Friday, January 23, 2009

same old, same old.

I've been really busy this week, teaching has been a bit exhausting especially while getting over a cold. I've managed to get in the groove of making pots but ran out of clay yesterday but that's ok because I believe I have more than enough to fill the new kiln. I've noticed that my body had subconsciously gotten used to the potting cycle for my old kiln and when I had enough pots to fill it my body was ready to stop potting and fire. It took me a few days to get back in the potting groove, I think it's neat how our bodies adapt to things like that without our even knowing it.

My ceramicsII students have started an assignment where they have to pick a form(bowls, cups, vases, etc.) and then make 12 variations exploring various vloumes, feet, rims, etc. I decided to do the same with some teapots though I gave myself much stricter criteria. I knew I wanted a certain lid and handle as well as a basic shape. So I explored some more subtle variations in the shape which upon completion got my mind racing about more ideas. I try to keep my teapots fairly straighforward and simple so that I can sell them for a decent price, I'm not a believer in the $100 teapot.

Tall footed bowls.

I have a crap-ton(scientific term) of yunomi already but they all are slipped and I need some with my ash glaze, I'll never complain about having to make yunomi though, one of my favorites(knock on wood).

Here are a couple large-ish jars. I don't really do knobs but I felt that the lids were a little too steep for a lug type handle. Something seems off about these to me. Maybe the knobs too large? Too generic? Maybe the lids are too steep? I don't know, feel free to chime in.

Kiln, coming along. When I pulled the arch form out I didn't realize how heavy it was going to be and eventually got squashed under one end of it while trying to figure out how to move it all the way out of the kiln. I wish I had some video of that, I'm sure it was quite comical.

Slow progress. The walls are 2600 IFB on the inside backed by 2300 IFB on the outside which happen to be about 1/16" shorter than the 2600. You know what that means, friggin mortar, it slows down everything. In case you couldn't tell I'm from the no mortar(unless necessary)kiln building school. Today we had a high of 84 degrees, it was so nice outside. Right now it's around 40, drives me crazy.
I've kept forgetting for the last month to mention that I'd uploaded part of my website. It's not very good but the whole point is to have a page where someone can see photos of my work without having to scroll through my blog. It's not finished nor have I tweaked anything yet. If you've been reading my blog there is probably not anything new for you there.
So long!


Judy Shreve said...

I liked the knobs on your large jars - but when I looked at your webpage -- I think I like the strap handle better -- maybe that's what you are seeing too.
Do you add a reed handle to your teapots? And what is your teapot price?

Kent Harris said...

The knobs look good, they fit. Those teapots look really nice too.....did saybra hear anything from WM or anybody else yet?

potterboy said...

Hmmm... I like the knobs too but then I like the strap handles too. It's nice to have the option though. The ones on the website have great colour - is that a slip you've put on your clay or just bare clay?

Also - are those tankards behind the yunomi or just mugs? I find doing runs of things really hard as I can never get two the same... :(

Anyway, all looks great - kiln looks exciting. Interesting you've gone for all IFB and no heavies? Or is the arch made of heavies? I went for heavies, because of the cooling thing. Oh well.

Good post anyway... gonna have a good nose around the website now.

potterboy said...

Doh! It even says 'Kaolin Slip' underneath it...

Earl and Vickie said...

I don't think there's anything prettier than a cantenary arch. That looks beautiful.

brandon phillips said...

judy-i buy bamboo handles from a clay supplier, i'd like to learn to make my own handles but who has the time? sheila clennell has a video on making reed handles but for the price of that video i could buy handles for almost 15 teapots. maybe someday... my teapots are $65-85 depending on the size. I sometimes think those prices are too high but we all know the work that goes into teapots. my post was worded poorly, i have no problem with people who have to price their work that high, i just would prefer to get my pots made quickly and get them sold so i can make more, just a personal choice.

andrew-we have this awesome kaolin here called #6 tile kaolin from georgia which does some really fantastic things. i use this slip almost exclusively. they are tankards, pretty good size, the yunomi hold almost 12 oz. so the tankards would be at least twice that. making things the same just takes practice. those yunomi and tankards aren't purposely thrown the same, i have a shape in mind and i know how far i can stretch the clay so they all end up similar, if you look closely you can see that there is some variation in size and shape, i only use a pointer when i'm making dinnerware.

the kiln is a mixture of ifb's and "heavies." the floor, firebox, arch, and walls directly above the firebox are "heavies" backed by ifb's(the arch will be backed with fiber). the rest of the walls are ifb and will be coated with an alumina wash. i want to be able to fire quickly(personal choice) but i also want a slow cool and some durability. this gives the best of both i think. my last kiln fired in 9 hours and took 36 hours to cool. this should be in that ballpark.

Anonymous said...

have you ever tried throwing hollow knobs? sometimes it works better for making a more concise shape...check out willaim baker, he makes great thrown knobs on his lidded jars...

potterboy said...

Thx. Do you mix anything with the kaolin? A mix of kaolin and ball clay? Or some nepheline syanite perhaps? I want to play around with this kind of thing. The colours you get are fab. I hope some of the tankards make it onto your etsy site :)

brandon phillips said...

this particular kaolin(tile 6) does well on its own with some bentonite. i don't use it that way but there are some who do. my mix is basically 80% kaolin, 15% feldspar(neph syn.) and some other junk. another slip i use is 80/20 kaolin/neph syn. the kaolins in the states are pretty dirty as far as kaolins go which helps contribute to the color/blushing. i know that many english potters use ball clays in their slips to impart some dirtiness(iron, titania, etc.) because you guys tend to have "cleaner" kaolins. thats just what i've heard of course. phil rogers salt glazing book would be useful to you because he deals with materials available in the uk. slips that do well in the salt kiln generally will do well in the wood kiln. i salt my kiln a bit to assist the flashing because i have such a short firing time. my old kiln used about 4 pounds. i like flash not orange peel. clay body makes a huge difference as well. my clay body is half fireclay with 15%kaolin, 15% ball clay, 10% feldspar and i can't remember the rest though i'm sure its not that important. its pretty much a "dirty" clay but NOT iron bearing. i find that iron bearing clays tend to make slips lean towards brown(bleh!)

i have five shows this spring so i'm not sure what, if anything, will end up on etsy. but i'll post pics of everything after its fired and if you want something just let me know and i'd be happy to send it to you.