Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reduction kiln results

(bottle with shino stripes and iron on lip)
(bottle with very thin shino over black stain)
(bottle with shino stripes and iron lip)
(small jar with shino over black stain)

I finally got my kiln finished and fired it off. I got it up to cone 10 pretty much all around. Some parts were probably at about 11 while others were about 9.5. This difference does not really bother me because I will use the hotter areas for shinos and more refractory glazes, and I will use the cooler areas for less refractory glazes. The difference in temperature, I think, is due to the fact that the kiln only has one burner. I think that I could get the kiln much more even if I use two burner; however, for the the size of the kiln two burners seems like a bit of overkill. The kiln, as fired it, was a bit of a test of the design. The kiln fired well and now I am taking it down to make it slightly larger as well as more durable.
I don't know how good of a job I could do explaining the design of the kiln but I am going to take pictures as I rebuild it. I am waiting for a couple more boxes of bricks to arrive and then I will begin taking it down and rebuilding it.

Cone 6

I have talked a little bit about some of the cone 6 glazes I have been messing around with and finally got some finished pieces. The dark amber glaze is a glaze that we have had in the studio for a while. I like the glaze but it could be better. The off white matte is a glaze that I made from a recipe I got from Jeff Campana. I took the base recipe and tried some line blends with different colorants. The glaze I liked ended up being the base with 4% rutile added. I like the way the glazes turned out; however, I have since got my reduction kiln working and am starting to test glazes for cone 10. I think that the accessibility and ease of firing in an electric kiln is very attractive, but I don't think that it is what my pots want right now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Direction

I recently got a new mug made by Simon Levin. I was very inspired by this mug and had to give it a go. The mug is very different from the current style of pots that I am making which of course caused me to question everything I have been making. This mug I think, demonstrates the "language of clay" as Simon calls it, very well. The thing I like most about Simon's pots, and this mug in particular, is that they are very well made and thought out without being overly refined. Simon also achieves incredible surfaces in his wood fired pots by a method that he discovered which he talks about in this podcast. The podcast is somewhat lengthy but is very interesting and informative.
Simon's ability to create these amazing pots is very inspirational to me and may be leading my pots in a new direction. The ability to show the amount of skill that Simon's pots do without being over refined amazes me. I think that my pots have become over refined. I hope to be able to implement this "less is more"
philosophy into my pots.

(My new Simon Levin mug)

(New cup I just got from Tom Turner today)
I also just got a new cup from Tom Turner today! Although Tom's cup and Simon's cup seem to be on the two ends of the pottery spectrum they both offer a quality that I look for in my work. Both cups are very well made and show the tremendous skill of the potter who made them. Both pots are truly amazing and I am extremely happy to be able to add them to my collection.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Teapot

I trimmed and assembled this teapot today. I put the plaid pattern I've been working with on it and really like the way it turned out. I also tried a new spout that I think worked out OK. The biggest change in the spout is that it has that little ball shape at the base. This allows me to cut the bottom of the spout to get a better angle. I also made sure to make the handle plenty wide and generous in size as I have somewhat a phobia of thin weak handles. I also think I improved the shape of the pot by making the belly start lower to achieve more of a spherical form. All in all I really like the way it came out, tell me what you think!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Concentration Progress

I have been working towards completing my concentration and finally got around to finishing these mugs. Ive been working particularly on my handles and am getting more confident about them. I feel that I am getting the size and shape of the handles just about right for two fingers. I used my regular process of making prototypes and then choosing a shape to duplicate. I feel that this helps to develop the form as much as possible before making multiples.
Speaking of prototypes I made my first prototype for a set of plates I plan on making. I like the shape and I feel that I have a good base to go off of. I like the relationship between the squarish outer edge and the round interior. To make this plate, I threw basically a dog dish. I then cut the rim from one corner to the next. I then pushed the rim down flat to make it a plate. Then before trimming I ran a sure form around the outer rim to sharpen up the shape. I am happy with the way it came out and plan to make my set similar to this one.
I just fired my reduction kiln yesterday and plan to make a post on that in the near future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nothin Doin

I have been out sick all week which has caused for these cups to be wrapped up under plastic all weak. I will hopefully be able to finish them soon and get another concentration piece done. These are going to be a set with the prototype below in mind.
that's all for now