Being Busy

I have the opportunity to convert an old electric kiln to LP and found that leasing a tank is supposedly very inexpensive. This way I can get to cone 10 temperatures without shortening the life of my electric kiln, experiment with reduction and test glazes in an environment closer to a wood kiln. 

I’ve been working nights to get some more work done. It’s much cooler. The Georgia summers are just brutal with the heat and humidity. 

Night time in the stidio looks like something out of a dream. Living the dream 🙂

I’ve been using porcelain exclusively for a month and it’s a beautiful thing. I’m trying to push it to its limits, which means that my scrap bucket does not go hungry 🙂 

I am experimenting with some irregular shapes and found the issue of trimming the bottoms was a pretty simple solution. I used a large enough lump of clay as a chuck. I should turn a few sizes on the wheel and then bisque. I can use a small lump of clay (carpet under-matting or similar) as an adhesive. This will solve the secondary problem of not being able to bear down on the clay to get a good cut. 

  
 
I’ve been finding things to do indoors as well. So I have hijacked my own island in the kitchen for my small ceramics projects that don’t need the wheel. I have a beautiful backdrop thanks to my wife 😀

  
Been carving with the Mudtools brand tools. The Do-All Trim Tool is a Ferari of a tool and just gets better the more I use it.  The Drag Tool, I still need some practice with but there are a lot of possibilities there too. I’ve been making small guinomi chalices as they are small, quick jobs and keep my pinching skills up. 

   
 

Layout

i got the shelves half way up. I don’t want to go too high with them because kiddos will probably try to climb them. Way better for storing the chemical & glaze buckets.

I really can’t figure out the layout I want though. I have a heavy bag in the corner which takes up space… Maybe it should come down for the time being.

I was thinking of a layout sort of like a kitchen, where the main elements are in a triangular shape for efficiency. It doesn’t really matter though. It’ll transform as I figure out what needs to be where and every space and situation is unique.

  

Scrap Bucket

I took 1/2 the day off yesterday so I decided to throw a bit for 5 hours. Most of it ended up in the scrap bucket. That’s just how it goes sometimes. I’m not disappointed. Its just more practice.

I got a new wheel. A Shimpo VL-Whisper which I can say lives up to its name. Its as quiet as my kickwheel. Its a challenge to learn a new wheel. The centering is different. You can get an immediate center but within a second its out of center again and you have to do a second centering. A new muscle memory I have to learn. And the pedal is a new clunky thing that does not come naturally for me. I decided on getting this because I need to learn how to be proficient on any type of wheel and the majority of wheels are electric. This one is semi-transportable and can even be set on a tabletop for throwing while standing. The kickwheel is a 500lb beast and isn’t going anywhere, ever.

Throwing is as much in your mind as it is in your body. The state of mind will determine what kind of work you make. However good you are it will be there. It is, after all, your creation and creation comes from within. So even though a seasoned potter of 30 years might be able to bang out the same looking cylinder there is some subtle nuance that is contained within it. It is the jena se qua of pots. The one you hold that you like, and the other you hold and although it may be similar and pleases you visually there is something different about it. The one you like I think has that extra something, that intent embedded by the maker.