Thursday, July 31, 2008


i've been trying to spend some decent time in the studio the last few days. i usually work about 20 hours a week in a restaurant and i got hosed with a bunch of double shifts ( 11-2 & 5-10) and extra hours because the owners wife is giving birth this week. i'm happy to help them out but the couple hours off in the morning and 3-4 hours off in the afternoon make it hard to get anything done, it kills any potential work rhythm.

i made a bunch of plates with new pattern ideas, i'll fire them and see what happens. the four without a pattern are going to be fired upside down, wadded to the rim of a bowl or something. might be interesting, the best flashing always seems to happen on the bottoms of pots.

i made this big guy the other day, its about 24" tall. this is the tallest piece i've made in about 5 years. one semester when i was in college my professor was getting tired of all the small domestic pots and made me do a long series of large(24"+) pots. i made a bunch of these tall 36"-45" faceted lidded jars that were pretty sweet, i've always wanted to make more but i can never spare that much kiln space. i might see if i can muster up some pictures of those old pots. anyways, here's this big guy, i'm still wondering how i'm gonna slip it. some of you might recognize that mug, it's my must have in the studio.

here are some large bowls/platters. that guy on the left is a whopping 24". i think i'm going to take it up to the university and bisque it to see if i can get it to shrink a little so i can get it in my kiln(24" shelves minus 3-4" for posts). the reason they look so sloppy is due to my unique slipping method. the platters always seem to warp and sag after being slipped when they're trimmed. so i slip them before i trim them. i don't cut them off the bats and let them stiffen up a bit and then slosh the slip around and let them get leatherhard. all that mess gets trimmed away and the ingredients to the slip are found in my clay body so i just toss them in the slip bucket. i trim on top of a piece of foam so as not to damage the slip on the rim. i only do this with these large guys.

there are a bunch of other pots, cereal bowls, mugs, vases, etc. as well, but i didn't feel like editing anymore photos, my apologies.
i'm free monday and tuesday and its only supposed to be in the mid-nineties, we hit 106 a couple days ago and 103 today, so i think i'll get that firing knocked out.



Sister Creek Potter said...

Very nice work! And quite impressive for a guy holding down 2 jobs! Interesting how 'big' calls us.

Patricia Griffin Ceramics said...

Hi Brandon - I recognize that creation of Ron's visiting your big guy!. Was interesting to read about your process for slipping the large bowls. Hope you'll post finished pics of your bowls, and the plates with new patterns. Looking really nice.

jbf said...

I'm curious to see how the new plate patterns finish. They look great. Love the "big guy" and appreciate the insight into your platter technique. All very nice work, especially considering those double shifts.

You just never know where one of Ron's mugs will show up.

Anonymous said...

Nice stuff! Now I'm thankful not to be in Texas... though it made 90 this week in Chicago, and that was plenty warm for me. I'm totally sympathetic to the challenge of working two jobs.

potterboy said...

Doug Fitch has a Ron mug and Ron plate too - I saw them today - nice :) The big jar is great - is that thrown in one go or do you make it in pieces (or with coils?) I have been trying to make some bigger pieces - all in one go - but they end up being very heavy at the base. So I am going to try making the bottom and then adding coils. Unfortunately... I'm away from home so I can't :( Oh well.

Nice pots, anyway.

brandon phillips said...

i do a sort of hybrid coil method. i throw the "coils" on the wheel and then add them to the piece. i find this to be easier because i don't have to center the coil on the bottom piece and therefore can leave it a bit wetter and can then continue to shape the piece. thats the way i did this one and then the top part where the shape changes was thrown as a whole and just set on top.

i'm gonna make a couple more so maybe i'll do a little photo tutorial of the way i do it. i am capable of throwing up to about 24" but it takes so much effort and energy i don't want to do anything else afterwards!