Thursday, April 26, 2012

Specialized Lids - Tea Balls

Some tea drinkers like to steep loose tea leaves in the little metal tea balls attached by a chain to a hook. Here's a couple of lids designed with an inside loop that will take a tea ball hook.

When I sell these teapots, I always include the teaball. They are inexpensive and can be bought in bulk from suppliers.

Another thing a potter can do that commercial tea pot manufacturers don't do is make a matching tea bag saucer to go with the pot. It's just a nice touch. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lids and More Lids

When I make something like a covered jar or teapot, I always make two lids at least. Usually in two different styles.
Sometimes a pot can be spoiled by a lid failure--it warps, the glaze doesn't work, the lid gets dropped, etc.

By making two lids in the first place, there is always got another one to fall back on.

So, after a while, I have a lot of different kinds of lids. And most of them are just about the same sizes too.

I tend to make 3 to 4 inch openings on teapots. So after looking at the lids today, I am thinking if I made uniform openings, I would have a lot more interchangeable lids.

Take the the short teapot in the picture, for instance.  This time I made only one lid. And I wasn't all that happy with it.

While checking out my lid stash, I found one I like a lot better. It's a little loose, so I'm thinking when the pot is glazed and fired, the alternate lid should fit well. I'll have to fire it on a stilt since it has glaze already.

The glaze is an iron glaze. I had planned to make this pot totally black.

But, I like the lid so much, I think I'll tweek the whole glaze plan and lay down some subtle layers of iron first, then glaze with black. I'll put another layer of black glaze on the lid.

It should be interesting....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why is it? (Fits and Starts)

Why is it that at some times, you can waltz out to your studio, wire off an 8 lb. chunk of clay, sit down and throw a 14 inch platter with no trouble at all?

And other times, you can't get anything to work.

Or worse yet, can't think of anything you want to make.

Or you can look at a piece of greenware and see several versions of glaze application and yet, at other times, you let the piece sit on the shelf gathering dust and can't think of a single way to decorate it?

Lately, I've been zipping off platters like there's no tomorrow and last night, just before going to sleep, I came up with several variations for underglaze.