Friday, December 30, 2011

and now, for something completely different...

Finished the underglaze "painting" on this one this afternoon.  I really enjoyed making it.  Really... there will be more of these.  ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


This is what being on vacation looks like, I guess.  I finished the sgraffito decoration on this plate at around 11:30 last night.  Once the design was formed in my mind, it really didn't take very long to complete.  I've been on vacation from work this week (soooooo very nice), and that time away from all of that  has allowed me to clear away some of the clutter...  time to refocus some creativity.  And it worked, I think.  I made this plate several days ago, and once it got to the leather hard stage, I applied the underglaze, and from there the design just sort of happened.  Hopefully it will survive all of the trials to come.  I like this one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gold dust, maybe?....

When I got home from work this evening I was delighted to see a package resting on my front door.  My order from Big Ceramic Store had arrived!  Yippeee... just like Christmas morning (ha). 
This is my first experience with Mason Stains.  I'm thinking the main ingredient must be gold dust, because this stuff is kinda pricey.  Oh well... I've heard good things about it.  I will be using it to color earthenware slip.  I've read a few articles about how to use it, but if there are any experienced potters out there who wouldn't mind sharing a few wise words regarding this stuff, please feel free to share-away.  I would really appreciate it.  I'm like a sponge.  Thanks.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why not now...

if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin
Ivan Turgenev

When faced with a decision, choose the path that feeds your soul.
Dorothy Mendoza Row

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fly by Night...

Here is a new plate (or small platter) that I've been working on these past few days.  It's made of red earthenware, and slab built over a slump mold.  Once it was stable enough to safely handle (leather hard) I took it off the mold and smoothed out the edge a bit more, and then applied cut-out stencils for the moon and trees.  After that, I brushed on a generous coat of black Spectrum underglaze and then removed the stencils and allowed it to dry overnight.  This morning I went over the details of cleaning up the lines, added some extra branches to the trees, and lastly... I penciled in the bird and carved it through the underglaze.  After bisque firing it will get a clear glaze finish.  The fired platter should measure about an inch deep by 12 inches in diameter.  I'll be making several more of these plates with a similar design motif here in the next few weeks.  I will be using colored slip, instead of the commercial underglaze, for the others.

Monday, December 12, 2011

100 pounds of clay....

It doesn't look like much in this picture, but that's 100 pounds of clay sitting there on my work table.  That's the most clay I have ever bought at one time, and I am excited to get started making stuff.  I want to make enough pots here in the next couple of months (I actually have no idea how long this will take) to have a fairly full kilnload when I fire the Vulcan for the first time.  As I have noted before, my plan is to have the kiln hooked up and ready to fire before the end of the year...  And that would be a whopping three weeks away?  I'm sure that once I get it wired I'm going to be bursting to fire my first load.  But I will just have to pace myself.  It may go faster that I think, but if you've seen our kiln (there's a good look at it in my post from August 29th) you know that it is a monster.  No worries.  ;)