My latest obsession is butter…making containers for butter, that is. I went to a workshop at NCECA in Kansas City and saw a demonstration on stretching a thrown disk into an oval that looked like it would be fun/easy to do. Ha! Fun, definitely, but the challenge has been getting that circle into an even oval that is the appropriate length for a stick of butter. Since clay shrinks significantly and the walls of the cover also take up space, this is requiring major mathematics on my part! (Did you know a stick of butter is 5″ x 1″?) But butter dish #1 was successful. Butter dish number 2 was made in a different way, opening the clay lump into a small ring and also a larger hump in the middle to form the lid walls. When soft leather hard both the little ring and the wall ring are stretched to an oval or rectangle. The ring is attached to a slab to make the dish bottom. Another slab is shaped and attached to the lid walls to make the cover. Dish # 2 also fits the butter. Dishes #3 and 4 are ready for the bisque but I am afraid #3 will require some trimming of the butter stick to fit. I think #3 will end up being the one I keep for me to use!
I should take some pictures of the process…although that’s a bit tricky when I’m covered with clay!
My new mint glaze is doing some wonderful things over my brown clay, especially where I layer it over some iron oxide stain. The bakers come out satiny smooth inside, but on the outside I sometimes get some glossier areas…love it!
ClaySpace sponsored a 3-piece place setting contest for its members and students last week and I was thrilled to win First Place! The design challenge is adapting a theme to 3 completely different forms. I bumped out the plate rim to accommodate the elephant motif rather than make a row of little elephants…elephants aren’t little animals and I thought it would look silly! Since the elephant areas are not glazed, only finished with red iron oxide, I didn’t want to put elephants in the center of the plate. Surprisingly, food looks wonderful on black…it makes the colors of the food pop!
I’m taking a class with Mary Kay Botkins on soft folded slab work and loving it! While I’ve done some things before..like my “bathtub” pots..I’m learning lots of new stuff. Here are some pictures of works in progress. I especially like the basket with the soft folded handle. I can picture a row of little cacti planted in the long oval one. I call the one with the handles sticking up my Dilbert pot because it reminds me of the pointy haired boss! Now to figure out good glazes…
Just delivered 1000 pounds of stoneware clay to my basement. Now I’m ready for 2015 to start. I’ve used over 1000 pounds of brown so far this year and 200 of Bmix (white). No wonder my back hurts! I felt sorry for the delivery guy hauling it all down the stairs, but I’m no longer able to carry those 50 pound boxes. But one of the best things about being an artist is that you never have to retire until you want to…..and who would ever want to?!
I spent 2 days cleaning up the basement…the pots were absolutely everywhere! I thought I had it all back under control when yesterday I realized I only have 2 bags of clay left. Now I need to make room for 1000 lbs. of clay! However, this time I am going to break down and pay to have it delivered instead of schlepping (sp.?) it all myself. I need to save the back for making stuff!
I didn’t make any pots this past week because by dear grandson was visiting. He is 5 1/2 years old today and goes to a Canadian school in Brazil so he loves finding maple leaves. We picked 2 especially nice ones that he rolled into the clay and carefully cut around. (Grandma was proud) Then we carefully laid them each in a cereal bowl to dry. He did a wonderful job glazing them but Grandma forgot to take a picture and now he has gone back home to Brazil! He also made a little sculpture of his dad’s head, complete with an arm and finger picking his nose! That was REALLY something to see!