Thursday, August 20, 2009

A real pottery Update!

Kind of. It'll be brief, but it actually involves pottery, and making pots, and being in the studio, etc. With minimal music. Although, that s aid, I once more must praise the merits of KBCO 97.3 as a radio station. Here's the set that was on the radio when I first got into the studio:

1. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
2. "How Many More Years" by B.B. King
3. "Man on the Moon" by R.E.M.

Amazing diversity, all good music. But I don't know if I would ever think to play B.B. King right after Soundgarden. It's this kind of diverse juxtaposing that makes me love KBCO, and not tire of it.

Anyhow, I went to the studio last night. And did some throwing. Even though I really need to do some glazing. Here's a couple piles of bisque that's waiting to be glazed. And this represents about a sixth of the bisque that's waiting on me.

There you have it - some pots that I should have been glazing, but I didn't. So I threw some bowls. Here's all but one (you can see the shadow of bowl #10 in the bottom right of the photo. I did something different in that I threw most of these little guys from a hump.

Throwing from a hump, you say? That's the process by which you center a large amount of clay, but rather than throwing a single piece, you throw several (or many) smaller pieces using only the top portion of the clay. When you're done with one piece, you cut it off the hump and set it aside, re-center the top portion of the clay, and begin throwing again.

There are several advantages to hump throwing, primarily in speed and efficiency: less wedging, kneading, and centering to get the same number of bowls; less clay lost in each stage of the process; fewer bats used throwing. Of course, it also means that you have to be able to handle the bowls you throw to get them off the hump - if you're not careful, you can easily end up with a dozen warped bowls. Anyway, I threw five of the small bowls off of the hump, and then the big bowl was the bottom portion. Because I got tired of little bowls. And that's what I did last night.

Also, I wanted to share some detail shots of the new pots posted earlier this week. I keep referencing the Turkish Amber glaze, and how much I appreciate what it does on the inside of bowls, but haven't ever really captured that in a photo. So here's a few pieces that have TA on the inside.

It really is primarily a brown/caramel colored glaze, like what you see on the rim there, but in the proper light, the streaking blues, greens, and purples on the inside are just beautiful. So, in certain lighting, and from certain angles, even that really rich blue in the bowl above looks a rich caramel brown. Until you tilt it and get the blue streaks.

I'm not sure why this one has all the blue spots in the streaking, but they're not just fingerprint smudges. All these pots have been scrubbed with soap and warm water. But you can really get a sense here for the streaks through the brown - below as well.

The marbling in the bottom of this one was intentional. Each glaze has a different chemical make-up, which means they react differently in firing, and interact differently as well. Even two glazes that have the same firing range have different temperatures at which, for lack of better term, they melt, or solidify in the cooling off. Using glazes together that "melt"/"congeal" at different ranges can result in interesting results. At least, that's my theory on how it works.

It could also have something to do with the crystalline structure of certain glazes not bonding with others, so rather than getting a simple blended color in the bottom of this bowl, there's a more distinct marbling where the green glaze maintained its structure and the brown filled in around it. Hmm. I'm actually thinking that might be the better answer. Although I know the melting has something to do with it too, from past experience... Hmm... suddenly I have more questions than answers...

And here's a close up of the big vase, just because it's pretty. That's it's for now, except for one more piece of music, because it's kind of been my thing lately. Mute Math is a band that I've actually only been listening to for a couple of years but I think their music is fascinating - musically unique, lyrically poignant, and their videos are always solidly entertaining. Their latest album, Armistice, was released this week, and I'm pretty excited to get ahold of that one. Have I mentioned I'm excited for this fall's music?

Here's the video for their new single "Spotlight," followed by a video from their last album for the song "Typical."

Links to the videos: "Spotlight" & "Typical"

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