Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not All Kilns or Firings Are Alike

Bluebird Flower Pot

Here's the inside of the Bluebird Flower Pot even the base is layered. Notice how blue the glaze is, not what I expected.

 Textured Pot

The glaze on these first two pots didn't fire like I wanted them to. I used my slow cool and same firing schedule but I guess not all kilns or firings are alike. Perhaps the kiln needs to be broke in? 

This is the way the glaze should have turned out. More shiny with green and gold. The top two pots were on the top shelf, maybe I'll see how that glaze does on a different shelf. 

Here are the cones from the glaze firing, cones 5 and 6. I'll have to go back and check my blog posts from my previous kiln and see if the cones were the same. Could have fired a little hotter perhaps.

The bear and owl bowls came out great but the rest had debris in the clear glaze. I think the lid of the kiln had residue that dropped into the glaze.

The green (sage green) of the luna moth platter (in the background) is too dark but I'll make another one and use a different green. I do like how the orange flowers on that platter turned out with the vine connecting them. Lori was right about that advice as that tied the design together. The front bowl has grit in the glaze.

Here's the grit in the glaze, can you see it? It looks like sand. I didn't use any sand in my firing either. Woe is me, that's three bowls and one platter for the smashing pile. Ugh. I can only fit two bowls or one platter on a half shelf. I didn't have any small items made to fill in the odd spaces. I'll have to correct that. 

I may need to get two more shelves to make my firings more efficient. What is the tallest post you have used with kiln shelves? I have another glaze firing cooling down, we shall see how those turn out. Up next details about my recent bisque firings. Thanks for reading and for all your comments and suggestions.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sea Baskets

 Sea Basket 001
12 x 8 x 6 inches

The handles for these sea baskets were collected by me on the West coast, mostly Baja Mexico, California, and Oregon, over many many years. After hauling them from state to state, I'm finally putting them to some use. I particularly like the driftwood handle of this one. The pot has a definite lean to it like it was tossed around in the waves before it came ashore. Follow the link for driftwood there's lots of folklore and interesting tidbits about wood from the oceans and seas.

Sea Basket 002
7 x 11 x 6 inches

Measurements include the handles for both of these. Can't wait to make more sea baskets. I feel a sea creature or monster lurking in the back of my mind hoping to become visible. We all know about the legend of the Loch Ness Monster. We shall see if a monster shows himself. 

This last one is a second because one upright warped inward, but I wanted to practice putting on the copper wire. Wiring the handles to the baskets isn't as easy as it looks. For this one the gauge is too thin. I'll try again with a larger gauge. Copper wire isn't inexpensive either. I had wired the top two with copper but I picked up the color coated steel wire and I think that wire looks better on the top two.

If you can't live at the beach it's nice to have a reminder of the ocean or sea, I think. 

A little something to dream about. I hope my sea baskets can bring that feeling to those who come to have them. Stay tuned for more finished work coming up as soon as I take the photos. Thanks for reading and for all your comments and encouragement.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mishima Tiles

Fairy and Flowers
9 x 7 inches

These are mishima tiles, (hand etched inlaid color), I made in my class with Diana Fayt. They're glazed with a satin clear.  Each tile stands out from the wall about an inch and they're ready to hang with a built in wire.

Singing Mockingbird
6 x 5 3/4 inches

I'm thinking of making a border on some of my future tiles. 

Chevy and Bluebird
6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches

Red Poppies
5 x 6 inches

Flower on the Farm
4 1/4 x 6 3/4 inches

I may add some acrylic color to the petals on the flower.  

Park Bench
6 1/2 x 6 inches

This is the first tile I made so the edges are a little rough. Stay tuned for more results from the first glaze firing in my new kiln. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dreaming of Animals

For the past several nights I've been dreaming of animals; thinking how to construct them in sculptural form. Today I decided to try my hand at sculpting a horse. I used a modified format of my strips of clay technique to construct the body parts, the torso, legs, and head. Later I added the feet, ears, mane and tail. I'm surprised this little guy, about seven inches tall, stands on his own without any support. Who knows if he'll dry that way.

After I made him, I thought he looked like what I thought an Icelandic horse would. I found these images of Icelandic horses and he does look like one of them. I see they have a fuller mane than I've given him I'll have to make another one with a full mane. Icelandic horses are stocky and sturdy and sure to withstand the rigors of Icelandic winters.

He also reminds me of the wooden Trojan Horse which allowed the Greeks to enter the city of Troy.. Now I'm envisioning ways to make other sculptural animal forms. Perhaps I'll build clay plinths and set the animal sculptures on them to make them sturdier.

The past few weeks Gary sold lots of pottery at the Trash to Treasures sale. Every day he packs up to leave, he says pottery doesn't sell. Then he comes home telling me of sales of my pottery. Yesterday a gentleman said he's been a collector of pottery for many years.  He said my pottery is art, not the run of the mill cups, bowls, plates, he usually sees, etc.

Above are a couple of pieces of my pottery he purchased. Nothing against functional pottery since I make that type of pottery too. But it was so nice to learn someone appreciates the other types of work I do. These are the types of work I have so much fun making, the more esoteric or sculptural type of work.  So many ideas and so little time. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.