Thursday, February 26, 2009

Covered Jars

These are my new favorite things! I have always wanted to make a dropped lid (not sure if that's the correct term), but had never made the time to experiment. Trimming was always the part that befuddled me, but a while back fetishghost posted his technique on throwing and trimming lids and it made everything so clear! By the way, it worked really, really well!! I didn't throw the off the hump because I always screw stuff up when moving it. (I need one of those big flat saws like in the video--follow the link to fetishghost)

I made three this size--about 2 lbs of clay, three more out of about 1-1/4 lbs. of clay and two large ones with about 3-1/2 lbs. The first set is the only one that I've finished. I've still got to add handles and throw the lids for the others.

Well, I've run out of things to say! Till next time!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A decision made

I just finished reading Brandon's blog and I have come to an important decision--I'm going to build a wood kiln. I don't know when, where, or how I'm going to pay for it, but it will happen. I had always thought that when I got the chance to build a kiln, it would be a natural gas or propane fired soda kiln. After assisting Keith in firing his wood/soda kiln, I now have this craving for more. There is just something about firing with wood--I can't describe it--you get so involved in the entire process. From cutting the wood, wadding pots, loading, stoking, and all the rest--it's just so gratifying.

So, now what to do? I want to start stockpiling bricks--used bricks. I have just one problem: I have no idea where to find any. If anyone out there has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I don't mind going out a ways to pick them up. I know that used bricks are super hard to come by, and there is no way in the world I can afford to buy new bricks--have you seen the prices on those things lately??

I actually got half of my studio cleaned today--and I mean cleaned! I pulled stuff out and mopped under it and everything. I cleaned my wheel, all my tools, and even all of my bats! Now, I just have the other half to do! It started getting cold and I got hungry for dinner :) There's always tomorrow, right?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

With Handles

Since I have yet to do anything productive all week, I thought I would post a couple pics of the large pot with the handles I stuck on. I think that it adds a lot to the form, and I really like the actual handle. I particularly like the ridge in the middle.

It's kinda sad, but the biggest reason I haven't gotten anything done this week is because my studio is completely trashed and I'm too lazy to clean it. I have a ton of pictures taken and ready to list a bunch more stuff on Etsy, but there again, I don't feel like listing. One of those weeks I guess. So anyway, nothing much else going on--hopefully tomorrow I can clean up and throw a few pots!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Large Pot

I have been struggling to throw some larger pots--in sections. It took four tries before I had something that I felt ok about saving. I started trying three sections and found out that I should crawl before I walk. Being so incredibly impatient doesn't help much either. I have found that I need a larger torch! First, I tried to add the second section too early and had problems with it holding up. Then, I made the second section too heavy, and the bottom bulged out. The third try I continued to mess with the piece until I destroyed it when it was ok to start with. Finally, on the fourth piece, I got something that I felt I could save. I'm not totally happy with this piece--the overall form is pretty weak, and I can get a much more fluid piece when I throw it all at one time.

I think that I have gotten off to a decent start, and want to keep making large work. But, when I think about how many pieces I could have thrown screwing around with this big fella, it's hard to justify. Plus, I don't think big work will sell particularly well in the current economic climate. Anyway, I'll definitely revisit this--my goal is to throw a piece that fills my kiln!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Fancy Smancy Spray Setup

(extravagant, huh?)

A while back, I was asked about my spray setup, so I decided to take a couple of pics today after I sprayed five big bowls. It consists of a stool, turntable, HVLP spray gun and that's about it. I was in a real rush today because rain seemed to be coming, so I started with a dust mask on, but it blew into my eyes about half way through, so it went away. I was spraying with the wind (we are having like 25 mph. gusts), so I figured I was ok.

I really love this spray gun. It came from one of my favorite places, Harbor Freight Tools. It is the perfect size for my needs--5.3 oz. It was actually like twice as expensive as the 20 oz., but it was worth it. It has a built in regulator that allows me to keep the pressure way up on the compressor so it doesn't cycle on and off as much.

One day, I'll make a real spray booth, but for now, this actually works pretty well. I would love to be able to catch the excess glaze and make a super combo glaze, and I'm sure it's not good for the environment, but I have no room or money. Story of my life, eh? ;)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Big Jar

I am really diggin' these new big jars, and I really like this last one. I think that the shape is the most successful, and much more elegant than the previous ones. They are evolving from jars into more of a vase form, but that's ok with me. This one was a little over 13" high when I threw it. I need a bigger scale--mine maxes out at 7 lbs. so I'm estimating this one at somewhere between 8-10 lbs.

I've been trying to focus on details a little more, so when I trimmed the bottom, I made it bevel up a bit to raise it off of the table--I also mimicked the split rim on the foot as well. By the way, trimming a 13" tall piece with a fragile split rim is rather difficult. I put it on my foam bat and supported it with my left hand at the base while I trimmed with my right. I was surprised that it actually worked better to trim fairly fast--but you have to be super careful not to gouge, because the piece will rock back and forth very easily. Very light pressure and a sharp trimming tool worked pretty well.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wood Firing

Just got back this afternoon from Keith's and I had a great time firing my first wood kiln. I've gotta say, wood firing is a ton of work!! It sure is a good thing that it's basically free to fire! It really is a lot of fun though, and I still want to build my own one day, but it's nice to know what I'm getting into now.

I got up there at about 9 am yesterday morning, and Keith had only been firing for about an hour, and we finished up at a little before 7 last night. Everything went really well, except for the soda. We just could not get the sprayer to work. Keith had planned on putting a soda mix on the boards added to the fire box and sprayed straight into the kiln, but we only ended up getting the soda on the boards. Lisa and Alex LaPella also came by to help with the firing, and it is a good thing they did. They
kept the kiln at temp while Keith and I were screwing around with the sprayer--and it just made it easier to fire and a whole lot more fun! I think we all had a really fantastic time!! I think Keith might post a full report on the firing over at his blog in the next few days, so I'll just post some pics and a video of the happenings. He said that he'll have a live video on his website of him opening the kiln Wednesday morning.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New Jars

large jar

Here's the photos of the new jars. I don't really know what they are for except standing there looking pretty :) They could hold stuff, but unfortunately, they probably never will. But, that's ok cause they were lots of fun to make. The small narrow one is about 3 pounds, the middle size is about 5-1/2 and I didn't measure the big boy, but he is at least 9 or 10. They are all on 12" bats--I'm too lazy to walk back out and measure :)

I really like the combination of the split rim and the clover top. They are really experimental, and I'm not super fond of the narrow shaped one--I like these to be a little bulky. I don't even want to think about glazing yet--I don't see it being easy. I would love to have enough reason/space/money to make huge batches of glaze so I could just dip everything. I still haven't dragged out all of my spray stuff yet. I have a bunch of big bowls waiting to be bisqued and then I'm going to have a day of spraying. You will all really laugh at my sophisticated spray setup! I'll definitely post pictures of that!!





Just posting to say that it is incredibly cold (for here anyways!) I am so done with winter!! It is making me grouchy.

It is supposed to be nice this weekend though, and I get to go up to Keith's to help fire his new wood kiln on Sunday!! I'm super excited! I'm also going to stop by highwater on the way home--I guess I'll finally get some cobalt. I'm so cheap--I hate spending so much on such a small amount of chemical!! But, everybody want's something blue! And I need to brighten up my work anyways.

I started experimenting with some new large uncovered jars last night. I should be posting pictures of them, but I didn't finish throwing until almost 10, so I just went to bed instead. I'll get some pics up once I put handles on them.