Finally had some time and inspiration to get my hands into some clay. The Lake Lanier home processed clay feels awesome and is very groggy. When soaking wet it has some placticity to it but you can easily break it apart when working with it. There is so much iron that it stains your hands and makes a complete mess. I used gloves like I would when using iron oxide wash. I first hand-shaped this chawan. Very bulky and heavy. It looked interesting enough and I paddled some texture into it.
I had a feeling about it though. I don’t know how the clay will fire, first off. So without knowing that I might as well go for broke. So I did some thinning of the bowl on the wheel and revealed the awesome texture just below the surface.
It looked so nice I had to use my new LED light panel to give it a good shot. It is still amazingly heavy for the size and shape. I can only hope that the bisque firing goes well and that cone 6 doesn’t turn it into a puddle.
I’ve made a few other things as well with my normal “Jackpot” clay body and they will go in with this to bisque.
Well it took a while but the clay is processed and needs a good wedging. In the second image you can see my terrible attempt at what will be a small (and I mean very small) test raku kiln built of soft brick. I intend to simply let the material itself and the form be the focus of what I create from this using a white slip and a clear or clear crackle glaze. I hope it works out without much tweaking needed.
Today I worked to finish a lot of experiments that I’ve been wanting to try. Ben and I stopped by Home Depot and picked up some containers and stirring sticks which come in handy for all kinds of things.
I made 2 small pinch pots and a pitcher to test out some raven black slip as decoration. I didnt have luck with the black clay body. It could have just been me but I got a ton of blistering on everything I made with it. Reusing it as slip seems to be a great way to keep using it. I hope it works the way I want it to.
I completed 8 small pots to hold our refined home dug clay. I put a cone of each of the four types of clay to see how they hold up to firing. The four bags of clay that we refined go from clay like to very sandy. So four more pots were made to test “slip” that I made with each type. Half the pot got a thin coating of slip on one side and the other half got a thicker coat. I figure that we can see how runny it gets if at all.
In a young potter’s blog (Matt Fiske – who has a lot of inspirational reading there) I recently read that they go through the course and fire EVERYTHING! So I plan on firing everything in every possible combination and seeing what it does. That’s the only way to learn it all. Dive I head first!
Also testing my only raku glaze during a bisque firing on 4 different clay bodies. I built a boat out of heavily grogged raku clay to hold any drips.
I also have about a dozen pots that I’ve thrown. Trying out different forms and such. I have yet to consistently replicate things. I hear something about it getting easier after the first 1,000 pots 😀