Sunday, January 23, 2011

Still Challenges

Well. This hand-building gig is just not exactly all it's cracked up to be. You'd think a few rectangular pots would be easy. Hah. Take a look at this:

And they looked so good on Saturday! Then I took the plastic off so they could finish drying and you see the result. The smaller pots are all OK, but I guess these cracked because the bases took longer to dry (and shrink) than the sides.

Live and learn, and learn.... and learn.

If I continue to learn from my mistakes, I'm going to be awfully smart some day.

The other thing we've been working on is testing some glazes to dip the bonsai pots in. So far I have one black glaze (the three on the lower left in the picture) that works quite well for bonsai pots. And there is a lot of it, so I have enough to dip the pots. The little textured tile next to it is an old glaze which always works well on texture so I know I can mix up a batch of that. The tile on the extreme bottom left is the black glaze with the brown one on top. A nice oil-spot if you can see it. Above these are 4 tiles of Ron Roy's 'Slate Blue' from his book Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. It looks nice on the buff stoneware I use, but of course none of the bonsai pots are in that clay.... on the white clays it looks a bit drear.

The blue ones above that are Ron Roy's 'Stormy Blue', which is always nice.

The top row is the 'Waterfall Brown' from the book. I don't know if you can see it here, but it is very nice on texture. Definitely worth mixing a large batch and trying it on those bonsai pots that have some texture. Not too much fun on plain vertical sides, but it'll make nice edges.

And the butter dishes? Well, if someone would explain to me how come, when we made a prototype which worked perfectly and then made six 'real' ones in exactly the same way, the 'real' ones are too small for the butter, I'd be grateful.


  1. Hi Lis; Nice work, I saw your blog on clayart and had a look since I am new to blogging myself. I do a lot of hand building myself,one thing you might do is flip the pots when they are leather hard so the bottoms are up, keep the plastic on a littl longer. One thing I saw on Bonnie Staffels 'Throwing with slabs and coils' is that she coats platter rims with liquid wax to slow their drying, it burns off in the bisque so depends on your decoration techniques. As for the butter dishes, I don't know, thinner clay? did you slip cast? Oh weill always something new to learn. Cheers Birgit

  2. Thanks for the suggestions, Birgit. I'm doing the slower drying idea, we'll see.