Home Dug Clay

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.

I took the kayak out across the lake and found a nice deposit of very iron rich clay. So rich in iron in fact that when washing up you can see the granules of iron washing out of the clay itself.
Around one gallon of dug clay yielded about 7 lbs after screening through an ordinary window screen, wrapping in a piece of cloth and hanging up to dry a bit.

Iron Oxide and Kodai / Feet

So I am getting better at carving my feet and they are looking good. However when handling I realized that I had made a “mistake”. The edges are sharp and do not feel good in the hand. I’m getting the form the way I want but I think I just need to tweak it a bit.

toosharp

Another realization that I had is that the types of modifications you make to your work are sometimes born out of the way you work. Little mistakes can begin to form new pathways to other places. The direction you lean to observe the profile of the vessel makes a difference in the way you may approach what you think the completed piece will be. The amount and types of tools you use… What you had for breakfast… My pieces are minimal and will always be very minimal. I am finding that minimalism in my workflow as well I only need 5 tools:

  1. Throwing stick
  2. Small metal rib
  3. Chamois
  4. Cutting wire
  5. Small carving tool

Here is my latest foot carving which is deeper and more rounded and feels a lot better in the hand.

better kodai

I got a bag of iron oxide from my supplier and did some experiments with this. This is a brushed heavy coat.

ironoxidebrused

This is a light application via a spray bottle. I think the key is not to let any of the liquid “gather”. You can see on the rear or the bowl that it creates an interesting watermark but that inst quite what I was going for at the time. I think it might have potential as an accent type of modifier on rims and such. The next firing I do I will glaze over the iron oxide to see how it reacts. Also will spray directly onto the glaze to see if the application on top makes a difference in the end result.

ironoxidesprayed

Memorial day firing

Had a great time glazing and firing some greenware with some new glazes and found probably one of my most favorite – temmoku! Oh it breaks just so perfectly and no pinholes on the white body. On red it is black with a complex mix of matte and shiny black spots. Just beautiful.

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I tried some iron oxide colorant but that is finicky for me at least with the clay body I am currently using. A thick mix of iron oxide in a spray bottle seems to show some promise as long as you don’t let it run. The key is to get the droplets but not let them collect and pool. I think that a very thick application for drawing or accenting certain parts of the pot might be interesting but it didn’t turn out nearly as expected. I feel that it will be very specialized application only and that I’ll use it when I find the need.

Still getting some pinholing with certain glazes even with the tips mentioning a slower cooling period. I will try a soak for 30 minutes next time to see if that’s the ticket. I’m slowly but surely working out what glazes to use on what bodies to get the best effects. Firing journal is very helpful.