Finally!

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.

Some newly designed miniature bonsai pots with matching drip trays.
A pinched lidded vessel
Of course my Mother’s first try with clay she made this beautiful piano. Its where I get my crafty from 🙂

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.

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.