Thursday, June 12, 2008

This last week has been a week off of ceramics for me. I'm not sure if it was the frustration over the earthenware plates (only 5 survived-- I was having major cracking issues) or whether my energy travels in three week bursts but whatever it is I started making again today. Now I have six plates and I'm left waiting for the leatherhard stage to begin my decorating. In a few minutes I will be off to my teacher Erin Furimsky's house to help her out in the studio for a bit and I'm going to attempt to transport about 9 of the plates I've made. This will be a bit nerve racking since I have never transported anything in the greenware stage before so keep your fingers crossed that they will all survive.

Also, at last, here are a few pictures of my earthenware plates that somehow turned out a bit rougher than I was hoping for. I think a good next time thought would be that maybe I need to layer more colored slips (so the entire surface except for the carved areas is covered!).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

So here's a few new pictures of the plates I'll keep working on all summer. These are new because they have slip on them that is carved through. I like these a bit better than the ones I've been working on. The design is more easily seen and I like the green of the slip (at least how I imagine it will look when they are done). This is our classroom cone10 slip with leaf green mason stain added to it. It turns out quite a bit more green than the pastel green shown here but nothing as dark as a hunter green. Finally, you can see the designs clearly that I was trying to show you on the other plates.
As far as glazing these goes, I don't think I would do much more than just put something clear (or a light celadon) on them. What you can't see as clearly in these pictures still is the lines of underglaze inlayed into the stripes without slip. Once they are glazed those will pop more as well.
Part of the reason that I went back to slip as a method of showing the pattern is that I'm still uncertain what sort of stain or oxide I want to put on the others so that they show their designs once they are finished.

Also, just so you don't think I forgot about my earthenware set, these are them still in progress. I have feet on two of them currently and I have these 5 that are drying a bit more before the foot can be added. Once that is done and they dry a bit more, I will slip them and then inlay underglaze, more slip and then they will be ready to show you all as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

So after two weeks of making plates, I need to do something else so today I went to the school studio and snatched some earthenware clay and a bit of slip to play around with for awhile. I like the idea of carving through to reveal the clay below which will also help me with my problem of getting my designs to show up on the fired work as more than just something subtle to notice when you're holding it close. Doing this, I am worried I may be venturing into the territory that Ayumi Horie made popular, the white slip with things carved into it. I don't like doing things that others are doing so if I feel like it's going too close into this realm, I may do something else instead.

I am excited with working with the darker clay body. That will be nice. I found this recipe somewhere online that I modified a bit to get my own cone10 dark stoneware at the beginning of last semester so I may start using that once school starts. I suppose I am jumping around a lot but this is the time to do that, right? And this way I will be used to jumping around but still keeping my work somewhat cohesive so that once I'm out of school, I will be able to be more flexible about what temp I'm firing to which will help me find somewhere to work easier (and make it a bit easier to set up a home studio as well)!

Spring is such an inspiring time to be an artist! On my walk to work this morning, I was thoroughly enjoying drinking in the smell of the air which was perfumed with sweet smelling flowers (maybe the lilac bush behind our carport). I'm thinking that some time this summer I should visit the botanical gardens in Chicago again. Justin (my hubby) has never been and I haven't been for a long time. I just think looking at and taking pictures of the plants and flowers could influence my work right now.

On that note, here's some amazing flowers for your viewing pleasure: