Thursday, 12 May 2016

Different clays

Having got back into the swing of making using my reliable (and inexpensive) White St Thomas clay, it was time to play with some of the other clays which I have purchased - not yet started to dig and refine my own clay!

First up was some pieces using Flecked Stoneware.

Before Christmas I had made a pencil pot as a present for a teacher colleague. I was very pleased with making a feature in the join of the slabbed pot and with the incised spirals which I had painted with a brush-on green glaze and then protected with wax before glazing the outside with vellum off-white.

I decided to make some more of these in the Flecked Stoneware clay.

I am happy with them, but remain to be convinced by the flecked clay.

When I look back through my sketchbook and photos of my work I realise that I had been fairly productive and experimental towards the end of last year. Another trial was to make a 'double skin bowl' by joining a smaller bowl inside a larger one, I combined this with some different surface techniques and some sea glass inside the bowl.
Double skin bowl #1

Pretty pleased with my first attempt, apart from the use of manganese dioxide on the outside bowl (should have used blue cobalt oxide over the whole of the outside).

Double skin bowl #2

Not so happy with second attempt using the flecked clay; did not take the turquoise slip on inner bowl out far enough and the sea glass had some white impurity.

Moving on to using some of the pink grogged stoneware clay to produce some more bowls, some from pinch pots and other using slabs over a hemisphere mould. All the bowls have rough/torn edges in keeping with the textured nature of the clay. Outsides of bowls are textured further using coral or bark, whilst insides are smoothed as much as possible and coated in white slip before bisque firing.

These three were glazed with vellum off white with marble green slip trailed around, these two glazes interact well together.

These two were glazed using another favourite combination, blue/grey and celadon chun.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Familiarity a good way to restart...

Although I had a wonderful new studio (which made a very cosy spare bedroom over the Christmas period when the house was bursting at the seams with family) it saw very little productive use until February. The combination of more time, creative energy and the need to produce new work to exhibit in May brought about a flurry of activity. When I have not played with my clay for a while I often find a good way to get back into the swing of things is by making some familiar pieces.

I started by actually making something for myself! I have made several garlic pots, but always sell or give them away, time for me to have one to store my garlic in (I made two and the other has sold).

Garlic pot
Whilst making familiar items I had fun making a few more little birds, husband thinks they are too cute but they do sell well.

Eternity (~18cm height)
I continue to experiment with the Maori symbol for eternity. When first working with this form, I joined the twisted sections together in a point. Towards the end of last year I made a small eternity joining the two sections in a loop, much more like the mathematical symbol for 'infinity'. Pleased with this new development, I then made a larger version.

Eternity (~26cm height)

The horizontal lines appeared after glazing, they are not cracks going all the way through, but think they must be where the coils of clay have been joined, not something I have encountered before.