Sunday, December 21, 2014

Testing Testing 1 2 3

Today's goal was to produce an organic dinnerware design utilizing texture materials from nature. I wanted the botanicals to have a watercolor effect different from my usual engobe paintings on raw clay.

Starting with mason stains and frit I mixed up three samples to test as colorants, leaf green, sage green, and hazelnut brown. I measured 1/2 cup of water in mason jars and added 1/4 teaspoon each of mason stain and frit 3134.

Botanical samples were gathered from my landscape: dried leaves, grasses, weeds, and evergreens The botanicals were impressed onto the slab of clay.

The three stains were brushed onto the botanical impressions. Then the slab was slumped onto the plate form to dry slowly.

My plan is to glaze this test plate with a transparent glaze after the bisque. Hopefully I'll end up with a dinnerware set for myself and perhaps others. We shall see how the fritted stains turn out after bisque and glaze firings. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ceramic Spoon and Fork

For years I've wanted to make a ceramic spoon. After I made the large bowl the other day I thought a salad serving set of a ceramic spoon and fork would be a nice complement to the bowl. I've made holes in the end so they can be hung up on the wall. I even thought of making a ceramic wall plaque to hang them on. Being ceramic the utensils wouldn't do well tossed in a drawer.

Later I found this vintage French salad serving set on etsy. These are lovely; in comparison my set looks so primitive; I need to perfect my design a bit; but I had to start somewhere. There's more to making a spoon and fork than I realized. Next time I think I'll pinch the fork and spoon sections and roll coils for the handles. I cut the ones above from a slab and then sculpted the ends of the spoon and fork and textured the handles.

I've used the same method as these utensils by placing nubs on the reverse side to keep them off the kiln shelf so I can glaze them. I don't have any stilts, something I'd like to add to my supplies one of these days. Back to the studio for me for more research and development. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Making a Large Draped Bowl

So much for my plan to make smaller items to fill the kiln. Yesterday I managed to roll out a huge slab of clay eighteen by eighteen inches. I decided the size was too nice to use for smaller pieces so I decided to make a large drape molded bowl.

I textured the slab with various texture tools in a random manner. Then I wondered if I had anything large enough to accommodate the draping of this overly large slab of clay.

I remembered I had a large stainless steel bowl I use to mix up my slip and decided it was a good size for the slab. Except the bowl had a lip. So I cut some foam into pieces to tape around the edge of the bowl to keep the lip from cutting the draped slab of clay.

The slab was so large that even on my banding wheel the clay would have draped all the way down to the table top. So I put a couple of four by fours on top of the turntable. After the bowl firmed up a turned it over onto a piece of sheetrock to dry on an open rack. Hope this one makes it. It's about 15 inches wide and four inches tall.

Monday, December 15, 2014


This piece formed in my mind as a clay doll but morphed into a guardian. Later I thought to put an item in the hands but wasn't sure what. Perhaps a lotus. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.