Monday, December 7, 2009

The Gift Shop pt.II

When you work in pottery, it helps to get into a rhythm.
Throw one day, trim the next day, and so on.
So today was trimming day. I got my mugs on the wheel and finished them up.
Then I had to do handles.
I dislike doing handles.
Usually, being the clay weenie that I am, I use what's called an extruder. Sort of like one of those Playdough thingies where you load in the clay, pull a lever and a shape comes out. In this case long round or oval shapes that can be cut into handles.
Well, the ole' workshop is not equipped with an extruder, so I had to go back to how they made mug handles like back in the stone age:

Hand rolling the coils is sort of easy once you get used to it. From there you can shape them your choice of handles.
Normal everyday handles:

Funky looking I don't know if it will work handles:

Also handles that look a number:

The most important thing about handles is that they are comfortable.
I'm not sure how these will work out. My excuse is that these are the first mugs I have done in about oh, nine years or so.
I don't usually make functional ware; I'm an artist don't you know.
Anyways, while I was doing the mug thing, Evil Hoku's ware was in the kiln. It fires to somewhere in between red and orange:

We'll be doing the glaze firing to that color also. High fire is orange like that only closer to yellow and cone 10 fires to yellow almost white.
Does that make sense?
The thing is, sometimes the heat indicators we use in the kiln fail(fall down, blow up, etc.) so it's good to get to know the heat range by color. I used to be pretty good at; it comes after firing a kiln about 3.5 GAGILLION times, but it's been a while since I've done a gas firing.
So, I got my ware ready for the next load:

Hopefully, all this stuff will be bisque fired by the weekend and we can start glazing.
I told you I'd post up some pictures of the difference in glazes, unfortunately all the images of my old work is on slides and ahem, the camera just doesn't do justice to the work I have sitting around.
Well okay, if you insist:

The porcelain bottle on the far left is eighteen inches tall, for scale.
I was on a quest for the elusive copper red glaze(high fire). Elusive for the pieces on the left and right are actually the same glaze. As you can see, the results vary.
Oh, and you also you've seen my work before. The flying cow(low fire) I use for my avatar was part of a school project I did when I was student teaching:

I gotta say, working with clay again is making me all warm and fuzzy.
Ah, yes.
It feels good to be back in the saddle.


dogimo said...

Alright, that dude is the coolest. I couldn't quite get a bead on him before, I'm glad of the full-length profile shot!

Although he does look more "bad ass" in the avatar view.

You know who he reminds me of, in terms of sass and attitude? The Kirin Ichiban ki'rin. That dude rules.

Technically I guess, your cow is probably not a "dude" per se. But I'm a feminist, so when I say "he", "/she" is understood. PERIOD.

I'm precisely that hard-core.

limom said...

Thanks! I don't know why, but I dig cows.
and rhinos.
and flaming giraffes.