Thursday, April 12, 2007

new ideas and a new kiln

this is a corner of my barn. this is where i am going to build my new kiln. after i level the very unlevel floor.

these plates are a series that i've been toying with from time to time. i started them when i was in college, but they were never very successful, cracking and whatnot. generally pretty ugly. i was trying to be don reitz, so they weren't very original. there is still a heavy influence in these but i think that i've successfully made them my own.

these plates are pretty stout, i start with about 40lbs of clay and lay it out into a real thick platter. the distortions on the rims are done before laying out the rim all the way. these ones run between 22-24". all the "decoration" is done while it is still wet on the wheel. i wipe and rib away any throwing rings and then lay down a sifted layer of kaolin and sometimes some wood ash accents. i always push in some little pieces of dried clay. thats kind of my signature.

i really enjoy making these from time to time, it lets me do something a little more expressive and risky with a medium that i'm comfortable in. it pushes my limits physically, 40 lbs of clay is no small feat to work with. it also pushes me creatively to find a solution to decorate this large open surface using only raw materials, there is no glaze on these pieces. i rely purely on the texture and kaolin dusting mixed with the salt and ash in the kiln atmosphere to give it the appropriate surface.

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