Seaweed pinch pot

Seaweed pinch pot

Friday, 28 March 2014

Mugs, handles and a new favourite glaze

Playing around with mug and handle shapes recently - I'll be posting a few variants in the coming weeks as the others make it through glaze firing. I've been loving this glaze discovery that I made a few weeks ago - I'm calling it 'speckled olive green' (it looks pretty grey in these photos but it's a bit more green in real life). I love the rust-tinged break on the rim, and the way it blends into the buttermilk glaze on the interior where the two have overlapped. I made it using a slightly modified version of the Buttermilk recipe on Peter's Opopots blog site (which he based on one by John Britt I think) with the addition of a little 'bottle green' stain. (Not sure if this stain is still available... I scored this jar from someone clearing out their studio and it's quite old... hope I can source it!).

These mugs were made prior to me watching a segment of a Martha Grover video which showed her making a paper joining slip and using it for attachments on her very curvy altered porcelain pieces. Watching the way Martha works inspired me to try some more curvy, soft looking handles that look a bit squished onto the pot rather than coming straight out from it. I also made up her special slip recipe, which involves toilet paper and vinegar. Here is my first attempt at a handle post-Martha - not that soft yet, but a first step!  

Thursday, 6 March 2014

some new wheel projects

Have been trying to push my wheel skills along a bit recently, setting myself little projects that challenge me.

Throwing repeats of the same shape and size has been one recent challenge. I have a certain mug shape in mind that's good for keeping tea warm... these ones fresh from the wheel (below) are the products of yesterday's brief throwing session. I haven't tried using any guides or measurements for repeats as yet - I just start with the same amount of clay and try to repeat it by sight. Might try some measurement guides next time to compare.

Another wheel challenge for this week has been attempting lids for the first time.

I've only tried one type so far but was quite excited by this exercise and now want to try other types - especially ones that require a 'gallery' on the pot rim. These ones that I've done don't meld so well with the pot shape - they look a bit like they're little mushroom tops sitting on top. Fun though, and I think they'll make nice little tea caddies or garlic storage jars.

Very happy with my new 'wiry buttons' slip stencil/ sgrafitto design on them too.

Here's a picture of some real wiry buttons (image is by Chris Clarke - I got it here on the web).

That's all for now.... was tempted to also talk about my new method of attaching handles, but I might wait till some have gone through firing first so I can say whether it's been a success!