Monday, 22 December 2008

Pottery books

Our local library is very small and has very restricted opening hours. It doesn't have even one pottery book on it's shelves. However, it offers a brilliant service in that for £3 it will get any book you may want. They are quite used to getting pottery books for me. This latest book was specially bought for me to borrow by Hampshire. When it came the local librarian seemed very dissappointed and was quick to inform me that she could send it back as it didn't have any colour pictures.
When she flicked through the pages I could hardly get it off her quick enough when I saw these illustrations.
These illustrations are facinating as you get to see exactly what the pot is 'doing'. How thick the walls are, where the walls change direction, how the foot is constructed. Wonderful!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Decorating in more ways than one

These are a few pots in the studio today. The jug is one I made when demonstrating to my students and so I have used it to test my green glaze. It is now almost as I want it. It looks deeper if I use the green slip underneath. Will try that next before I go ahead with a batch of pots.
Today I have been back to decorating pots. Michele over at NOLA Potter asked me what tools I used so here they are. I used to use an ordinary pencil and still do for some lines but it gets tedious sharpening it all the time. So now I use a propelling pencil as I get through the leads quite quickly. I also use a nail set in a piece of dowelling and a hair grip for wider lines. The hair dryer is vital as it's important not to touch the surface of the pot when there are loose bits of clay on the surface so I just blow them off with the hair dryer. ( If you saw my hair you would see a hair dryer couldn't possibly help it!)
I have been doing some decorating in our lounge. Not my favourite occupation but when I took the old fireplace out it became apparent that I would need to decorate the whole room!! The wood burning stove is now installed and fully functioning.

Friday, 12 December 2008

I usually try to get a good opaque layer of slip onto my pots to provide a 'canvas' on which to decorate. It can also get the best colour response with the oxides. However, I had an order for a butter dish so I made two. Normally the things we keep at home are the pots that perhaps aren't perfect. But I liked this butter dish so much I've kept it. The slip is quite thin in places so the colours are very soft and faded looking. I've made a batch of seven or eight as a result but they are all under plactic and newspaper for the week-end.

When I went outside this morning I thought that the boys had been playing with my plant stakes. But no this was not the handiwork of boys but the spiders aided and abetted by the frost.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Cluttered studio

My studio is getting a bit cluttered at the moment. I usually like to keep it fairly organised. There is work at different stages all over the place. The bowl with the oak leaf came out of the kiln today. I am just working on this shape and design as it's a lot less labour intensive then other work I produce. I set my students the task of making four matching soup bowls so it made me think about making some myself. We are going to get together for a meal using them as soon as everyone has completed the task.

This fish bowl also came out of the kiln today. I have been really enjoying working on these as I am able to use a whole range of decorating techniques on each one. Apart from the sgraffito I have used wax and latex resist and some sponging. Each bowl takes a whole day to decorate so I may be getting too carried away with the process-it certainly is very absorbing.