Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sloshing Glaze

Sometimes, it's good to slosh glaze.

Here's a stoneware bowl, reduction fired, that I made during a class.

I was in the class because at the time I didn't have my home studio set up then.

Thankfully, the instructor excused me from most of the participation and just let me work.

Using glazes I was totally unfamiliar with and had no clue how they would turn out, I decided to do the "Ink Blot" approach and put a base glaze on, then slosh a contrasting one over the top, rotating the bowl to make it run in interesting patterns.

I think the purple glaze was called "Fish Guts" or something.

Not for the faint of heart.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Big X

This is a test of two contrasting glazes.

The base is a Chico Glaze's Copper Blue. The big X is Eggplant.

The plate is fairly large; about 16 inches in diameter.

I love doing this kind of glazing--you just take a big breath, and DO it. No going back.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Free and Loose - Sauce Bottle Up Close

Bottles like this have a long history.

Ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern ones with an oval body and two spouts have been found in archaeological digs and are displayed in museums all over the world.

Many were designed to hang from a saddle (or maybe from a wall inside a dwelling).

Sometimes it's nice to just make something that is purely spontaneous.

This little sauce bottle was done after I had made some very precise, controlled ones.

It may seem a strange way to work, but I start these bottles from the bottom up--Using a slab and a needle tool I cut out oval base. No pattern, just making it by eye.

The shape will change slightly with construction anyway, so there isn't a need to be precise.
The body was cut out the same way after I merrily stamped the heck out of it.

I rolled the body clay into my hands, shaped it around the base, then sealed the seam with a rolled a clay worm. Then I whacked the bottom/side seam with a paddle to merge them and make sure it won't leak.

The upper part was brought up and the two sides were left open so I could attach the spouts. If needed, I cut a rough opening for their positioning. The spouts were hand formed, the seams joined and smoothed by hand, but no effort was made to conceal the seams. The spouts are and secured and smoothed into the body of the form on the inside.

I overlapped the front seam making it's rough shape obvious. The top was joined, trimmed and a fat tapered-ended roll of clay makes the finishing seal at the top.

Even though the sauce bottle looks freely formed, all the lips of the spouts, inside seams and closures are well-smoothed. I don't want any food to remain on the inside since these are cleaned by rinsing them out with very hot water.

Height: 6 inches

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shelter Boxes

You can help.

This world wide organization supplies boxes custom-loaded for whatever kind of emergency help is needed.

And the people of Japan need all the help they can get.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

True Beauty

Went to a flea market a couple of days ago and came home with this.

It's on the column over the fireplace.


Saturday, March 5, 2011


Sorry for the non-posting.

I'm off chasing ancestors.

I've discovered a colonial seagoing-merchantman and am busy tracing his unfortunately short voyage through life.

If you've ever done any of this kind of research, it can be intense and all-consuming. Every clue and trail must be searched out and well noted and, of course, each door opened reveals yet another one.

So the sails will be hanging in the sail loft for a little while. Bear with me......