5/03/2011

05-03-11 - Pots 2

Finally got some more stuff out of the kiln. Some of this is months old because the firing is very much not FIFO.

Small bowl (B-mix body, lung chuan glaze, blue celadon drips) :

I like how the lung chuan gets pale blue where it's thick; I also think the drip-on spot technique was pretty successful so I'll play with that more in the future. One bad spot where I had my finger when I dipped it, need to be more careful of that. Lung chuan looks gross on red clay bodies but looks nice on the white body.

Some more practice with bottle / bud vase shapes :

Getting better. I like the red splash, I think I did that with a spoon but I forget, that's an old one.

Cups to practice throwing off the hump :

Unfortunately these cups are all junk because I wasn't careful about the shape of the rim. To be able to drink from a cup comfortably, the rim has to be either perfectly straight up and tapered (ideally straight up on the outside and tapered on the inside), or slightly tipped outward. It's safer to always flare out a tiny bit, because when it dries or fires a straight up lip might shrink inward a bit.

Some notes to self on throwing off the hump : it's useful to at least approximately center the whole lump so it doesn't disturb your eyes as you throw ; once you center a handful, press in a dent below it to clearly define your bottom ; open and then compress the bottom well ; throw as usual but remember you can always move clay from the hump up to your piece if necessary ; to remove : find the bottom of your piece and cut in a dent where you want to cut off, either a good ways down if you want to trim, or directly under and you can avoid trimming ; use the wheel to wrap the wire and pull it through ; now dry your fingers, use first two fingers on each side in a diamond shape, make contact and then use a spin of the wheel to break it free and lift up.

Some bowls :

This is my first batch of bowls that are correctly made in the sense of being reasonably thin and round. I'm horrible at fixing a pot once it's mostly thrown, so the way I get perfectly round bowls is to start perfectly centered and to open perfectly on center. If you can do that, then you just pull up and you wind up with a round bowl. This is not what pro potters do, it takes too long, they tend to just center real approximately and open quickly, and then they can man-handle the pot or cut off a bit to get it into shape.

To open perfectly on center, don't try to plunge your fingers in right at the center, it's impossible, you will always accidentally wiggle to one side or another. Instead, open by pulling down towards yourself as you plunge, and that will be centered automatically.

The other thing of course is to start with the clay centered. I think I wrote this before but the main issue for me is using lots of water and releasing the pressure very gradually. Also I'm now using plastic bats because they have precise bolt holes, the wooden bats all wobble and it's impossible to get a perfect center that way. I've noticed that most pro potters don't use bolts like we do, they attach the bat with a disc of clay, and if you do that you don't get any wobble.

2 comments:

Thatcher Ulrich said...

What are you doing with all this pottery?

cbloom said...

Right now it's piling up on shelves. I have no idea what to do with it.

old rants