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. 

   
 

First pot in the new house

Well we are still adjusting. Just loving the new house. Like when you fall in love and time goes slow and fast at once. Feels like we’ve been here forever and only a day at the same time.

Got all the supplies out and spun my first pot in a month. To be honest I was afraid of the clay. You have that expectation: “Oh I need to make something awesome”. Once I let go of that thought its fine and you just do the work.

The pot turned out alright and I gave it a texture of small hills in the middle section. Not exactly what I had in mind but it was alright. Getting better at the rims. Nobody wants to sip from a cup with sharp edges or a rough surface. I find that the cheap eyeglass cleaners that end up in the junk drawers cut into 1″ x 4″ work very well for this task.

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I always start off with 14 oz of clay and end up with a bunch carved off so each pot ends up being a different weight at the end. I am realizing that 14 oz of clay should end up being about 14 oz after I’m done, at least when wet, so that I can make repeatable objects.

I’m also thinking about my inspirations for new vessels. Color wise I might just do a white slip and a black slip and see how many combinations I can come up with. In fact I could even do a white on white stoneware and see how many combinations I get. I can think of dozens of ways to decorate using slip, wax, wipe, dip, dunk, splash, brush, hakeme brush, etc… Actually now I’m getting excited.

The raku clay has treated me nicely as far as firing goes. I would prefer something with less grog for throwing though. I need 2 white clay bodies so I can make one into a slip of a slightly different white.

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