Seaweed pinch pot

Seaweed pinch pot

Friday, 28 June 2013

excited about paper stencils and coloured slip....

A few weeks ago I came across FetishGost's Secret Studio, a ceramics blog by US artist Zygote Blum. I was really excited and intrigued by his surfaces - fantastic patterns that were both bold and yet appealingly complex (a sort of layering going on - very reminiscent of some printmaking methods). I had to find out more, and I was lucky because Zygote has generously shared details of his process,  including some videos of it, on his website (here-go!). It involves paper stencils, coloured slip and then various glaze effects for the final layer that add to the surface but still reveal the stencil work.
I got straight to it, taking a few shortcuts with my stencil-cutting methods and level of complexity of design and quickly mixing up a coloured slip with Black Iron Oxide, because that was what I happened to have on hand (and it's cheap). Here's my very first attempt, still wet. Leaf shapes inspired by Tasmanian wet forest trees. This vessel is hand-built (pinched and coiled) and I've scraped the sides to give a slightly facetted surface.

And here's an after-bisque-firing shot. Same iron oxide slip and same technique, different pots though. These ones are wheel thrown. I've still scraped the sides on the taller vessels because I've become rather fond of this facetted look. It adds texture and interest and has the added bonus of disguising flaws! (I'm still learning on the wheel.)
Next step - glaze testing. (Eek! I'm on the bottom of a very steep learning curve when it comes to glazing... Beginners luck please!) 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Pinch pots

By the end of summer this year I was settling into a nice pattern of making pinch pots. I was enjoying the methodical process of pinching out a little family of pots - spending a little time with them each day over several days. I started engraving patterns on these as they reached leather-hard stage. Others I burnished or scraped. I stockpiled quite a few before taking them in for firing - I really became quite attached to them just as they were! After having them sitting on my shelf for quite some time I finally found a surface treatment I was happy with - I've been painting on black iron oxide and then rubbing it back to bring out the relief design (or the burnishing marks in the case of the pot on the left in the above shot). I've used stain and clear or white satin glaze mixtures to glaze the interiors.