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Thanksgiving 2014 – Long time no blog – catching up!

Been a long time between posts!   I’ll try not to do that again.

Was basically out of commission for  almost 2 years due to house fun, but I’ve been back working in the studio for several months now.

Big changes lately:

  • Acquired a new wheel – an electric Brent C.  My first electric – I’ve always used kickwheels in the past.  It’s a very different feel throwing under power.
  • Branched out a bit – took a class last fall in doing precious metal clay pieces.  This wonderful material starts out looking like clay and works like clay, but it is basically an organic clay-like binder with metal particles embedded in it.  You work it like regular clay, and then fire it to remove the binder.   Depending on the metal, you may have to fire it again and sinter the metal to join all the particles together, or some can be fired once to do both the binder burnoff and sintering.   It really produces some nice detailed pieces – I’ve been doing a number of pendants and some earrings.
  • I also got a slab roller (a small one) – this is going to be handy to do hand-built works like my hexagonal bowls and some other fun things I have planned.   Now all I have to do is make the time to get out into the garage and make them!

Here’s some pictures of recent work – I’ll try to put up a more detailed album shortly ..

First, two shots of the last batch of pendants I made – using PMC Sterling and PMC3 mixed to make .960 silver.  They’re reversable, so have two patterns on them.  I’ve also put the three surviving copper pendants in the pictures – click through for the full size.

Pendants - Front .960 and copper pendants







Now for a couple of yarn bowls – one in firebrick red and one in fog.  The lighting isn’t optimal, so the fog looks yellower than it really is – it’s more of a cream color.

Firebrick Yarn Bowl Fog Yarn Bowl







And a batch of cups I’ve made lately.  The interiors are all Fog, with about a 1/2 inch of fog on the outside, then firebrick red, textured turquoise and rutile blue respectively:

Firebrick Red Cup Firebrick Red Cup Rutile Blue Cup Rutile Blue Cup

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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.

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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.