I've made a few teapots, which is something I do rarely. Even rarer is the fact that they're made with porcelain. Here's a preview and may be the only shot of them if the handles decide to be picky. They're sitting pretty under plastic and will be drying as slowly as I can to give them a fighting chance. Since these pics were taken I've let the handles set up a bit and then thinned them out a bit more while they're on the pots.
These will most likely also get some stains and then a clear glaze.
Today will hopefully be spent making a few more pieces, throwing some test tiles and then getting ready to fire the electric kiln by the end of next week. As always, some moving stress will be inserted throughout the day. Today's dilemma is the large Bailey gas kiln. How much will it cost to get a rigger here, crate it up and ship it freight down to Austin. Or, do I sell it up here? Then, once I figure out where my long term studio in Austin will be, build either a reduction or a soda kiln.
I'm still cruising with the porcelain and a little over a week into it I'm beginning to enjoy the stuff.
Instead of making mugs in sets of 6-8 at a time like I normally do, I decided to make them in pairs as I get used to porcelain again and try out different forms and different handles. It's been a fun exercise and has also kept things light in the studio as I'm starting to wind down life as a maker on the Cape.
I do have to say that I'm looking forward to decorating all of this pure white ware. I'm planning on mixing up a clear glaze for an electric firing and decorating most of the work with some underglazes via Silvie Granatelli's site. The recipe I've been using is for bone dry ware:
frit 3134 100
The mugs in the last image have a couple of coats of the underglaze stain on them, I used a sage green mason stain on them. This is all new to me as I experiment with some more electric firings to prepare for our move. I'm trying to turn all of my raw clay into pots so I have work finished while I figure out my studio setup down in Austin.
The move, by the way, is starting to become extremely real and nerve-racking....we are moving on August 10th. I've been busy getting estimates and figuring out what's coming, what's staying and what's going. It's all very confusing.
I've gotten through a little bit of porcelain. I was hoping to have gotten more accomplished by now but it's been a little slow going with this stuff. It almost feels like I'm working with clay...almost. I'm starting to get used to it again so hopefully by the weekend I'll have enough together to bisque and then glaze up next week. That could be another pottery pipe dream though...we'll see.
Here are some mugs...I'm trying out some new shapes.
One of those little 1 pounders got the fluting treatment. We'll see if any others get attacked by any tools tonight. Here are a couple of small vases. I'm trying to work up the nerve to throw some vertical forms with this stuff....for now it's small or bowls.
Could there be some teapots in the future. I only have one left in the gallery so I thought I would experiment with a few here. This may be all you see of them if they don't go as planned.
Well...more later. It seems like it's been a slow day in potteryblogland....maybe people are working?
I haven't seen these in ages. When we renovated our house about 4 years ago we moved into my parent's house and what didn't got to storage went with us. I just dropped the kids off for a sleepover and found these pour bottles still hanging out.
I just started making the paella for tonight. I'm using our large 18 inch paella pan which I thought made a lot...but I think these guys win that battle. Plus, it looks like the guy across the pan is multitasking while on his phone.
As part of the next version of the website, I'm going to put up a technical page with the recipes I use in my studio. The only problem is that like many other potters, this photo shows my glaze recipe filing system. It is fairly similar to my office filing system....they both need a little work.
For all of the sharing going on with potters and the intertubes, it seems hard to find reliable recipes with a quick google search. Everybody I know is always quick to share recipes when asked but not too many people have the info readily available.
Here are few potters who already have great tech pages up:
I'm going to add this to the list of things I wish I knew:
I wish I knew that I would be receiving an email with Webstore 2.01 today.
I have spent the greater part of yesterday and today uploading files, editing css and trying to figure out how it all works. Now, I get to ftp new files up to the server and figure out how to do all of that all over again. I guess this has just been a little practice run.
Perhaps, along with my future apprentice I should hire an IT guy.
I'm still trying to finish up photographing the new pots. It's taking a little longer than I expected because I'm also trying to update my site. I'm really close to getting the Webstore 2.0 up and running but if I can' get it done tonight I have a tech support call scheduled at 1pm tomorrow to get it all figured out.
In the meantime I'm busy entering all of the new pots into the system so that when the store is a go, it should be a quick upload of all the new work. I think I mentioned earlier that the new Webstore is going to have customer registration as well as wishlists. It's got a lot of other great features that I'm excited to see put into action.
As I struggle with the store I do keep thinking about how easy it was to set up my Etsy Shop. Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way? We'll see soon enough.
Here are a couple of photos of a recent dinnerware order. I'll be shooting some more images of the gas firing today and tonight and get them up to the website. In the meantime, don't forget to check out my Etsy Store for the new earthenware.
I forgot to post this picture from our Austin trip a few weeks ago.
A friend from the Skidmore ceramics studio lives in Austin and works at Blue Genie, the force behind this Jackalope. The company can make just about anything with their 3-d scanner, computer software and router which can cut anything out of foam that the computer tells it to. It was a pretty cool place for the kids....and us....to get to see.
The photo hasn't been color corrected so the celadon isn't all gray as it looks like here. I'm very happy with the firing....lot's of ideas of where to go next. Most of it has to do with porcelain and white stoneware. I guess I better clean all of the red earthenware off of the wheels and tables.
Since all of Michael's B&W pics have always looked so good I thought I would try it here. It's completely appropriate since this cup is matte white with some nice dark coffee in it.
I've finished unloading about 2/3's of the gas kiln and it looks really nice. Some really good celadons and some other good experiments. I'll take some photos tomorrow night and update the website over the weekend. I was going to try to get that done today but unfortunately it's not going to happen. So...new pots for sale on the site on Monday...I promise!
I'll try to get a few more quick pictures up to the blog today but I've got a lot to do before Bruce and I head on up to Fenway.
Here are a few samples from the electric firing. I'm pretty happy overall with it although I did want the blue to really be blue. It got a little washed out...I guess the underglaze was a little too thinned out. I may play around a little more with low fire later this spring....we'll see...
The gas kiln is still cooling and I'm hoping to be able to unload tomorrow afternoon. If it's not cool by 2 or so I'll have to wait until Saturday. I'm off to a Fenway with my friend Bruce to catch the Sox play Tampa Bay tomorrow and we're heading up to Boston a little early. It's been raining for about 2 weeks here so hopefully the weather holds out for us.
I unloaded the electric kiln a little while ago. I started making earthenware a couple of weeks ago because I had told Ale's school that I would make them something for their fundraiser auction. It's a good sized bowl and hopefully somebody wants a big bowl with little hands on it.
I'll upload a few samples of the other earthenware pots shortly.
The gas kiln is starting to glow and the burners are on high.
I had a fun little morning at Ale's pre-school glazing a big bowl. I made two large earthenware bowls and brought in some bright commercial underglazes. Each bowl now as handprints of each kid...one per classroom. Some of the handprints look like hands and others look like blobs...I tried to warn them about moving their hands once it was on the pot.
I'm glazing up the earthenware after re-sieving and using some hot water to dissolve some crystals that formed in the glaze. (Thanks Emily!) I guess that happens if you don't use a glaze for almost an entire year.
I should have the electric kiln loaded with glazed wares by dinner and then I'll have both kilns going this evening. Finally!
In addition to seeing all that's going on this weekend I've been steadily glazing and am now about halfway done loading my gas kiln. It's rare that I'm fully glazed before I start loading. This time I am except for about 4 pieces that I'm not sure I want to put in....they'll go in if I need them though.
I forgot how much easier it is to have a full choice of pots to choose from for each spot in the kiln. This kiln is getting packed nice and tightly with very little wasted space. Even though it felt like it took me forever to glaze I'm glad that I'm not looking at a shelf in the kiln and then trying to find a half dozen pieces to glaze for that specific spot....I guess I'm a slow learner. Now...perhaps I should go make those cone pads....like I said, the kiln is about halfway stacked.
They'll have a little time to dry though. Because of my schedule I can't start firing tomorrow until mid-day. Then, I'm planning on firing this kiln as quickly as possible. My body can't handle all night kiln firing like it used to. Hopefully the quick firing will yield as good results as Brandon over here.
I guess I'll be in town for the show next year. If Minnesota is too far north for you this weekend, go check out The Art of the Pot. It's going to be chock full of my future neighbors and fellow Austin potters as well as some folks from abroad....including the Artstream Nomadic Gallery.
Looks like an amazing show. If you're close or have time to make it to Philly definitely check it out. We had some of Julia's work here a few times for a group show we used to host called "At Your Service" and I wish I had grabbed more than one mug while her work was here.
Naomi...I hope it's okay that I borrowed the picture. Thanks for the info!
Obviously, my phantom apprentice didn't get the entire list accomplished. So now I'm stuck catching up this morning.
I got a few things done over the weekend but much of it involved finishing up the earthenware so the reduction kiln is still waiting patiently for attention. I'll finish loading up a bisque of earthenware today and firing it off either tonight or tomorrow. I just put handles on a few mugs late last night and I'm trying to force dry everything. I don't have a wood-stove in the studio anymore so I can't force things as Michael can.
Another hour or so of finishing up with the low-fire stuff and then it's time to clean a table and get back to glazing for the big kiln. I should be able to start loading that kiln later today...if the stars are aligned it may even get the door closed and pilots on...although that's more likely going to happen tomorrow.
It's going to be a busy few days...Can you please:
1-Wax all the pots that came out of the last bisque
2-Mix white glaze
3-Cycle another earthenware bisque
4-Scrape & wash gas kiln shelves as needed
5-Clear off the glaze table so I can glaze over the weekend
6-Once I have most work glazed we can get ready to load the gas kiln
7-Make cone pads
8-Please stop hovering as I'm loading the gas kiln...I promise I'll get your favorite pots in there
9-While I'm turning on the pilots please clean the glaze area
10-Put the clear glaze on all of the earthenware just as I showed you
11-Load the electric glaze firing....I'm not as picky here so it's all up to you
12-Turn on the electric kiln to fire overnight as the gas kiln climbs slowly
13-Start firing the gas kiln with the first turn-ups starting at 4am(don't worry. I'll do this one)
14-Don't worry...the kiln will even out
15-As you worry about the un-even kiln clean up the studio to alleviate your stress
16-Shut down the kiln when we get to 9 1/2 on the bottom....don't let the top 11 get too soft
17-Get some rest since we have to clean the gallery and fill it up with the new pots
18-Don't forget to set up the photo equipment so that we can photograph the new work
19-Grind anything that needs grinding/sand anything that needs sanding
I'm sure there's more but most importantly, I don't have an apprentice. I think that once I set up the studio in Austin I'll look for some part-time help. I'm hoping that with UT nearby someone eager will show up. I've never been too good with assistants before...I've always been a control freak but I'm ready to let go of about 15 or so of these steps.
Unfortunately, I can't let go of them yet....it's going to be a busy upcoming week for me. Now that the kids are older and have tons of weekend activities, I probably won't get a ton done this weekend....although if I had an apprentice I would probably be very productive first thing Monday morning.
Perhaps with an assistant I won't have to put my cone pads in the oven for a half hour when I realize that I'm almost done stacking the kiln and need to make them.
I'm plugging away in the studio today with some more earthenware. I only have about 50 pounds of the red dirt left so I should be finished making pots today. Perhaps I'll be able to get back to that reduction kiln-load that is 75% glazed and 0% loaded.
I'll be back on track to start loading the gas kiln over the weekend and hopefully be firing by Tuesday. I'll probably also load up an electric kiln with glazed ware as well next week so by the end of the week I should...should...have a good amount of new work up on the site.
Oh and by the way....the earthenware is probably going to be bright. I'm a little afraid and also a little excited to see how it turns out.