White and Red

So, yesterday I thought I’d try some marbled pieces.  I haven’t tried it before (it generally doesn’t interest me a whole lot) but I saw some really nice work online and decided it was time to give it a try.

Marbling is where you take to different colors of clay and pile them on top of each other.  When you throw the clay on the wheel, the colors start to mix and swirl and you get some really interesting patterns.

This piece I actually faceted which created the circular patterns.  It was interesting to try but harder to create.  The white clay is very fine and doesn’t have any stability, which makes it hard to throw.  Trimming was a little different too as the two clays dry out different and react differently to the trimming tools.  The result was that the pieces weren’t as smooth as I normally make them.

I think I will probably try it again at some point, but I think I’ll work on some other things first.  It was a lot of fun and a good way to fill a snowy day!

Lidded Jars

I spent the afternoon working on some lidded jars.  I’m quite happy with how they turned out as I haven’t made many jars.  I’ve already have a few ideas for the next set of jars I make.

I prefer making lidded jars with the gallery in the bottom than with the gallery in the lid.  I like the style a lot and I feel there is quite a bit of experimenting I can do with their shape.  One downside is that I have to plan on making a lidded jar from the get go – I can’t make a nice bowl or vase and decide to make a lid for it.  It seems to work fine for me, though.

It takes some time to make since you have to throw the tops and bottoms, and then trim the tops and bottoms once they are dry enough.  I’m very happy with how they turned out and am excited to get them glazed and be able to hold them once they’re done.

Work Time!

I had a little bit of spare time today so I worked in the studio a bit throwing some recycled clay on the wheel.  I made pieces using large hunks of clay – 4 to 8 pounds – and came out with some nice larger pieces.  I don’t have a lot of large pieces on hand at the moment so this was good practice for making more.

I like working with the recycled clay as it is a lot more responsive.  It can sometimes be a bit too wet, and doesn’t have the strength to throw larger pieces, but this batch had a good moisture content and I was able to throw easily.

I can tell February is going to be a good month for working in the studio, which is good because I go back to work at the beginning of March and will probably work six days a week for 3 months.  Very little pottery time will be had.  So I have to make the most of it now!

when you get some time…

I am finally stringing together a few days to work in the studio.  I’ve spent the past few days making some new pieces and recycling clay.  I spent some time make some bowls to facet and flute to play around with some of their effects.  I’ve found I need to work on the thickness of the bowls for faceting – I was not making them thick enough and sliced right through the side of the bowl.  But the fluting worked out very nice, and I played around with some other effects too.

I’m still working on finding ‘my style’ of pottery, but I can tell I am getting close.  I still need to spend a lot more time altering my pieces, but until I have more time I can devote to the studio (at least an hour or two for a few days in a row) it will be hard to work on altering.

The class I am teaching in Stewartville is in the art room using their wheels and kiln.  They have five standing treadle wheels – a very odd wheel to use, especially when you are accustomed to using a sitting electric wheel.  I like the treadle wheels very much, but wish they were seated wheels instead.  I’m keeping an eye out for a nice kick or treadle wheel to add to my arsenal of wheels – they help me slow down and focus on the shape of the pieces I am throwing.

New Classes

So, this is last minute but I have a couple spots open in two classes I am putting together.  The first is in Stewartville through Stewartville Community Education and is occuring at the Stewartville High School.  The classes are on Thursdays and start Feb 10 and go through Mar 10.  The class meets from 6-8:30 PM. This is a beginner class open to everyone.  Cost is $105.

I am also having a class on Saturdays from 10-12:30 at my studio in Wykoff.  Class start Feb 12 and go through Mar 12.  This class is geared towards people who have already taken a class but is also open to beginners.  Cost is $130 plus a firing/glaze fee of $3 per piece.

If you’re interested in either class let me know right away so I can pencil you in.  Not many spaces left so hurry!