Friday, July 25, 2008

A Semi-Productive Day

It was pouring this morning but it's beautiful outside right now.  I had planned on playing a little tennis this morning....yet another studio delay tactic of mine.  However, with the rain I really had no excuse.  Brian didn't ask to shoot more images and I had broken down the photo equipment yesterday.  So, as soon as Evangelina got the kids out the door and off to camp I went right into the studio and started work.  Well, I started cleaning and scraping off my bats that were still caked in earthenware.  Then I started working.

A couple of weeks ago a woman came into the shop asking if I would make her an urn for her mother's ashes.  It is not something that I have done very often but it is always humbling when someone asks.  I'm not sure that humbling is the right word.  I think every functional potter wants their pots to be admired and used when they leave our studios.  Knowing that my "jar" is going to be doing more than sitting on a kitchen counter holding flour or sugar is an honor.  I guess it is too easy to sound trite when writing about this but it is nice that someone thinks of your work for something this important.  So, that's what I started working on this morning.  We had discussed a general idea of shape and glaze so I made a few so we have some options after the firing.  

I also made a few of the wobbly vases in white stoneware that I had done in my last earthenware firing.  It will be nice to see if the -cliche warning- "freshness" that these forms had in the earthenware will work in high-fire.

I also made one good sized bowl.  It's probably about 12-14 pounds of clay.  I've never been good at utilizing the clay well when making this forms.  I always feel like I waste a ton of clay.  I may try Emily's "quarter trick" next time and see how that works.  
I'll work with the white stoneware again tomorrow but then I'll probably switch to some of my regular stoneware.  The regular stuff was a little stiff last throwing session so yesterday I poked a ton of broomstick holes in the clay, poured some water down and closed each bag up.  I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be able to wedge some of that up into some softer, more workable clay.  I'd like to make some big platters with the stoneware if I can get it soft enough.  Even throwing mugs and small bowls with the clay last time was a chore it was so stiff.   

When I get to Austin I'm going to dedicate some studio space and outdoor space to clay prep so that I can start mixing my own clay again.  I haven't since college and I've always missed the ability to control that aspect of the process.  I may use the blunger and drying racks method down there.  We'll see what kind of space I end up with.

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