedback session with Steven on Monday. Steven's comments on the fish plate - could have done better - fish going through the middle, need more asymmetry etc. I thought that I had created asymmetry by varying the location of the fish - but never looked to see that they go right across the middle. The glaze was definitely too thin- looked sprayed. May try to reglaze.

The fishing lady was definitely much better, but still need to control my spraying better, the lower part of the woman is a totally different colour so disruptive to the esign. So will try to keep better notes - how many layers, how thick is the glaze in the jar etc.
The pots that Steven liked the best were the small oval dishes. I had thrown them very fast as I needed some small items for the Cooperative. It was the thickness of the rims, that the foot match the rim as well in definition. He said they looked generous.

He could see that I had struggled with the knobs on the covered jars - the curled one he felt was OK - though it looked like it was just dropped on the lid - it suited the pot.
The others looked like I was trying too hard. He suggested that I look at some of the work that Nick Joerling does - as he has fantastic knobs. Also the lugs on the pots - looked just stuck on - did not meld with the pot - so need to work on getting those lugs looking more like they are part of the pot.
The teapots - yes I think I heard him sigh- and yes I also realize that they need a lot of work. The best one was the flat bottomed one - but he felt all knobs were too tall, and spouts just a tad too big. So much so trying to make them "manly". (I have a commission for a teapot for a friend's brother). Also he felt that in order for the spout to pour smoothly it is important for it to taper and not flare at the end which I have been doing as I really like that look.

So back to work - will work on knobs, teapots and continue with my fishing lady theme.

Journey Oct 5 - 12 Lidded Jars and Teapots

Finished work on the fishing lady on the front of the boat. However when looking straight on the pot the lady is too much up front so that you cannot see her too well. So started another one this time with the lady near the back. I also put a top on the boat - as I was getting some cracking on the corners, hoping that this will tie the corners together better.

I had quite a time trying different knobs for the lidded jars, and mostly I was not satisfied with them. I also made some small oval dishes as well as oval baking dishes, trying to get some continuity in my work.
Since the jars had dried too much to stamp properly I ended up adding some appliqued fish to one - did not look that great. So I ended just give them mostly a quick bash to loosen up the work. I liked the small oval dishes best.
I also have a commission for a teapot so made several. It's for the brother of friend so I was trying to make something manly - with larger spout and knob - ended up not happy with any, but will continue with them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Journey Sept 28 - Oct 4 September Firing

I have finally managed to correct the spelling fo Steven's name in the title of my blog - had to copy it all into a new blog that had Steven's name spelled correctly - Spent a lot of the week glazing for the gas firing we had on Friday. Pots came out on Sunday! Did quite a few glaze tests - using variations of the Rhodes 32 as well as well as Steven's Stoney Yellow and a few others. With Xmas coming up I threw some large "parade" garlic jars and butter dishes. Butter dishes are something that I find people come looking for. One customer in our Artisans Gallery mentioned it was her third butter dish as she had broken the other two.
I had put off finishing the last fishing lady-factory ship as the design was just getting too complicated and I was unhappy at how it was turning out. However on Thursday I decided that I had better finish it even if I did not like it as I had already put a lot of work into it.

I also decided to throw some oval lidded jars. At Center Street Clay Steven had showed us how he makes his rectangular jars and how he makes the lids for them. For the jars, he cuts off the pot (has a bottom) and then using flat paddles squeezes from both sides. For the lids he throws a flat pancake with deep throwing marks in the center. Once dried a bit the pancake is thrown and stretched. I decided to do oval jars as I wanted a less severe look - throwing them without a bottom , cutting and then lifting and shaping into an oval. I then placed them on a slab bottom. I will try to decorate them so that they fit in with my other stamped/appliqued work.

The firing gave mixed results again. The appliqued fishing lady - I had sprayed iron saturate on the figure from the side and wiped it off the top, hoping that would acuntuate the edges of the applied clay. I then sprayed it with Hannah ochre ash and Hannah blue. The front bottom past turned out just right, the rion satrate showed through a bit, showing the cut edges black, but it culd have been thicker so tht it would show up more. However for the upper part of the figure I had the glaze too thin - everything there looked burnt. However the back of the vase was just gorgeous. Everything was just right. Now if I can just repeat that. However after all that the pot cracked in the upper corner - it opened about 1/2 cm so obviously some stress there.
My one stamped fish plate - used a slightly lighter stoneware clay called smoothstone. Used an iron underglaze on the fish and wiped it off so tht it accentuated the stamps. I sprayed Aerni colour active slip with 3% CoCo3. The result was not too bad, though the glaze could have been thicker to get some running and a richer finish.
The tests that I did with Rhodes 32 - using 1% Cr and .8% Mn ended up rather stiff and do not break much over texture, unlike the base version of Rhodes. The Stoney Yellow was not too bad on pocelain but turned out too dark on the Prostone. The best test tile a B-Mix with Stoney Yellow with Rhodes 32 with Mn on top with ran and gave some crystalization.
I had also sprayed ash glazes - Leach Ash and Blue Van Gilder ash - again not much action on the Rhodes, the stoney Yellow ran bit bit and was not too bad.