Friday, July 31, 2009

pottery boxes

A couple months ago I took a Vince Pitelka workshop(super workshop!) that included instruction on making boxes. Here's the one I made in the workshop.

The box worked, but I wanted something more flexible, softer. I changed the lid demarcation line from straight with tabs to random curves and used glazes rather than clay dots to clarify which way the lid fit.

That still seemed stiffer than I wanted so I tried a couple boxes made from a tube on its side instead of upright, and tried feet on one of them. My intent was to use something like the same glazing technique. I'm not sure whether or not I like the feet. Perhaps I'll know after I glaze them.

Then I tried a couple jars rather than boxes, meaning something that's taller than wide.

The first one has too tall a lid and is too pointed, but I like the bottom part of it. I don't like the top part of the second one, but I like the toes sticking out on the bottom. I think I want to try a vase with this texture--but no toes.

To be continued...

Glaze tests

I guess this is something I should have done years ago, but was never sufficiently organized. I tested a dozen of my glazes at cones 4, 5, and 6 to see which worked equally well across the range and which were clearly better at one end or the other. Most were either OK across the range or better at cone 6. The exception was the pink glaze I make that's a mix of Burgundy Opulence and a cone 6 majolica. It began to fade to white where thin at cone 6. Here are some test tiles that show three of the glazes that definitely worked better at cone 6.

The glazes are from left to right: Zakin's Mouse Black, Pinnell Bronze Green, and Blue Sugar--from Clayart several years ago. Cone 4 tests are at the top and cone 6 at the bottom. Blue sugar--which really needs to be on a darker clay body--does not get its "sugar" until cone 6 and mouse black doesn't really melt until cone 6. Bronze green is decidedly smoother at cone 6. The shine on the glazes doesn't show in the images, but mouse black is glossy with surface texture and bronze green is more of a satin that truly glossy.

The mouse black differs from the original published recipe, which called for Albany slip. I subbed Alberta slip and then added enough gherstly borate so that it would melt at cone 6.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

calendars with pictures

This is the second year I've printed out my own monthly calendars with my own photos. I've also made calendars for my grandson with photos of him and the family. Here are a couple examples of some of the months.

These are made using I print the pages on heavy matte photo paper. Here's an example from the calendar I made for my grandson.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Couple of orchids

Just got back from the Ann Arbor art fair. Always interesting even if I don't buy much. Met a woman who makes felted bowls similar to mine. Lots of glazes that look much the same, shiny, lots of colors smeared together in some random fashion.

In between, my sister and I visited two orchid growers, Taylors and LittleFrog Farm. I picked up this paph at Taylor's and Roman Holiday--a nodosa chocolate drop cross at Little Frog Farm.

Then when I went to feed and water my orchids I found Jiminy Cricket blooming outside and brought it in.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Orchid seedlings July 6

I still don't think they've grown much. But they're certainly still alive and healthy. I think a few of the individual seedlings may have grown. I think there are several now that have more than the first set of leaves.