Tuesday, May 11, 2010
More Flowers and Fish
Here's a smaller fish platter about 10 inches square I made yesterday. I took artistic liberty and painted this sailfish with some slip made from red clay. I like the expression on the fish; to me he looks unsure about jumping out of the water.
Last year I made a blue poppy bowl having been inspired by a blue Himalayan poppy growing in Cindy Shake's yard. But the bowl developed a small crack on the rim. I fired it anyway because I wanted to see how the slip would fire and how the clear glaze would look. I liked how the previous blue poppy bowl fired and how the glaze turned out, so today I made an orange poppy bowl similar to the one I made last year.
This orange poppy bowl is about 3 x 12 x 14 inches. As I'm looking at the bowl in the photo I wish I had curled or rolled the square parts down, but it's too late now because the clay is too dry to manipulate. I'm not able to get this frost porcelain clay to drape the way I want in the slump molds. I might have to get some white stoneware to work with. I'll see how this porcelain clay fires.
This is a large bowl and the flowers are supposed to be jacaranda blossoms. I had a terrible time with these flowers, trying to show some perspective. Maybe I'm more of a Grandma Moses type of painter, more primitive. I do like painting on clay with slip and emphasizing the brush strokes in the slip.
Frost porcelain isn't easy to work with. Not half as easy as some white stoneware I have used in the past like B-mix and Texas white. I'm wondering how these large platters and bowls are going to do in the firing, especially since the platters are flat without feet. I'll use porcelain sand under them and put them on the top shelf to help reduce the tendency of the porcelain to crack and warp.
The fish platter I made last week looks better now that I have darkened the black outlines.
For the textured bowl I made last week, I took a one inch natural bristle brush and wiped it over the leather hard bowl quickly with a wash of red iron oxide (RIO). RIO is a very strong colorant so I only mix a small amount in water till it's a light red and I stir the wash often as I apply it, so the RIO doesn't settle out of the water. The RIO runs into the crevices of the piece and the texture is emphasized.
I made one small bowl as a companion to the large textured bowl. It's about 2.5 x 7 x 5 inches. I plan to make three more. I also want to make a set of four small poppy bowls to go with the large poppy bowl.
Yesterday I glazed some ornaments with raku glaze and I'll raku fire them on Wednesday, so stay tuned for some finished work coming up. Meanwhile on the home front I'm still painting and Gary is chipping out tile with an air chisel, one tedious row at a time. Then there's thinset underneath to chip out. Ugh, we need a genie in a bottle around here. Comments and suggestions are welcome.