Thursday, December 16, 2010

How To Move Drifting Dots ?

It was one of those pat myself on the back, really great days in the studio the other day. I was feeling good about the slip design on a big bowl I just made. In fact I liked the drifting dots so much, I started imagining other pieces with different colors of drifting dots, green, blue, yellow, or lavender, maybe different background colors too. Winter seems to be bringing out a color craving in me. I decided to make a tall vase with the same drifting dots, then I thought I'd make four small bowls to go with the large one. I was on a roll.

(Have a look at the river and granite boulders bowl I made over a year ago - almost the same design, hum, interesting.)

I was thinking the flowing lines with the drifting dots would work well on the flat surface of a rectangular vase, moving from one side to the other, cascading down the front. I rolled out my clay slabs and let them firm up a bit. Then I worked for over an hour putting the four pieces of the vase together, using part of a box and a two by four to help hold up the form. Scoring, slipping, patting, and coaxing the clay into a nice rectangular form.

I've been letting the clay slabs dictate the shape and size of my pieces, free wheeling it, so to speak. I guess I'm an impulsive potter, letting my impulses guide my making. I should make templates and get foam to help with my hand building. I keep saying this to myself, but then I start right in the next day and work the same way I usually do. Sometimes good things come from my impulsiveness though, that must be why I continue in this vein of making.

Next I smoothed out the seams and started to work on the slip decoration. First I painted the black slip and let it dry a bit. Then I used a tool to scribe the wavy vertical lines. Again I let the slip dry. Then I added the orange dots which are slip from a terra cotta clay. I noticed each time the slip was slightly dry, but still tacky. I was wishing I had my hair dryer long since donated. Everything was looking so good I took a few photos.

I was about to move the vase to the drying cabinet and all of a sudden I stopped dead in my tracks. I realized I had no way to move the vase to the drying cabinet without smearing the slip design. I couldn't think of a thing to do but cover the vase where it sat and let it firm up a bit.

So my question is, how do you move your slip decorated pieces after you decorate them? I usually move my pieces to drywall after I make them so the drywall won't get wet and sloppy with slip. Now that I have the vase drying I have to wait till I move it to make something else. So much for the smaller bowls I was going to make. Comments and advice is always welcome.


  1. No advice, but love the vase.

  2. Have it on a board while you are painting and then you can just lift the board. I think I gave up on slip for this very reason, made the same mistake of applying slip and then couldn't touch it :)

  3. Love the pot and it is just as Tracey B says above.

  4. lovely pot- the design works so well!
    Me- I just bumble along and have time I run into the same thing!

  5. Really like the design.I would just put it in a bat but with a block of wood a little smaller than your base to elevate it so you can work cleanly at the bottom edge.(I'm trying to regain my king of the tipsters title after getting a mention on ceramic arts daily yesterday)

  6. I really think this is lovely. I don't work with clay and am not an expert, but I know what I like when I see it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. i don't do slip to the extent you do but typically put the pot on a bat. i then put the bat on top of my banding wheel to apply slip. that way i can turn it if i need to. i like dennis' idea of the block so you can a nice edge.

  8. Mary's right, I know what I like when I see it...and I like what you've done here.

    When you have a chance, Linda, there's a little something for you at my place.

  9. Hi Patti, thanks, hope you are keeping warm up there.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, I had this one on a board, but it was tall and thin and I needed to hold the top to balance it and move it to the next room. I am always afraid I'll trip or not keep it level while I am walking.

    Hi Kitty, thanks, I think I'll make up some smaller boards to use, I only have ones about 8 x 12 inches which is a bit tippy to hold for a tall vase.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, sometimes that bumbling along gets us some good stuff though.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, I checked out the post, some great tips in there, you are king.

    Hi Mary, thanks ever so much, hope you are having a great day too.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I'll have to try the block, I may make some smaller pieces of wall board too and get that hair dryer.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, what a nice surprise, I'll post about it next week, have a good trip and enjoy the holidays.

  10. Great designs! Love 'em... As in all things clay, patience seems to be one of the biggest virtues. Or, at least in my case, something to strive for. "Striving for patience" seems like a contrast in terms. Perhaps "practice patience" is better. Yep. Practice patience and wait it out til it's dry enough to safely move. Hard to do!

  11. Hi Patricia, thanks for your input; which I truly value. You are right about patience, but with my age patience and energy come when they will and one has to take advantage of them as the occur. I will say clay has taught me much more patience than I have ever had in my life, well other than horticulture, which is truly something to relish in life.


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