2012 Off to a slow start…

Been a bit busy with things other than pottery, so haven’t been making and firing much so far.  This is the first kiln load of the year. Not sure what’s up with the textured glazes this run – came out more textured than normal, but I think that they’re very interesting.

Went to the North Carolina Potters Conference earlier this month and was inspired to do some different techniques – throwing the mugs as an open cylinder and adding a slab at the bottom later, which allowed me to do some fancy feet on them – I rather like the effect.  To get the pointy feet, I carved semi-circles out of the bottom of the cylinder at three or four points and squeezed the corners together to make the point, then laid the slab over the (now curvy) bottom.

Let me know what y’all think!  (Sorry if some of them are sideways – looks like my auto-rotate function on upload isn’t working)

2011 so far

I’ve been horribly remiss in a couple of areas – (a) making things,  (b) firing things, and (c) putting up pics on the blog.

Here’s a catchup post – all the pieces I had laying around waiting to get photographed….. click through for non-square pictures (I haven’t tweaked the thumbnails yet, so everything is off center)

June Firing

Where does the time go?  At least I had enough time to get a load through the kiln before the annual gathering trip this week. (Not to mention getting the requests out of the backlog).

As always, the pieces are all dishwasher, food and microwave safe.  No experimental colors this time – just the old standbys.  Megan is even starting to like the Randys Red – it has become a really fascinating textured color, and most reliable.   I also have a few pieces in bisque that will be getting fancier glaze treatments – but that’s for another week.

For my friends in Mensa (and the few enemies…)  we’ll see you at the Annual Gathering this weekend.  Megan will bring her shawls along as well as my 7 crates of goodies.

May Day firing!

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz.  Wonder where the goodies is?  They were in the kiln….

Some pitchers, some sponge holders, some dinner ware, and a couple of miscellania…

More goodies

Been running around too much lately and not having enough time to make pottery. However, got a few pieces from recent firings to show off.

These and other pieces will be available next weekend, on May 8th, at the Clay Connection Spring Show, John Calvin Presbyterian Church, 6535 Columbia Pike, Annandale VA 22203 from 10-5. Drop by, and pick up some pottery for yourself, your mother, or someone nice! There’s going to be a lot of potters there, and you’re sure to find something that suits.

A wonderful couple of weekends…

Had a blast the weekend before last, attending Mark Peters‘ workshop at Glen Echo Pottery.  Lots of new ideas to try out, and techniques to learn.  A few of them will be showing up here on the blog this post, too.  Strange, it’s nowhere near as easy as he makes it look….

This weekend was another mostly clay weekend.  (Well, I did take some time off to take my daughter to the National Philharmonic’s All Brahms concert, and help Megan shop for tech toys).  Spent most of the weekend working in the garage, and have a nice load of pieces to show for it.  Also, got some pieces back from Glen Echo Pottery’s kiln – and they all came out gorgeous.

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe December and most of January went by so quickly!  Blizzards, operas, concerts, work… not enough clay time.

Had enough time to get the sample pack of the new Amaco Potters Choice colors, and the first half first test pieces are out of the kiln, along with some other ones…

Here’s the test pieces – I can see my problem will be picking which glazes I want to keep in stock (don’t yet have room for every glaze I like). Click through for descriptions and larger pictures.

November Firings

Been a busy weekend around here.  Been a busy month, actually – three shows down, one to go.  If you like pottery, please drop by the Lab School of Washington DC next weekend (December 5-6) for the Glen Echo Potters show & sale.  Looks like close to 70 potters participating this year, and there’s a LOT of really nice pieces out there.  I’ll be putting out the best of mine and will be there around mid day both days manning the cashier station.  There’s refreshments for all, and a lot of fun to be had.

Fired up the Raku kiln for the first time this weekend, and gave it a shot.  I think I overcooked most of the pieces – but a few came out nicely despite my abuse.  Nice metallic copper patina on them.  Will have to see what happens when I get the timing right – I suspect the glazes will be stunning.  For those of you not familiar with Raku, it’s a different technique for firing that makes decorative pieces – basically a small kiln is used to fire one or two pieces at a time in about 15 minutes and then the pots are put into a combustable (like shredded newspaper) in a sealed container and left to cool there.  The combination produces some nice colors in glazes, and unglazed areas of the pot turn black from the smoke.   Other variants use unglazed pots and you put horsehair on the hot pot to get the reduction and blackened areas, or spray a chemical on the hot pot and put in the sealed container.   Lots of fun to do – and I’m looking forward to doing more.

The other new thing this month is that I got a set of plate moulds that let me make hexagonal dishes.  It’s a lot of work to do each of them, but I think it’s worth it – I really like the shapes coming out.  Another one to play with and get the thickness and patterns right on.  I used different textures on them, and all the textures came out nicely (you can see them in the pictures of the back of the plates).

Anyhow, on to the pictures.  Click on the gallery photo for a larger view.

Slow Cooling Experiment

Following the discussions on the Clayart list about slow cooling, I decided to experiment a bit.  Made a number of mugs and then glazed them in combinations of every glaze I have.  Then changed my usual firing pattern (which was no slow cooling for loads containing Blue Rutile/Turquoise, and a slow cool of 150 degrees/hour from 1900-1400 for ones with the chambray or light stormy night glazes in) to a slow cool with a one hour hold at 1900 degrees, followed by the 150 degree per hour cooling.

The results were interesting – the blue rutile lost all the blue, but the other glazes changed subtly – a bit richer on the turquoise, the chambray came out a much nicer blue, and light stormy night came out nicer (I still need to work on application thickness for that glaze…).

Pictures below…

Second batch out of the kiln

Been a busy week. Here’s the second load, mostly in Blue Rutile. Been extruding square cups, and made a couple of French Butter Keepers. According to the webstats, about 17 people per day are looking here – welcome! Anything you want me to try?