Finally! Back to making pottery after a winter break. What a perfect weekend to be in the studio. Temps were in the 50’s and 60’s and the sun was shining like we haven’t seen in awhile. The first day I turned on the electric heater to knock off the chill, but the second day Danny had the garage doors raised, so I left the studio door open and let the warmth of the sun come in. I love it when I can work with the doors open to the outside.
First order of business – yarn bowls. Danny made up 10 balls of clay. Soon after that, mud was flying and yarn bowls were taking shape.
This was the first centered ball of the year.
I expected to need a little time to get back in the throwing groove, but I was surprised to find it all came back to me quickly and after awhile 10 yarn bowls, 3 birdhouses, 2 mugs and 2 small bowls were filling the drying racks. Very satisfying to head upstairs at the end of the day with the racks full once again.
After drying overnight, the leather hard pieces were ready to trim. I enjoy trimming as much as I do throwing. That last little bit of refining brings out the form of the piece. Handles and thumb rests were put on the mugs. I made these two hoping to give Danny a nice new mug for his coffee. I’ll let him decide on the glaze and which shape and size he likes best. One has a fairly large belly and the other is taller and straighter. I hope they turn out well.
The first trimmed piece of 2014 is ready to start drying.
The birdhouses still need holes, roofs and perches. I’ll do those tomorrow. Then I’ll be ready to start the next round of throwing!
Time to start your Christmas knitting and crocheting!
8 new yarn bowls added to the shop this morning. The perfect gift for your favorite yarn lover, or buy one just for yourself!!!
Have been working like a mad woman to throw lots of pots for more Raku experimenting. We have shows the next 2 weekends, but after that we hope to get in some serious Raku time. Don’t want to run out of pots when we finally find the time for testing.
Haven’t taken time to set up the photo tent for a serious photo session with the Raku we’ve done already, but snapped a few of the smaller pieces with my iPhone. The last firing we did was finishing up just at dusk dark and the kiln was emitting an orangey glow.
While playing around with Red Bronze Glaze, we came up with these results. Hoping we can replicate the results next time around, but with Raku, you just never know.
This piece was glazed with a Turquoise Crackle containing Copper Carbonate. I think we over-did the reduction, which caused the lean toward red, but I like the result anyway.
Have some Copper Matte pieces, too, but haven’t taken photos of them yet. Stay tuned!
From the moment I set eyes on Raku pottery, I loved it. Even before I understood the process, I knew I wanted to experiment with it. Just look at this piece made by Chris Hawkins. Isn’t it awesome? This is a copper matte glaze and my favorite.
In the Raku process, basically, the pots are removed from the kiln while red hot and placed in a combustible material such as wood chips, pinestraw, leaves, or paper. The resultant flames and smoke create beautiful colors or crackled surfaces, depending on the glaze applied. Smoke fills the cracks and unglazed portions of the pots, yielding rich, velvety blacks in those areas. It’s just a magical process.
Danny built a great portable Raku kiln that can be rolled outside and heated with propane. This is the setup we used. Note the metal cans where the pots will be placed after they reach temperature.
Now we begin the experimentation – trying out different glazes, firing times, and combustible materials until we find what works best for us. I’m a process person; I love the process and working toward what I need to do to obtain a desired result.
A peek inside the kiln as the pots are coming up to temperature:
These are the results from our first 2 firings. Pretty, I think. Not yet where I want to be, but getting there.
Can’t wait for the next day off work so we can do this again!
A productive couple of days in the studio has yielded pieces for over half our orders and some extra pieces for Arts and Music on the Green and for Tannehill Trade Days. Note the differences in the colors of the clays at various stages of drying. These are from only 2 different clays – a medium brown (Standard 378) in front and a black (Black Raven) in back. This was my first time throwing with the Black Raven. It was very similar to the 378 and I really want to use it for teapots soon.
Check out this custom butter dish for a customer who likes to have butter on the table during meals. It will be glazed in a turquoise glaze.
Several personalized mug orders were knocked out. Love the names on these.
Almost time for bed. Tired, but it’s that good kind of tired that comes from working hard at something you love. Can’t wait to start the next round of throwing and handbuilding while these pieces are drying. Let the next rotation begin!