Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday night blogging!

I will preface by informing my blog reading public that my frequency of blogging may fluctuate and trickle over the next few months. I'll do my best to keep everyone informed of the goings on here but serious content will probably be lacking(if it ever existed in the first place.) My PBPRRSEC ratings(Pilcher Blog Post Relevance Rating System for the Elevation of Ceramics) is gonna tank. I'm teaching 3 courses, getting ready for ACC along with committing myself to another very time consuming activity that I'll possibly tell you about later.

I cleaned my studio this morning as it had gotten to be a bit of dump. I've just finished a work cycle that spanned a month and produced about 300 pots. My shoulder is back to near perfect shape so I busted out some platters. Three fifteen pounders and three twenty-five pounders. I haven't thrown 25 pounds of clay in a long time, like riding a bike.

Here is a stack of dinner plates with some new deco. Here is my source of inspiration, and a nifty resource to look at as well.

I've decided to include more clay and glaze stuff in my courses. We do quite a bit of glaze chemistry already, starting in second semester they do basic testing and by the time they're done with ceramics 4 they can understand and modify unity formulas. We've not done too much with clay though. On the first day of class I was discussing with my 3 & 4 students what clay they were going to use. 3 out of 4 of them said they would just use the same old stuff they'd been using since ceramics 1. That sounds like complacency and taking the easy way out, we can't have that. We're going to take all of our clays individually and make test bars and fire them in the bisque, redux, salt and wood kilns. After these results come back we'll do...something, I haven't decided yet. The end result is hopefully they will begin to understand what they want in a clay body. We're also going to test some individual glaze materials to see what they do on their own. Then maybe they can stop asking me if they f4 feldspar is the same as custer, not all feldspars are created equal.

I take my shelves up to the school to grind and wash them, I'm sure that seems weird but believe it or not it's just easier. Stack them up and drive sloooow. I also stack my bisqueware in the back of my truck to transport home.

That's all for now, cheers!


Mr. Young said...

I know the feeling of having a "full plate". The high school classes with all their paperwork and drama, and the workshops for an "Engaging Youth" program on Saturdays, makes me busy enough to keep me from the wheel. I am determined to regulate my "off" time more efficiently this semester so as to have more "clay" time, and a couple days a week of some painting time.

Tracey Broome said...

I hope those students appreciate the effort you put in to planning your courses! When I was teaching kids it seemed like I was spending every day planning more and more for them to learn and experience. I haven't taught in a couple of years and I just had the mom of my very first clay student contact me to see if her daughter could take a private class with me. There is a pay off for putting in the time some days! document the ACC show, will be interesting.

cindy shake said...

How are you going to have time to build Tracey's Studio?! hehe ;o)

MattyT said...

thanks for the link it's a cool websight

Ron said...

Nice platters. I've got to make some this week, don't know if I'll attempt any 25 pounders. Whew, you're the Man! Maybe if I get some nice soft clay. Dig those dinner plates. I'm gonna have to save up and get some deco'd Brandonware.