Thursday, February 23, 2017

Just bowls and flowers and bees



I make maybe 4-6 small bowls a day...since I spend 2-3 hours in the studio each day. 

After throwing bowls I carefully cover the wet clay so that it can be leather hard the next day I come in the studio, at the exact correct degree of moistness of clay for trimming. 

It's not an easy thing these days.  I try all kinds of things, but some clay seems to be sitting in a draft, getting drier on one side than the other, just overnight.  I've covered a shelf on all sides with plasic bags (same plastic the clay is sold in) and then even have a tupperware tub turned on end to cover some of the bowls.  It still gives me an over-night turn around that may either be too wet or too hard.  The too wet state means wait another day, or at least a few hours while it sits in the sun (if there's sun). The too dry state means dunking the whole thing under water for a flash, then letting that water seep into the clay walls about half an hour.

I bet you didn't know that step could be so involved! It has to do with weather, because if it's cold, the studio heating system is blowing warm air around.  If it's warm, no wind from the air handler, so clay stays pretty much the same degree of moistness.

 Then trim a foot on the bottom, which also makes the bowl a lot lighter, since the base and bottom sides tend to be pretty thick when being thrown, in order to support the sides of the bowl.


Off it goes to be bisque fired.


This makes the clay look much whiter, and the overall size starts its shrinkage which will be 12% by the time it's finished.


Painting on glaze designs with Mayco Stroke & Coat, and Designer Liner. I paint a thin layer of Mayco Matt Clear over the design. Pictured is a large bowl.

After the second (hotter kiln temp) firing, the finished bowl.


Sizes and colors may vary. 

 Small sizes are just as much work, though not as much clay!

And sometimes you might get a ladybug rather than a bee!

Today's quote:


“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.” ~Eckhart Tolle
 

2 comments:

  1. Those of us who have never done any pottery cannot imagine all the possible things that can go wrong. But we do love the finished products of your hard work.

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  2. Finishing pots is always "hurry up and wait"! Love your bee and flower designs.

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