test tiles

One of the things you do working in clay, is test tiles
to see how your surface, and clay body will react to decoration...
(glaze, underglaze, and coloured slip) 
before you glaze the pieces you've been working hard on.

Below are today's test tiles - to see how I'll glaze my yeti's.
they are numbered on the back, 
but here are my notes & unfired matching visual.

# 1 (botton right)
leather hard terracotta with white & black slip applied by paintbrush on top of 'fur' scratches 

# 2 (bottom left)
wet terracotta black and white underglaze by brush, 'fur' marks on top of underglaze.

(top left)
leather hard terracotta with 'fur' scratches  underglaze white and underglaze black applied by brush in top.

(top right)
Wet clay. Bump away from me: left side scratched then underglaze. Right side underglaze then scratched.  Mahogany brown underglaze.

2013-05-06 13.27.25.jpg

tying it togther

This class, I decided to tie it all together
& I started making a larger yeti,
using the pinch pot technique
and I'm going to make a rose for him to hold too.

I'm now at 4 mini yetis...
but think eventually there needs to be an odd number.

my roses came out the kiln too.

2013-04-29 09.42.13.jpg
2013-04-29 16.53.02.jpg


I really had no love for my two vessels...
and created a third to take another crack at.
I felt my 'stripes' were a way of avoiding the surface issue
and really, if I'm here to do what I'm not used to
I should embrace the challenge.

I took a 3 leafed shamrock I'd found outside the studio
and used it as a random and repeating pattern
I let my carving marks show, and I went for it.
and wow, #3 - is awful! 
When the instructor left for the day,
I started my own project... I made a yeti.

I have a thing for yeti's - 
anyway, i like him so much, when it was time to go 
I brought him home with to finish.

2013-04-23 16.48.34.jpg

oh dear, what am I doing...

2013-04-08 16.21.08.jpg
2013-04-08 16.21.01.jpg

Today we started carving our forms.

& I'm not much in love with the surface design I went with.
I probably should have come to class more prepared...
I just couldn't bring myself to do anything more organic than free form stripes.

I think I should have made less marks on the vertical form
and I dont know, just not done the horizontal stripes.
The funny thing is everyone in the class really likes the horizontal bands.  

I was still working on my forms when some students from another class showed up
and started working on their stuff.
I was actually embarrassed with my work in front of me
though no one here seems to be judging or have an ego about their work 
which is lovely.

One woman had this phenomenal camel  just come out of the kiln
and it got me thinking about what i could make that would inspire me more.
(the only vases I have came with flowers other people sent me
apart from a set of 3 I made years ago
with left over clay from something or other).

I think its time to play more... 

2013-04-08 16.21.35.jpg

class number two

We are working today on creating vessels that will perhaps hold our clay flowers.

2013-04-01 12.55.57.jpg

The vessels are intended to be carved,
they are about 3/4" thick, pinch pots.
Formed in 2 halves and put together.

You can take the girl away from slipcasting
but I like multiples.  So I've made a pair.
one short and stout & one long(er) and lean.

These puppies weight a ton btw... carving them should be a mini arm workout.

2013-03-25 11.07.35.jpg

I also bought a cookie cutter set that will help with my flowers
(I always did like my tools)
and made a few more of those.

well here goes nuthin'

Its been over 10 years since I've had my hands in clay
and first day of class, I'm excited & a little nervous.

I've purposely take a class that is the antithesis of my training...
a low fire, hand-building class with a focus on surface & decoration.
(I'm a slipcasting, porcelain & stoneware, high fire girl).
My idea of surface design was to use matt white glaze,
or perhaps - cobalt blue.  

We started making flowers out of clay...
gulp, sooo not my thing.
but actually kind of a fun technique to play with.
here's day one's work: 

2013-04-01 10.31.18.jpg