Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 17 - More broken vessels

I am working on two of these sutured pots that have been dubbed "broken vessels".  I like the name.

These pots take a long time to make since I have to throw the neck separately from the body and wait for them to set up for a while before joining them.  Next I have to cut them into quarters and carefully suture them back together.  After that they have to be bisque-fired, then glazed and re-fired.

During the cutting and reassembly stage I have to tie a piece of plastic around them to hold them together while suturing.  Each one of those "sutures" is a piece of nickel-chromium wire that I have to cut and form into a staple before inserting it into the clay.  When the pot is fired the clay shrinks around the wire and holds it firmly in place.

I have recently been challenged to make larger versions of them.  The first problem with that is that I will have to use larger gauge wire.  That creates the problem that the clay will probably crack around the larger diameter of the wire.  To remedy that I would have to wedge more grog into the clay to make larger particles to help with shrinkage around the larger wire.  One change can cause multiple changes in the process.  We'll see if I pursue it.


February 15 - Fired Empty Bowls

Here are finally some of my Empty Bowls that are glazed and fired.  I have tried making some patterns using wax resist on top of one glaze and then dipping a second glaze to achieve these variations.  My friend Kim does a lot of wax resist work and I was inspired by her work.


February 12 - More Empty Bowls

Sunday it was more empty bowls.  We still have more to go to get to our 300.


February 11 - John and Jan Myers workshop

On Saturday Kim, Becky, and I attended an all-day workshop at John and Jan Myers pottery.  It was an informative workshop and we learned lots of new processes and ideas.  We were also treated to the Myers' wonderful hospitality including a great lunch featuring delicious homemade soup.  It was a good day.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 9 - Treasures of the Earth opening

Thursday was the opening night for the Treasures of the Earth show at the Cleveland County Arts Council in Shelby.  It was quite the affair hosting many talented potters from the area.

As I mentioned previously, terra4m is honored to be displaying as a group for the first time at this show and we were all in attendance.  The show will run through March 14, 2012.  If you get a chance, check it out.


Friday, February 17, 2012

February 8 - New website

We have launched a new website for terra4m!  Please check it out if you get a chance, but remember it is a work in progress and more will be added as time permits.

It's a great place to find out about our upcoming shows and makes it easy to join our mailing list, or follow us on Twitter.


February 7 - Glazing Empty Bowls

Tuesday I started glazing my Empty Bowls.  I decided to try some wax resist work on them since I was inspired by Kim's bowls.  She does a lot more layers and colors on her bowls, but I started simply with two colors overlapping with some wax on the first layer.  I was really getting inspired and the designs were flowing freely.  I can't wait to see how they fire.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 6 - Treasures of the Earth setup

Monday we (terra4m:  Becky, Elaine, Kim, and I) went to Shelby to set up for the Treasures of the Earth show.  We were invited by our friend Corine to show as a group in the annual event.  It was the first time we have showed as a group with our work mixed together and I think our different styles compliment each other nicely.

After the setup we enjoyed a nice meal with Corine and her husband Hal.  Good food is always better with good company so the meal was excellent.

We will all come back Thursday evening for the opening.  It should be fun.

Elaine adjusting things.

Becky and Elaine arranging.

Our "main" showcase where we all took a shelf.

Hal, Corine, and Elaine.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

January 31 - More empty bowls

Tuesday it was back to throwing empty bowls.  Clayworks is committed to providing 300 bowls for the event and we just keep chugging.  I have a bunch of bowls awaiting glazing and a bunch more to make.  Several good things come out of this endeavor.  We help support the Second Harvest Food Bank, we get to refine our bowl-making skills, and we get to try out new glaze combinations.  It's a win/win/win.

I am enjoying throwing the bowls.  When I've finished, I trim the bottoms and using the existing clay, throw a foot ring which I smooth and burnish with my fingers.  I think it adds a more professional looking foot.

Bisqued bowls awaiting glaze.

Bowls I trimmed tonight.

(One dot, then two dots means 2012.)


January 30 - Kiln opening

Monday we opened the kiln and were thrilled with the results.  While we don't ever want to fire that long again, at least the outcome was worth the time.

My favorite pot.

You can see my individual pots here.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

January 28-29 L-o-o-o-o-o-n-g firing

Saturday we embarked on an extremely long firing of the gas kiln.  We started candling on Friday night, and finished the firing at 5:30 Sunday morning.  At some points we were climbing at only 28 degrees an hour.

We all worked on our own projects throughout the night, but we spent some quality time interacting and challenging ourselves to be creative.  Elaine worked on her large skull sculpture, Becky worked on her llama, Kim worked on several things, I made some more empty bowls and at 5:30 am on Sunday I was still glazing my bowls for "Bowling for Dollars" in Shelby.  We stayed busy.

I have attempted to create a timeline based on pictures and videos taken by all of us.

8:25 pm Saturday:  Becky sculpting on her llama.

10:55 pm Saturday: Kim and Elaine dancing.
(Little did they know how much longer they would be there.)

12:15 am Sunday:  Fun with skulls.

At somewhere around 2:00 am Sunday, Elaine challenged us to take turns thinking of a word and everyone making a representation of that word in clay in under a minute.  It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about each of our thought processes.

2:30 am Sunday:  Llama sculptures.

2:30 am Sunday:  lots of "minute sculptures".

4:00 am Sunday:  Kim, still wide awake.

4:00 am Sunday:  Becky still making.

4:07 am Sunday:  Becky combines all of our mini-sculptures.

4:09 am Sunday:  Checking the kiln.  Still going.

4:20 am Sunday:  My people from
"how many people can you make in two minutes?"

4:35 am Sunday:  Bigger people.

It was a long firing and we spent a lot of time together.  The fact that we were still enjoying each others company at 5:30 am says a lot about the quality of our friendship.  I hope you have the good fortune to have friends like mine in your life.

On my way home I stopped for bagels and had to wait ten minutes until 6:00 am when they opened, but I was the first customer for the first time.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 27 - Jason Burnett Reception

Friday evening was the reception for artist Jason Burnett who was leading a two day workshop on Saturday and Sunday on his screen printing and decal work.  We had a good turnout and he showed us a presentation of how he got to where he is in his art.  It's been a journey and his art is very interesting.

After the reception we (terra4m) loaded the kiln and then went to Lang Van for a late supper.

Jason Burnett in the red plaid shirt.


January 26 - Glaze-a-thon

Thursday I was frantically glazing to get ready for the gas kiln firing we were planning for Saturday.  I am trying out several different glaze combinations and techniques on some new shapes.  There are dips, pours, trails, sprays and prayers on these pots.

The fire will let me know how they work.

The kiln can be a tough room sometimes.

Several shapes and styles.

This is a new shape and a completely new glaze idea for me.


January 22 - New raku pots

We have decided that we are going to do several raku firings during our ten week class and Sunday I started making pots for some of those raku sessions.  Nothing fancy, but good for the raku process.