Boring Art, Boring Life: Trying a few variations on a theme                                                  

Trying a few variations on a theme

As most people know artists are a crazy bunch, I will for the purposes of this post include myself in this category. Today was a long day. Overall it was great, though there were a few little mishaps along the way.

Lets just start with the morning, class started at 8:30 am. Though I am sure that I could walk into the class at 8:10 and be set up to go, this is a new school and I need to hunt for different tools and materials; it takes extra time. Therefore, today, I arrived at 7:15. Skipping forward to the end of this story, I am just sitting down at home now to write this post. I left the school at 11:30pm.

The thing that I love about summers is the time that I have to myself. Sure this summer I gave a bit of that up and took on a new teaching job. There is a substantial trade off that I find beneficial-- access to a mostly fully stocked ceramic studio. It is not often that I can just walk over to a drawer or a shelf and find exactly what I need just mixed up and waiting for me. This is one of the benefits of working at an institute.

After teaching I set to work creating a few more of these thrown slab trays. I mentioned previously the one I made last week had a drying problem, a leg popped off. Although I am positive I can reattach it during glazing, I wanted to make a few more, this time in F96 -- a cone 6 lightly grogged red clay body.

This is the first one of the day.  With this particular one I left the bamboo in place, used white slip on the red body and slip trailed some simple filigree with a blue slip. Unfortnately, during the throwing process I pulled it out too thin and during the drying process developed a tear. 

What I enjoy most about starting something new is the challenge of figuring out the little details. In the case of these trays it really is, how thick should I make my slab before I through it out to stretch the image.

The second attempt of the day
With my second attempt, I used tried using a different form. In the construction of the first trays I used a deep long stoneware dish that I bought at  a grocery store -- eventually I will make a plaster mould that I can use. With this image above you can see that I am using a plaster mould, the interior shape is very different, square and angular rather than rounded. I have folded the excess on slab over onto itself to create a rolled rim.
I'm not sure if the rolled rim will work well for my intended finish. Event though this is a mid fire piece, I'm going to use a terrasig on the rim and probably the feet and bottom. I love the look of the raw clay but still want it to have a finished look. This finish will also allow for good contrast on the inside slip and glaze. I intend to use a translucent copper green, nice an juicy to fill the gaps. Conversely, I may choose a white crawling white glaze on the underside and the feet. It crawls leaving thin lines of the clay poking through, I am concerned that it doesn't flux enough. I'd rather an orange peel texture, than a dry sharp texture.

Feet for the bottom of the trays... a few cat feet too
drying is an issue, as the center is suspended over trapped air.

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