Pottery Update

I was recently reminded that I have a blog about pottery.  Since I haven’t done much with it, I figured I’d share some of my more recent pieces (including the outcome of the previous blog).

img_0078In the past year or so I have been doing a lot more carving to my pieces.  The process is time consuming but I’m rather happy with the results.

The pitcher and teapot below are examples of this.   I’m really not much of an artist so the drawings that were carved came from other sources.  The “tea” character was from the internet and the bird on the pitcher came out of a design book.  To carve them I took a photocopy of the image that I wanted and place it on the clay body after it was trimmed while  it was still leather hard.  I would then outline the picture/pattern with a dull pencil.  Once the image is outlined, I would take a very small trimmer and scratch out the rest of the surface creating the textured look of the background and the raised carving.

img_00021Both pieces used the exact same glaze (named copper transparent green at the pottery studio I go to) which works reasonably well on a textured surface such as these pots but not so well on pieces that are smooth.  Incidentally the teapot and its lid was thrown as 1 piece and then separated.  I have been finding that in general when I do lidded forms I really do prefer doing them as one piece as the lid and pot tend to fit together better

img_00841A long time ago I wrote a blog about making a soup steamer.  I actually completed this about a year ago but never bothered to upload the picture so here it is.  The bowl like object on the leftalso serves as the outer lid.   The inner lid and pot were thrown as one piece.  The outer lid was thrown separately.

Finally an interesting coloured clay piece.  I used rolled up some thin dark clay coils to do this.   To do this I first centred the white clay img_00801as normal.  After the clay is centered I created 5 evenly spaced vertical “grooves” in the clay.  Each groove should be big enough to hold a thin coil.  Place the 5 coloured clay coils in each of the grooves and do a tiny bit of centering to ensure the clay is still relatively centered and to attach the coloured clay to the white clay.  Then throw the bowl as normal.  Note that the inside does not have any coloured clay in it.   What I have found by doing coloured clay in this manner is that you will be able to get a better control of where the coloured clay shows.  If a coil runs through the centre of the lump, it will create a curved line in the finished piece from about 1 inch from the foot to the rim of the bowl  (you tend to cut off the bit on the wheelhead so there is typically very little coloured clay on the bottom of the bowl).  If a coil is running over the side of the lump it will tend to create more of swoosh pattern like that you see in the front of this bowl.  the more centred the coil the wider the swoosh until it becomes so wide that you end up seeing it as a line.  The way the swoosh curve depends on the direction of the spinning wheel.  I have to admit that I’m not overly happy about the glaze job on this piece.  That green glaze just does not not work well on smooth surfaces (comes out a bit splotchy).

Well thats pretty much it.  My current project is a tagine.  I am trying to see if its possible to throw it in one piece.  I haven’t been totally successful on this but its getting there.  Maybe I’ll throw up another post at some later time.

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