Eating an Elephant

Dust floating
in just the right light…
Diamonds!
http://dreamsofwater.wordpress.com

Carved some feet this weekend and swept up a little today. I’m making the same forms mostly but getting bolder about the carving and shaping. These things just take time. Everyone wants to know some big secret to success. The big secret is that there is no secret! It just takes time and effort and putting in the work. Its usually agreed that it takes around 10,000 hours to have a mastery in a given task. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

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Glaze Testing & Inspiration

This morning I went on a river hike with a friend of mine from the DNR down the Chattahoochee river. We found some interesting mineral deposits and this one is inspiring me color wise for a new pot!

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I came home and had a nap and some time with Benjamin and began the task I have been putting off for a while. Not because I didn’t think it wouldn’t be fun but just because of the amount of time it takes. I spent about 4 hours on this. That is with having a good bit of clay already bisque fired and ready to apply glaze.

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I had to create a bunch more of the test tiles and let glaze dry before doing the combination dips.  I’m so glad its done though. I’ll have a library of color combinations on several clay bodies. I do want to try some Potter’s Choice glazes from Amaco next.

Adding more glazes means infinitely expanding test runs though. I think I’m going to stick with the best of what I have here and discard what I dont like. I’ll just keep building the clay body and glaze combinations I like until I have a palate to work with and to call my own.

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By the way here is what our garage looks like in the middle of the move. I think you can see the kickwheel back there with a few pot on it. It’s an adventure getting back there. I don’t think I’ll get to spin any more pots until after we are in the new place. Firing to commence in a few days to cone 6 after the test tiles dry completely.

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Ben is into these little pinch pots with lids lately. Very cute.

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Bisque Firing

This bisque firing went OK. I had two pots break because I was too impatient with the drying process on a few pots. I figured a day to dry and then a full night with a box fan on top of the kiln was sufficient to remove the moisture. Only one real loss though with an orb pot that I made.

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The clear crackle raku glaze at cone 04 was VERY interesting with some bubbles being trapped. There was no crazing that I saw on the Raven clay. I am thinking about doing a pot in raven slip, firing it to cone 6 and then re-firing to cone 04 with the raku glaze. I’m contacting the manufacturer to see if it would be food safe as long as there is no crazing. Almost a frozen root beer effect with a lot of depth. Not sure how it will turn out on a cone 6 fired body and then re-firing but we shall see.

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Surprisingly on the raku clay there was a bit of crazing.

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And here they are all together.  The red clay body took the glaze very nicely and there was no crazing at all, just a deep clear glossy finish over a terracotta color.

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Only one of the batches of processed clay kind of held up cone 04 firing, and that was batch 01. It makes a nice slip too so far. I really still want to fire the rest of these to cone 6 just to see what it will do. Some of the flakes of minerals in the sandy clay would make an almost glittery surface if they were to adhere to the surface of a vessel. Experimenting is fun!

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