Saturday, August 01, 2009

Works In Progress...

I spent another lovely day at the studio today. For something that I'm not particularly good at, it's amazing how much enjoyment I get from it. I spent time on the wheel, and yet more time dabbling in the glazes.

My plans to leave work yesterday at 4:00 to go play were foiled. (Again. You'd think I'd learn.) My friend P called me on her way home from the studio to tell me that my little fuschia vase was the talk of the evening - it came through the bisque firing very well and I'm appparently rather lucky that it was still there today. (I try not to be too bitter that her job is such that she can leave at 4:00. *mutter*) All that's left is the clear glaze. I applied it today, but I plan to fuss with it some more, so it's sitting on my shelf drying.

After I threw it on the wheel and trimmed it, I let it dry to the hard leather stage and then carved the design into the side. Then I let it dry completely and applied the underglaze. Most of the colors, I mixed myself since the ones we have weren't quite what I was after. After it dried completely, I touched up a few places and put it in for the bisque fire.

The last thing that I spent this much time on went boom in the kiln, so I decided to get pictures now, just in case. So, this is what it looked like this morning:

This is what it looks like now:

And this is the picture in the book that I copied:

Another work in progress - my little squirrel. I didn't do anything with him today so he's still sitting on the shelf waiting. Maybe Monday... Anyway, this is his current state:

And the pictures that I used:

I actually got one mug glazed and ready to go. I think it'll turn out pretty cool. When it was greenware, I stamped flowers and butterflies on it with black underglaze and painted the handle with rose underglaze then I fired it. Today, I put more rose on the handle then painted the whole thing with transparent yellow glaze. It's sitting on the shelf waiting for the next glaze firing.

I fooled around some more with my very first mug too. I had underglazed it with a dark blue then glazed it in clear and I wasn't thrilled with the way it turned out. The blue got darker so it's almost black and it's not as smooth and glossy as I'd like either. You can reglaze, so the other day I painted it with Elmer's white glue to help the glaze stick. Today, I dipped it in light blue shino. It's sitting on my shelf waiting for Monday while it dries. Touchups may be necessary.

My time on the wheel was mostly well spent - one little pot was actually centered! And even! Not lopsided! Even a little! This is very unusual for me. It's still on the bat since I didn't have enough time to trim anything today. So, the first step is a ball of clay. This is the second:

I'm counting my chickens before they hatch on this one, 'cause I still have to remove it from the bat and trim it before I can play with the decoration but I can already see it finished in my head so I hope I don't screw it up. I like its shape. I was going for mixing bowl shaped and changed my mind mid-stream. Unexpectedly, it didn't collapse.

P makes darling little tiny bowls, and I keep trying to do them too. Mine don't work out nearly as well. The one I attempted today may end up as a stemless wine glass for our Fridays in the studio, depending. Or I may scrap it. It depends on how well the trimming goes. It's funny to me now - four months ago, in the midst of my class, anything I managed to not destroy on the wheel got fired and now I think I reject more than I keep... I know I can do better, and they aren't good enough to save. They told me I'd get there, I just didn't believe them. Maybe someday, I'll manage lids...

And to keep me from getting too cocky, one thing just a total failure on the wheel. I had a horrible time getting it centered and then I clipped an edge and that was pretty much that. Aw well, I dumped it into the bag of clay to try again later. Maybe next time, it'll be more cooperative.

While there was another auction today, and we had every intention of going, we ate first. We ran past the grocery to forage and then took our finds to her house to eat. She got suchi, I got a rotissary chicken and potato salad. We made it to her couch, and fizzled so instead of the auction, we watched "Mamma Mia!" It was goofy but cute. I'm going to have Abba stuck in my head for the next week.

So, so far, my weekend is going very well. Hope yours is too!


threecollie said...

You do wonderful work...I would love to see more pictures...

Floridacracker said...

Great work!