Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Today I have been slipping pots and decorating. There seem to be pots everywhere and at every stage. This is quite good as the slip can be drying on one batch of pots whilst I am doing sgraffito on another batch. When the weather is as cold and damp as it currently is it takes two days to get slip on both the inside and outside of the jugs. The pot above is the 'naked' pot before it's coating of slip.

Before I draw onto the pots with sgraffito I mark out where the insects are going as errors can't be rectified. I really enjoy painting on the pots with food dye. I don't know why it gives me so much pleasure! But once the position of things is marked on I can do the sgraffito and then paint in the oxides. I do all the above to the accompaniment of the laptop. You can get any number of things to listen to now!

Monday, 24 January 2011

the jugs squence

This jug is currently on ebay. These jugs were made in the Sunderland Pottery and feature many of the elements I like working with. They often had script and decorative motifs.

I thought I would record the stages of making a jug with a slabbed spout. These are based on 19th century industrial shapes like the one at the top.
I'm afraid this may be a bit boring but obviously I start with kneading , wedging and weighing the clay.
Then on to throwing. I've got some paper templates for the spout.

The spout is marked out before I cut out the shape. At this stage I had to take a break yesterday to do some glazing before the studio became grid locked. So I got a glaze firing on to create enough space to slip these jugs and some mugs.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

It's been a busy week so not much time for blogging. I haven't made any jugs like the one at the top for a while so I decided to make a new batch. I think I threw 10 which are all now slipped and ready for decorating next week.
I had forgotten how much extra work is involved in adding the slabbed spout. I use a paper template for the spout but it's much slower than just pulling a pouring lip. I am looking forward to decorating them next week.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Back in the Studio

I made another trip to the V and A last week. I had been hoping to do some drawing there but it was very cold. Even the people working in the galleries had hats, coats and gloves on. I find that little shard of sgraffito ware with the ladies head fascinating. It has confident fluid lines I can just imagine the potter sitting drawing through the slip.
The peacock below is also wonderful he fills the bowl perfectly.

On Wednesday the boys returned to school and so I'm back at work again. There were pots waiting to be glazed so I got them into the kiln. It was quite nice to start with work coming out of the kiln today as all ready there is work at almost every stage.
The two jugs below are from the clay excavated at the clay pit in Kent. I slatted the clay down and sieved it to remove the lumps of lime. It's a lot of work to then knead it all up. It is good to throw but it isn't compatible with my glaze. So far the glaze has splintered off the edges. So with these jugs I've used a commercial glaze. The good news is that clay, slip and glaze all look good. Though the clay burns through quite a lot. However, I've had this glaze in the back of a cupboard for years and the bad news is that the manufacturers don't make it any more.
I've got ideas for modifying my glaze but the problem only shows up on the curves like handles so it's quite a slow process to keep testing.