Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gimme one more hour!

Spent today making pots in front of an audience of fellow potters at the Benton Center Pottery Studio at Linn-Benton Community College for the Spring Workshop. Took requests and someone wanted to see one of the more complex twists I do. Of course. 

Many have been made, but not many have been successful, but what the heck. It was a chance to let them see just how rough and crazy it all happens in real life. Decided to make a mini-version and cut out all the pieces to make two-thirds of the shape.

On my side: dry air, a couple extra hands, a concave form and a warm bisque kiln helped get the beginning shapes dried out enough to put together.

Against me: Time. It ran out before I could get the base part dry enough to add the final touches. Came home and used all the scraps that were still wet enough to piece together the top curved piece in gradual sections, and then goo glue it all together and gave it shape with some very soft clay. 

Tomorrow after this is dry enough to work on I'll attack it with my stainless rib with the teeth to give it more defined shape and then see if it's thick enough to carve.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is It Done Yet?

"Seaform Figure" at Ceramic Showcase 2012
Theme shows can push us to explore in fun new ways. In the two weeks leading up to my deadline, the big piece in the middle of this photo was still in a state of Yuck! It was part of our Bette Feves Tribute installation at Ceramic Showcase last weekend at the Oregon Convention Center.

The base was a sculpture from 2010 (as it states so permanently next to my signature) but I'd never liked the top so it has been clogging my tiny studio since then waiting for me to do something with it. So I started my Betty tribute at a bit of a disadvantage as remaking tops to fit bottoms is always tricky. I erred on the side of too big instead of too small.

After firing the top, using the same clay body and layered velvet underglazes on it as I had the bottom, the results were very different and mis-matched looking. So heated up the entire sculpture, added Apt 2 to some white glaze to have a clean surface to start anew and cooked it. Still not so great. Another coat of white to cover it all up a bit more. Finally just a hint of its previous life showing through. While still warm from the kiln dripped and poured some glazes, ala Betty, and back in the kiln to cook. It took a few hot from the kiln glaze painting, dripping and pouring sessions (8 in all) to get this pebbly, drippy look. At the show, with these other pieces the blue worked just fine. Love how the drips accentuate the curves. But now back at home there might be a 9th firing in her future...