Seaweed pinch pot

Seaweed pinch pot

Thursday, 24 October 2013

stencilled ware and some other recent pieces

In clean-up and take-stock mode right now, with last week's market now behind me. It was a great market evening - lovely to receive affirming feedback from the friendly Made 'n Thornbury market goers (as well as several dear friends who visited - thanks guys). 

Had a good (much needed!) studio clean-up this week and recycled some clay, so nearly ready to start making again. It feels good - out with the old, make space for the new!

Seeing as I had a big photo-taking session before market day I thought this was also the perfect time to get a few more images up here of finished works  (some of which have now found new homes). 
coil built vase with stencilled iron slip

iron slip stencilled beakers

iron slip stencilled little beakers/sake cups?

more slip stencilling ... experimenting with green stained slip and handles
little bowls for salt or whatever... they also serve as glaze experiments
more surface experimentation on a pinched vessel

little pinched and carved vase

coil built vessels with carved designs and iron oxide rubbed surfaces - both these have some little cracks that opened up between coils in the bisque firing... past posts have shown these in progress
That's it from me for this week! I've been a bit out of sync with Mud Colony the past couple of weeks but will link in with other clay folks there this week - will be good to see what others have been doing! (The Mud Colony facebook page will soon be the place for this blog-sharing, so check that out too)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

pinch pots - series 2 (mostly shoreline inspired)

Some images of my latest series of finished pinch pots!

A friend generously lent me her good camera and gave me a bit of a photography lesson - hence the vast improvement in images from my usual iphone snaps! 

I have a market stall at the Made 'n Thornbury craft market this Friday evening, so have been pretty focussed on getting work glazed and finished in recent weeks. It's my second market stall, and I still feel a bit mixed about the selling process - especially with the pinch pots, which I get really attached to, but one good thing that must be said for committing to having a stall is that at least I get some work finished! Otherwise my bisque shelf gets overloaded and glazing becomes really daunting! Also on the plus side, it's really nice to get feedback on what I'm doing. This stall will be such a mixed bag of experimental works that it'll be really interesting to see what people like. 

Speaking of glazing, I did a glazing workshop last weekend with Phil Elson at Northcote Pottery. It was so great to see how a really slick glazer with a very refined, precise aesthetic (no rustic dribbles and surface imperfections there!) goes about his glazing. I also picked up some great tips on base glazes and testing, and resolved to start to approach glazing in a much more organised way. Really. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

the web, my great teacher

A couple of steps forward in expanding my ceramic surface repertoire! Thanks to the internet and the generous ceramic folk who share their wisdom here.

Firstly, I am feeling very grateful to NZ potter Peter Gregory for sharing his high fired glaze recipes. I was especially excited to find Peter's glaze page because many (most) of the glazes he details are fired in his electric kiln with good results. Until now pretty much all the glaze recipes I'd found on-line were for reduction firings, and I rely on a firing service with only electric kilns. I have made up a couple of Peter's recipes - his 'buttermilk' and also 'black tenmoku'.  The above examples show buttermilk on the outside and the inside has the two glazes layered (buttermilk on top of tenmoku).

I'm enjoying the dappled and streaked effect of this glaze combination but not sure about this on the inside of a tea/coffee cup ... maybe a bit too close to looking mouldy or like curdled milk in your tea? (thoughts, anyone?) On the outside of a cup might be better, but I'm hesitating because it looks like it has run down the inside quite a bit (I dread the shame going to the 'work to pick up' shelf and finding mine is the work still fused to the kiln shelf!). A small test to the upper part of the outside surface... yes, that'll be the next of my seemingly endless experiments. (Oh and I did also try the Tenmoku on it's own but wasn't so keen on it - a bit too glossy and not as black as I'd hoped... maybe I need to have it thicker to get a better result).

Speaking of experiments and on-line learning resources, another recipe I tried out recently was for a coloured wax resist. I get the Ceramics Arts Daily email updates and I reckon I pick up a couple of good snippets of information each week from looking at these. A couple of weeks back they had something on resists including a coloured resist recipe involving iron oxide, cold wax resist and Gerstley Borate. You can see the results of my experiment with this on the three pieces shown below (also featuring above-mentioned glazes). I'm really taken with this. The only problem I'm having is getting some sense of control of the brushwork - it's quite tacky and I can't seem to get a nice smooth brush line, even a thick one. I had hoped to be able to use it for finer detailed work. I think I'll try some different brushes, and thinning down the resist. It wrecks the brushes though.

Be sure so check out all the other clay action on Mud Colony this week!