Beautiful bowls but running glaze issues

I got my three little pinch pots back last night! I was very happy with them until I turned them over – two had stuck to the mount: one badly, one not so bad. SB took a chisel and hammer to the one that had stuck the most and ended up taking a huge chip out if the bottom. I should have just tried to file it down myself perhaps. 

It’s all a learning process and for this I’m grateful… but. But. It still sucks. So close but yet so far!

I also got my box back!

 I began making this maybe the second session I was it SB? It’s far from perfect but I made the stamp design myself and the lid fits! So those are good things. I love the blue glaze but it’s a little uneven. More lessons to be learned!

PG x

All the things…

This blog may have been quiet for a little while but that’s because this Potter Girl has been busy! Last night I went to SB’s studio to glaze some of the items I had dropped off for firing last week and to drop off a few more things for firing!

Friends are getting married so I made them three small pinch pot bowls (roughly 10cm diameter). I tried to make them as uniform as possible by weighing out the clay (300g) before hand and adding a foot – but inevitably they have slight differences.

I also rolled out a slab and cut it into a couple of different shapes to make desktop pen holders. My Dad had asked for one for Christmas, just a simple flat pen holder, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. So… I made some instead! I initially made a large triangular shape and added ‘waves’ to hold different pens, but then as I was finishing I realised that part of the utility of the pen holder is that it’s small and fits neatly on the desk. So I cut it into two parts and then used the cut off to make a third piece. We’ll see how they turn out after firing – one shape might be better than another to hold a pen!

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And, the project I’ve been working on for some time… I also finished my Khmer inspired teapot! It took an awfully long time, particularly getting the handle right. I had also made a larger spout but it looked out of proportion so I trimmed it down. Before I dropped it over to SB I neatened up the handle and etched into the base a diamond-tile-like pattern, to reflect the roof tiles and adornments that inspired the piece. Getting the glazing right for this will be a challenge!

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Close up of the lid…

 

All the items I’d dropped off last week had been fired by SB and were ready for glazing except… She had fired them on the wrong temperature. She said first biscuit firing was usually a low heat, then the items are glazed before being fired at a higher temperature. However, she had made a mistake and fired the biscuit firing too high. She seemed upset and was very apologetic, but to be honest I didn’t mind. It’s all a learning process for me! And, as SB explained, I could still glaze the items (although I was limited to low firing glazes) and actually industry does their firing this way around – high and then low. So all was not lost, not by a long way!

To be honest I was just chuffed that all my chess pieces, mugs, bowls, dishes and my box were all still in one piece!

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So last night I spent almost 3hours glazing… and barely got through a third of the items! I decided on a black/metallic for one part of the chess set and then used this for the underside of my bowls and dishes. I then used a clear crackle glaze for the inside of the bowls and dishes. I want a really punchy colour for the other chess set – I had originally through black and white, but the crackle isn’t coloured and will be more beige (the colour of the clay). So I will have a little think – there is a nice green colour that might work, but I think it’s high temp firing. These are the glazes I used last night (you can see the chess set in the background):

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So hopefully next week I’ll be able to see how one side of the chess set will look! As well as my bowls and small dishes. The dishes are supposed to be a present for someone, I hope they come out ok.

Last but not least I got one of my little Khmer jugs back! I’m pretty happy with it actually. I need to write down the colours I used on it for future reference, and the green dripped a little, but over all I think it looks pretty good!
Busy girl.

PG x

 

Here’s my teapot, but where’s my spout?

Afternoon!
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This morning I picked up my tools again and made a house number for our house. People really struggle to find our house so hopefully this makes it obvious! It’s just simple but I will glaze it nice and bright so that it stands out. I made it by rolling out a section, using a set square to create the rectangle, I pinched the edges to add decoration and used the reverse end of a tool to indent the number. I was the number to stand out clearly so I’m thinking of painting that green or blue and having a white background and contrast colour edge.

 

 

Also this morning I measured and rolled out some20160620_142943.jpg clay to attempt handle for cup no. 3!     In anticipation of attaching two clays of different dryness, I took an old squirter bottle, cleaned it out and filles it with water. I used this to spray the cup so that hopefully it doesn’t dry out too much more and then once I have left the handle to dry out a little, I will attempt putting the handle onto the cup. Genuinely not looking forward to that part!! But fingers crossed it goes ok.

And lastly, I made a start on my teapot! I made two large pinch pots and put them together, cut a gentle edge for a foot and then I cut a triangle lid. I used the opportunity to go inside the pot to try and smooth the join between the two pots, but you can still see the join at the moment. Maybe I should have let them dry out more?

In using the lid hole as an entrance to reinforce the pot, it widened more than the lid and despite my best efforts to stretch out the lid a little more, it was completely out of shape so I decided it would be best to start the lid from scratch. Time will tell if that was a good idea!!

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I have had a few ideas over the past few days that I’d like to try out. But, space is a premium here as I don’t have a separate studio, nor much storage space. I’m hoping I can keep all these things, and more, intact so I can get them back to SBs in a few weeks time. Eek!

Wish me luck!

PG x

Cup & Desk Tidy

Hello! This morning I’ve had another play around with clay at home. Last night I started trying to roll out slabs at home but they kept sticking to the surface I was using  (an old shelf) and it was really quite tricky to create an even thickness across the clay. I gave up and started again this morning, however using a piece of spare cotton fabric underneath to help move the rolled out clay more easily. I still struggled getting an even thickness across a large piece of clay so I settled for a smaller piece and began making the taller tube part of a desk tidy.

Why am I making a desk tidy? I asked what beloved wanted me to make for him and he said desk tidy! If my beloved wants a desk tidy, he shall have one! (..It may take a few attempts and be a bit wonky, but he’ll get the end product, however it turns out!).

I started the base as a pinch pot but the clay was quite damp so I’m leaving it to dry just a little before shaping it properly.

I have decided to develop my Khmer jugs (that broke – boohoo) into a tea set! Well. A cup, teapot, sugar bowl and perhaps another jug with the adornment intact! I started on a pinch pot for a cup this morning but again making sure the thickness is even and texture smooth.. its no easy task! I have also been trying out my tools and they have been really handy so far – particularly making the foot (is that what you call it?!) of my cup!

 

 

Anyway, two little bits started but the morning fun is over. I might get back to them again this afternoon, I am also thinking of making my own slip – it’ll help with joining pieces together. I’ll let you know how that goes!!

PG x