Adriana Christianson from the Mud Colony Blog has a weekly link up of ceramic posts on her website.
I thought that It would be nice to do a weekly what has, or hasn’t been happening in my studio and link these posts up with the Mud Colony Blog.
When I decided to get serious about clay in 2006, I knew deep in my heart that I was a thrower, in fact I knew that I had been born to throw. In my first year of study, I spent hours and hours on the wheel and with each pot that I cut in half and threw into my recycle bucket, my conviction dimmed.
It took me three years of serious effort on the wheel to finally realise that I don’t actually like throwing all that much. I don’t like the time it takes to get set up, I don’t like sitting still and I really don’t like coming back to the work and turning yesterdays pots.
I was taught by Dawn Oakford a slip casting maestro with a love of colour who fires in oxidation and Ben Richardson a woodfiring, production potter with a passion for digging his own clay and glaze materials.
Both of my teachers influences are strongly evident in my work and I have learned to balance my love of delicate slip cast pieces with my need to create rustic earthy slab formed platters.
For first time visitors there is a bit more about me on my ceramic gallery page.
So this week in the studio I have been distracted by crows (or Forest Ravens for the pedants) I have been trying to photograph the Ravens without much success as they are sneaky buggers, who well remember that one time, 20 odd years ago when I blasted a few shots into the air to scare them away from my day old chickens. The Ravens have the most gorgeous blue eyes but this is as close as I am able to get to them. So Far.
Also I have been nagging (I asked him twice) The Spouse the cut off the tops of some tree stumps in my new orchard so I can plonk some sculptures onto the stumps.
I opened the kiln recently and was shocked by how very, very, very blue some of my work was. As I was staring blankly at the blueness of some pieces, I had a terrible thought. I thought, “Kimmy you added 5.0 g of Cobalt Oxide to 1 kilo of dry weight instead of .05 g didn’t you?”
Oh dear, oh deary dear. A quick check of my glazing notes confirmed my suspicion, that I had indeed made such a mistake. I have no idea where my head was that day but it certainly wasn’t where it was supposed to be.
And just for a bit of reality in the studio. I have been asked to make some slipcast cups for a friend. It has been a bit chilly down here in Tassie. So chilly in fact that I have been loathe to stick my hands into a bucket full of cold, cold clay.This is the chaos of my slipcasting area as it looked this morning. I will be cleaning this space up today in preparation for destroying it all over again with a quick burst of slipcasting. Or I might be chasing Ravens.
Blue Mistake glaze
Potash Feldspar 60. Whiting 20. Silica 10. Kaolin 10. ( I added 5% Cobalt Oxide) instead of .05%
The glaze on the Dragon Eggs is VSAG (Vitreous Slip as Glaze) one of Ben Richardson’s recipes
Nepheline Syenite 35. Silica 20. Kaolin 25. Dolomite 20 for the black colour I added Red iron oxide 5% Cobalt Oxide 2% Manganese dioxide 2%
I didn’t have any Dolomite so I substituted Talc 10 and Whiting 10. The glaze was almost the same as the original VSAG glaze that I have been used to but it is a touch shinier and inclined to run a bit if thick
For the red flash on the dragon eggs I added 2 level teaspoons of fire engine red stain to one cup of VSAG base Glaze.
Iron Wash on Barnacle Bowl
Red Iron Oxide 60. Rutile 20. Nepheline Syenite 20.