Liberating Multiples

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in About Me, Casserole, Multiples, Spring Snow | 2 comments

I have the pleasure of teaching pottery classes at a local art center.  And, it is typical for the potters taking the class to want to make a pot for some one special.  I often wonder if the recipients of the pots know how much care and thought go into making these gifts. The potters focus diligently on making a pot worthy of giving to a friend – sometimes to the point of debilitation.   This is where multiples liberate me. I love to make pots for some one in particular.  But,  I don’t typically sit down to make a pot for a friend.  Rather, if I decide I want to give my friend a mug (for example), I begin a series of mugs, all the while thinking about her, her colors, her coffee cravings, etc.  And, I also spend time praying for her as I cycle through the mugs.  After I finish the series, I select the best mug, which is the mug that I give.  Making a series helps alleviate the pressure to make the perfect pot and it increases the likelihood that I will make one worthy of my friend....

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Multiple Multiples

Posted by on Jul 30, 2011 in Bowls, Casserole, Multiples | 0 comments

Multiples are the path to perfection.  – Ben Jensen I love multiples – I get a lot of satisfaction seeing the pots lined up and waiting to go into the kiln. Casseroles Chip and Dip Serving Bowls Large Bowls Bowls and Plates Ring holders Berry...

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Considerations and Logistics: Tape Resist

Posted by on Apr 16, 2011 in Casserole, How-to, Lime Fiesta, Taping, Uncategorized | 1 comment

In this series of entries, I am sharing some of the discoveries I am making as I try to add texture to my pots. Some techniques I have been experimenting with are: Slip trailing Carving Brush strokes Tape and wax resist Technical – Again, this has been the easiest of the logistics to resolve.  We have use tape resist on greenware and bisqueware.  Masking tape sticks great to bisqueware.  But for greenware, it is easier to use strips of newspaper.  Wet the newspaper, then apply like tape and underglaze exposed areas.  (This is how the small casserole was glazed.) Method – There are so many methods… If I apply underglaze on greenware, I can wipe it off if I make a mistake.  After the bisque-fire, the underglaze won’t smudge if I dip the pot in glaze.  But if I want to use 2 glazes to make a stripe pattern, I apply masking tape to the bisqueware, paint the exposed areas with a glaze, remove the tape, paint the remaining areas with a second glaze. Glaze response – Understanding the properties each glaze exhibits has been key (this is a prevalent truth).  Some of the glazes look great if they overlap so making ‘clean’ stripes isn’t necessary.  (I am avoiding glaze combinations that need a ‘clean’ stripe because they are too unforgiving for hand application.)   Also, if I underglaze a portion of the pot in black underglaze and bisque-fire it, I can paint lines using clear glaze.  The contrast between the raw matte underglaze and glossy clear makes a subtle stripe pattern. Design – All that the factors I identified with slip and carving are true with tape-resist – what patterns, how do the patterns relate to the rest of the pot, how to designate a space on the pot.  In addition, applying tape or newspaper is restricted by pot curves – the curvier a pot, the more gaps there will be in the tape and newspaper.  Gaps permit glazes to be applied in areas you don’t intend for them to be. Design continues to be the most challenging...

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Considerations and Logistics: Slip Trailing

Posted by on Apr 9, 2011 in Casserole, How-to, Lime Fiesta, Mugs, Slip Trailing, Spring Snow, Surface Decoration | 4 comments

Insight:  Embellishing the pot surface is more complex than simply adding slip or carving a design. As with most things, one decision impacts several others  which means that there are several considerations and some logistics to work through as I incorporate textural elements into the pots. Among the many surface embellishments that we have been experimenting with are: Slip trailing Carving Brush strokes Tape and wax resist Implementation of each of these techniques has challenged technique, method, glaze response, and design. Technical – This has been the easiest of the logistics to resolve.  It included adjusting the consistency of the slip (less viscous for narrower lines and more viscous for dots and wide lines).    Also, in order to apply a slip line that is fluid with variable line weights, it must be done quickly.  I am practicing a lot in order to develop muscle memory.  Slip lines and dots have potential to be sharp, but smoothing out sharp edges can result in removing the slip from the pot.  A finger rub and dry-damp sponge seem to soften the edges without much design loss. Method – I have tried several dispensers to figure out which make the best lines and which are better for making dots.  So far, a narrow tip hair dye bottle and red bulb slip trailer are easiest for me to use and produce good lines and dots. Glaze response – Understanding the properties each glaze exhibits has been key.  Some of the glazes don’t break or are too pale and the slip gets lost.  The best glazes for enhancing slip design are translucent or break with contrast. Design – By far this has been the most challenging.  First, there is the question of what patterns to make on the pot.  I have been doodling and looking at fabrics to develop some ideas.  Then there is the question of how these patterns relate to the pot’s form.  I have begun to change some of the pot shapes in order to designate space for slip design.  This allows me to build in a ‘frame’ where I can start and stop the slip.  I thought I had resolved some forms (like mugs) but slip has forced me to expand my shape...

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