Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's been going on

Lidded casserole...I like it!

It seems like there is just never enough time to get everything done. I haven't made anything new since my trip, but I have to admit, the break has been nice. I am ready to get back into the studio and start a new making cycle--I have lots left unchecked on my make list. I've spent the past few days cleaning up the studio. It was a complete disaster! I can now see the floor for the first time in quite a while. I also purged my shelves of all of my old work--a couple hundred pots met their early demise by way of hammer! I had a ton of work that was bisqued and never glazed that I got rid of. It was all work that wasn't my best and didn't represent where I'm going, so I thought--'Why is this old crap taking up valuable shelf space?' Out came the hammer, and now I have room! It is wonderful! Shelves just waiting to be filled with new work!

I know the debate over wasted energy and resources, and I do feel bad when I think of how much clay and energy I wasted destroying bisqued and glazed pots, but I just couldn't feel comfortable selling, or even giving away that work. I am really bad about looking at past work and wondering what in the world I was thinking when I made it. I guess I need to get better at glazing pots more quickly, before I get the chance to find that I don't like them any more ;)

How do you all feel about trashing unwanted work?

I also tried my first toner decal firing last night, and it was a total flop. Fortunately, I used pots that I was planning on trashing anyway, because they all met Mr. Hammer in the end. I think that I may have bought the wrong decal paper because it didn't burn off! I fired to cone 05 for Pete's sake! I thought it was clear decal paper, but when I applied it, it was white. I thought oh well, it'll burn off. Wrong! I have no idea how it was still there at almost 1900 degrees, but it was! I know most decal firing is like cone 018, so how come my paper was still there? I have also heard of firing back to cone 6, but I didn't want my glazes to get another melt. They did anyways and all of my mattes looked like poo. They became super matte and felt like sandpaper. The gloss glazed pots looked ok, but decal paper was still there. The only good news was that the toner didn't burn off either, so I can keep experimenting! Any input on what the heck might have happened and why my paper was still there?


  1. Hey, I am hoping to learn from you and Cynthia on decals. Did you soak the decal in water and then slip it onto the piece - I think I read that somewhere. Beautiful casserole.

  2. Gorgeous casserole, Ben!

    I have 2 huge boxes of pottery waiting for the hammer right now.

    I'm going to use the shards to line the bottom of planters. Deb Babcock lists shards on Etsy - she ships in flat rate box.

    Where did you get the decal paper? I do wish you had shown us a photo of the disastrous decal firing - it's a good learning opportunity. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Thanks for the compliments on the casserole!

    Linda--Yes, the decals were water transfer.

    Cynthia--I got the decals from feebay. I have now bared all on my decals!! hehe.