Friday, April 2, 2010

More wet accomplishments

We're in the final push to make wet things before the end of the semester. Technically we have about 3 weeks left to produce new things, and after that will be rounds of trimming, glazing, and firing. So I have been trying to produce like crazy.

Last week I made seven mugs. I realized how much larger things have to be in order to be usable - 12% shrinkage is a lot of shrinkage. So I had to make some pretty oversized mugs.

The challenge for last week (for me) was to create handles. Handles are really hard. These handles look good from a distance, which is a blessing for this blog, but close-up they are a mess.

This week my challenge was to make bigger things. I struggled all morning and when I finally called my teacher over it turns out I was at a bad wheel. The bat was shaking on the wheel head so it was basically impossible to center large pieces of clay. I switched wheels and it was like another world.

So today I made two large bowls (about 10-12" diameter, which means they will be 9-10" diameter when they shrink, I think), one large serving plate, one small plate (perhaps to sit one of my flower pots on), three smaller bowls and two small cups (which are upside down because they started to dry unevenly).

I also glazed some things so we'll see how that goes.

The clay was really groggy today, which means it had a lot of rocks in it. The rocks were probably pieces of bisqueware - clay that had already been fired once. It's supposed to make the clay stronger but it makes it impossible to make anything thin, and it is hard on the hands. Luckily it was the bottom of the bag so they made some new clay that was much smoother and nicer. If you click on the picture you can see some of the rocks in the clay (although some of those rocks are actually sand that someone spilled on my piece, ahhh).

Unfortunately I can't go to the studio on Monday to trim these. I might not see them again until Thursday (more like next Friday) so I'm a little worried about them drying out. I've covered them in plastic, which usually works for a while. Here's hoping...

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