Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who says test tiles have to be flat?

I have come to a decision on my test tiles--shot glasses! Well, not exactly shot glasses. I'm not going to trim them like I would if I were selling them. I balled up around 50, 1/2 lb. balls to make these guys, and I got half of them done tonight. I didn't get started until 7:30 and only worked until about 9. Not too bad--I had fun seeing how fast I was going--a little less than 2 min. per.

I really suck at throwing off the hump. I tried throwing little cylinders without bottoms, but they were turning out really bad, so I made these guys. I'm going to carve in them like I do my bigger cups to get an idea of how glazes will break over the texture.

I've got to fire a bisque soon--the whole bottom shelf is greenware, and I've got a good amount more stashed around the studio. It's still super humid outside, so most of it is not bone dry yet.

My wheel is in terrible shape already--why do I even bother. I wish that I could just roll it outside and hose it off, but I'm pretty sure the motor wouldn't appreciate it. Same goes for the floor. I can't wait to build a real studio--one with a drain in the middle. I'm working in my seriously small one car garage, and part of it is dedicated to the water heater and a shelf unit filled with random crap. What would a garage be without some random crap?

Exciting news! Carolina has it's first game of the season tomorrow night, and for those in the Southeast, it will be televised at 8 on ESPN. We are playing NC State.

Hope everyone's week is going well! Post again soon!


  1. wow that new font on the black background is really a strain on the eyes.

  2. Hi Ben-those are some pretty nice looking test cups. I really like the way you have the flat and curvy together on your pots.

    I think your post font is fine to read-but maybe you changed it back and I'm not seeing the font in question.

  3. Ben - GO GAMECOCKS. My dad & most of his family went to Carolina; my aunt taught there & I had an uncle play football there. I hated Clemson before I knew what football was -lol. Me - I'm a GA fan. Okay - on to pots -- your test cups look fabulous. I think I get more info using small cups as opposed to test tiles. Let me know what you think. I made myself learn to throw off the hump & now that's how I make lids & spouts & stoppers. It wasn't pretty for a while though.
    Everything in my studio is still wet as well and I'm running out of space. I hope to be able to finish up some stuff today. The sun is supposed to shine!

  4. Does the background color really make it hard to read? I don't mind changing it if it's a problem.

    Thanks Deborah!

    Judy--I know exactly what you mean about hating Clemson! My dad is a Carolina alumni, so I came by it honest. My mother's entire side of the family are Clemson fans though! Sure made Thanksgiving interesting ;) You're right--I should keep practicing throwing off the hump.

    Hope the sun brings you some drier pots!

  5. shot glasses for test tiles? You must have tailgating on your mind... Go Gamecocks! BTW - I want the bowl in the post beneath this one, and more wine goblets, a big bowl and a big platter while you're at it
    your favorite sister

  6. Hey Ben - With those shot glasses, you're all set for a pretty rockin' party.

    Ready for some more fun?

    Well, you've been "tagged!"

    Yep, sorry to do this to you. I really dreaded it when I was tagged and was tempted to shine it on. However, it ended up to be kind of fun. Hope you'll play along.

    Read about it at:

  7. Good point - I have made test tiles in the past with an extruder. They're hollow, and then I can string them like huge beads and hang them up for reference.

    White text on a black background messes with my eyes too. I'm not sure why, but I see spots afterwards if I read too much.

  8. Great idea. I hate flat test tiles. I find my glazes vary dramatically if they are vertical or horizontal. And I agree that throwing off the hump is a pet peeve :)

  9. Nice work! I too have a ton of bisqued pots lying around. I recently made a bunch of test tiles. They are the 'L' shaped kind but I make them taller than most and add some grooves in the surface to test how the glaze breaks. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work!