Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away!

Yesterday I began working on a cup for my Khmer inspired tea set and a desk tidy for my beloved.

I started with the desk tidy and things started to go wrong pretty quickly! I tried to level the edges and that was going ok so I turned the lower dish over to create a bit of a foot and this is when it went wrong. To be honest, there just wasn’t the thickness. As I took away a little from the uneven edge, I opened up a hole. GAH! I tried to patch it in, but as I worked on the dish, it became clear that it was simply too thin and uneven.

Rather than scrap it completely I cut away the wall and was left with the base. I thought about the techniques SB has been showing me with box construction and so I cut a 45 degree angle around the base of the dish and then re-worked the wall into a coil, scored both edges and used a little water to create the wall. This worked out pretty well and I have managed to save the desk tidy!

The taller cylinder had dried a little and so I scored the edges of that and the dish where I wanted it to stand and stuck it together. It didn’t look very sturdy so I made a thin coil of clay and added it to the bottom, smudged it in and cleared the join… and… I think… it’s finished! It needs to be fired and I’ll have a think about the glazing but I think it might be done! SB told me to keep them leather hard so I will endeavour to do that. Although where I am going to store all these things I have no idea. Our house is piled high with toys and ‘stuff’. Perhaps I can clear out the shed..

My cup! The body of the cup is going well, again its hard to get the thickness even and edges smooth but I think I’m getting there. My first hand-built mug so I’m happy enough – the handle however. URGH! Two failed handle attempts yesterday. I made one thick handle in the hope that I could get it down to size through the process of application and then carving the shape once it had dried a little – but the shape wasn’t right and then it weakened and thinned in one area so I just scrapped it.

The second handle I cut was much thinner and I left it to dry a little. I made the handle in two parts and then stuck it together (something I did for the jug adornment that was successful at the time). However I despite letting it dry a little, after I applied it to the cup it just sagged and no matter how much I reinforced it, it just became misshapen. Frustrating!

So. I have left the handle for the moment and will return to it when I have more time and have given it some thought.

Finally, I have made a bowl! We have a geometric shaped bowl (purchased from one of my favourite shops – Tiger!) which is smooth internally but has a lovely geometric outside shape. I thought this would make a great bowl so I rolled out a big lump of clay (on cotton – learning from my mistakes!!) It made it as even as possible but I also left it quite thick because I knew I wanted to push it down and smooth it over the bowl surface to get the geometric impression. I covered the bowl in clingfilm first – I needed too so that I could remove the clay from the bowl, but hopefully it doesn’t affect the internal impression too much. I laid the rolled out clay over the top and trimmed the edges. I left it to dry a little and then cut a foot into the bottom of the bowl. I haven’t turned it over yet as I don’t think it’ll keep its shape, but hopefully it has worked out ok! My plan is to let it get ‘leather hard’! The key word at the moment, and then remove it from the bowl. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to dry – I need my fruit bowl back…

image

I’m also keeping all my little trimmed bits so I can make my own slip once I have a tub full – woohoo!

PG x

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