Friday, 23 May 2014
pinch and turn
I got my first batch of 14 pots and bowls back from bisque firing a few weeks ago. I get them fired out at Homebush at Pottery Supplies. I was pleased with how they turned out after this first step. And the good news was I didn't lose any.
Sometimes it can be a bit of a disappointment this stage, especially when you begin, pots shrink a lot and the wonky ones look even wonkier after firing. When I first started I wouldn't recognise my pots after their transformation. I'd come back looking for my swans and find these funny little ugly ducklings.
Next step is the glaze firing. I have been slowly painting them with brush on glazes and decorating some of the pots that hadn't had any underglaze. I'm experimenting with lots of different techniques, incised designs, stencils, painting & scratching and tissue transfer. Its fun! It takes time though which I haven't had a lot of lately, so I've been doing them piecemeal as the inspiration hits.
I've been feeling a bit torn with my making recently, trying to squeeze it in between busy stuff and feeling guilty about it or frustrated about having to get it out and put it away unfinished.
So yesterday I called a making day and crafted for the whole day, nothing else! The freedom of having uninterrupted time to play and experiment was so satisfying and I'm going to make this a regular thing. It makes more sense than the stop start way I've been doing it. So while it feels indulgent its probably more practical.
I had time on the wheel throwing which I haven't done for weeks, and then I played around with hand forming, pinch pots and slumping some clay into an existing bowl to form a duplicate.
I made some christmas stars and these little birds, and this funny little round pinch pot vase with all the holes. For those of you who are keen to try some ceramics without investing in a course or a potting wheel you can do this with just your hands and some clay.
I will fire this vase and then glaze it, hoping it survives the process, but there are plenty of oven dry clays and no fire versions which would work as well if you didn't want to go the whole hog. If you do want to though, outside a course, then you just pay for the weight of the clay you fire. Its very doable. I have a couple of books from the library that have loads of info in them and photo how tos which have been invaluable.