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Monday, August 31, 2009

2nd and 3rd Firings

After my first pots came out of the kiln without exploding or falling to pieces I set out to throw some more interesting shapes and started to search for a style which I and those arond me liked. The pics below are the fruits of these next two firings. They were completed just after the first pots and into the new year.
These cups and the ones in the picture below were a topsyturvy collection of various sizes to test my throwing technique. I threw around fifty in total some of which were repeat thrown (Repeat throwing is where you try to throw all the objects the same height and width. You do this by setting up a pointer to one side of the wheel head and open and raise the clay until it reaches this point).
You can see that I tried out a couple of glazes on the cups: the brown is a clear glaze with iron oxide added to the base glaze and the turquoise green was made by adding copper to a white base glaze.
The picture above is a selection of jam jars in two sizes. The smaller is a standard jam jar size around five inches; and the larger is what I call a pickle jar, a couple of inches taller and wider than the small jars. They are only glazed inside and at the top using a white glaze with iron oxide added to give a slightly honeyed finish. I like the look of these with the plain unglazed clay showing.
The picture above is a pint mug I made for myself, with a bird face modelled onto it. It is a usefull mug which I like to use.
The bowls above I made for my little sister, who wanted a large bowl to hold crisps and tortillas and some small ones for dips. They were glazed with the the honeyed glaze inside and a clear copper green outside. The copper looked good, more by luck than judgement, as it becomes greener the thicker the glaze is applied. You can see the thick almost irridescent green runs on the big bowl quite clearly.
The vase above was made for a friend of my next door neighbours. It was not very well thrown and I wasn't very happy with it but the top and bottom glazing, leaving the bare clay between worked well. The little bowl was a test to see how a white slip with a clear glaze would look. I was very pleased with the result.
The ginger jar above is one of my best results so far. It is a good size, at around ten inches, and the clear copper glaze looks really nice.
The open vase shown above was another test. I left the outside unglazed and just applied a white slip band. It led to the large vase below.
This was the best result from my first three firings. I applied the white slip to the body of the vase and then scratched through the slip to the clay below to make the pattern you can see. The spirals are based on patterns used on neolithic pottery. The vase itself is a bit on the heavy side, but it was the biggest thing I had thrown at the time so I was still chuffed with the result.
As you can see from the picture above I liked the result that I got from the big vase and started using it on other pots. These cups were made in the same way; by brushing white slip onto the outside and scratching through to apply the pattern and the text. A clear glaze is then applied. This is the style which I have stuck with since. It is very simple, but works really well. It also means I can make a range of wares and know that they will all match even if I swap the way I use the slip and glaze. In my next post I will show the results of my latest firing, where I tried a range of shapes and finishes.

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