Tuesday, 23 June 2009

A Couple of Jugs

Still plodding on.

Saturday, 13 June 2009


Had a small stack more back from the kiln at Stroud... some nice coffee cups and saucers and a couple of small milk jugs the best of the bunch. Must take some photos.

Made a stack of mugs yesterday, and handled them today - they were already verging on the too dry. I'm sure there isn't a magic answer to 'when handle' but I imagine it's just a case of slogging on and learning the hard way.

Watched that Isaac Button video throwing the cider jar again. That's almost superhuman. Centered in 5 seconds... 25lbs? 30lbs? About a third of the way through I think.

(part 2 of 4)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

First Fired Pieces

These are all early pieces - the turnaround at the college kiln is awfully slow. They have trouble filling it.

A couple of bowls unglazed to see what's what. Slip was about 5-10% yellow ochre added to the same claybody. It was left over from matching a medieval limewash in my previous incarnation. Interestingly (and vaguely revoltingly), it came out purple! Manganese perhaps? It's fun using natural earths!

Three horrid jugs. I think the glaze was gibson's clear over the same ochre slip.

The very first things I made, I think. (I went all wabi-sabi due to lack of any skill whatsoever.) I was going to smash them, but Kate persuaded me to use them as tests for painting with oxides. I quite like them - nice for espresso.

Virgin firing: everyone goes through it once, and forgive me, but I couldn't help but be excited.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Been a Bit Slack

Not much been going on recently - not having a kiln, and having to wait months on end to see the results of my random slipping and oxides and so on, I've been doing more squashing than keeping. A couple of photographs updating the previous pots:

The apple trees are red-iron for the branches, copper, and something called elder green for the leaves and apples. I assume oxidation is called for on the firing unless I want to end up with green trunks and red leaves...

The handle decoration was done with a broken square section clout nail. Not sure... seems Indian in style...

Ah - must get some sort of kiln sorted, even if tiny for experiments.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Running Out of Clay

I've got where I've got to by going through only 100kg of stoneware to date. Money, etc. It's annoying! I want two tonnes by the morning please! It's frustrating.

Inspiration exhalation

Busy day. Made a 12lb flagon bottle cider jar thing this morning. Felt like trying a big lump of clay. Not sure why, but it always feels one learns more with the bigger lumps. Didn't go too well, but came home this evening, had a look at it and had a moment of inspiration (the word of course derived from the gods breathing into you) so kissed the top and exhaled into the pot. Whether it was the pint of beer I'd had earlier that made it shudder and rise on tiptoe in high dudgeon, or if it was just pleased to see me, I do not know, but it worked! The shoulders were a tad slumpy before, but they've perked up nicely. I shall of course name this technique "giving the pot a blowjob". (Have just googled, and there seems to be a grand tradition of doing this). http://www.montefin.com/pottery/info/montefins-pottery-glossary.html#b Then spent a couple of delightful hours this afternoon reclaiming slaked throwback. Pressing it through a sieve with my thumb (middle boy had put a trowel of potting compost into the clay bucket the wee bastard!) was rather tedious. There must be an easier way.

Put a sprig around the rather pathetic rim of the 7lb jug I made yesterday and handled it. Also tried rolling it forward on the front edge after reading about medieval jugs and the way some of their bases were designed for ease of pouring without lifting. Think I'll try painting a couple of apple trees on it.

Little 2lb jar with first attempt at sgraffito. This one is too damn light. I nearly smash it on the ceiling when I pick it up. There is throwing thin, and then there is unpleasant. I love the way one pushes the boundaries - higher, thinner - and then learns when to draw back again. Wrong both ways.

Anyway, I'm an ignoramus - as this post probably shows. But I'm enjoying learning in my ignorant little bubble at the moment. I'm probably trying things I shouldn't be contemplating at the moment, but by heck it's fun.


Hi, I'm David, and started throwing in March - the bug has bit! Started this blog for the gentle pastime of making pots. Any advice gratefully received!


Two pots - the decorated one I chose the old Adam and Eve theme with the snake - I think it should be a winejug called The Temptation Jug.

The other one I made this morning, from the same amount of clay as the other, leaps and bounds, leaps and bounds. Didn't go as well as I hoped. But still, the girth and height increases. I did hear some good feedback from the college lecturers when K took some of mine in for firing. Something like "that's degree standard" etc cough cough cough. Blushes.

Personally I think that says more about that college than it does about my cack-handed three-months-in throwing abilities. I'm a great critic. My bete noir and one of my most useful attributes!