Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oven Baker

I'm working on this porcelain oval oven baker. I had to bring this home from the Rec Center so that I could watch it because everything was made at different times and I'm not too sure how well it will dry......The rim was thrown on the wheel first. Just the bottom....and allowed to sit under plastic for a few days to firm up. Then I threw a round bottom, let it firm up a bit and lifted the rim from the drying batt, scored the bottom and shaped an oval form. I trimmed the bottom with a needle tool into the oval shape, rolled worms and placed them in the inner join of the rim and bottom and super-slowly rotated the wheel while running my finger at the join to firm it up. I didn't cut the bottom off the bat, but brought it home so that I could watch it as it firmed up.

(I also cut out a newspaper template in an oval form to check the trueness of the shape and tweaked the base and rim to correct it slightly.)

After a couple of days, I made the handles and after scoring everything, attached them to the rim. These are made by cutting a paper pattern and hand-forming the handles. It's a shape I developed a few years ago and it is hollow. After the clay got a little firmer, I use a needle tool to stick them several times on the underside to allow air inside the form.

The next morning, both handles had developed cracks between the curly edges and the bulbus part. I've never used paperclay before, but mixed up a batch and repaired the cracks. Then I carefully inverted the baker onto the batt so that it rested on the handles and wrapped it up again. ("Gluing without pressure is a waste of time." I could hear my father saying.) The repair worked! Or at least the cracks disappeared.

As in everything clay, the proof will be in the baking. This piece will be ready for the kiln next week, I hope.

Unfortunately, I did not make two.

1 comment:

chaetoons said...

Your handles are an inspiration!
Thought of you around midnight last night when i was trying to figure out what to do with a large container!