Friday, February 19, 2010

Bowls Bowls Bowls!

Needing a break from my pitifully-paying day job, I decided to take a couple days off to spend in my "Studio". I also needed a break from making piggy banks and mugs, since the last batch didn't turn out exactly like I had planned. I decided to go back to my most favorite thing to make - Serving Bowls.

Approximately 60 pounds of clay and an entire day in the trailer later, I made 9 large Serving Bowls- 10-15 inches in diameter each, and a Vegetable Steamer and lid. St. Tutilo was definitely with me, because I only had 2 casualties. One because I pushed the limit of the lip edge further than the clay wanted to go, and one because I was paying far too much attention to Harry Potter (I know, the Potter was Potting while watching Potter.... sad day in word play) and not nearly enough attention to how thin I was trimming. Unfortunately, the one I lost to trimming (which I haven't done since my 1st year learning!) was the lid to my Vegetable Steamer. So I'll have to make another one later and hope it fits.

On an even better note, I finally used up the last of the horrible pugged clay! And not too terribly many hunks of mystery objects were to be found! It truly was a good two days.

As of right now, the bowls are sitting in my parent's guest room drying. Hopefully they'll be dried out completely so I am able to bisque fire tomorrow.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Underachiever

I feel like I've been the Ceramic Underachiever of the Century the past month or two.

Perhaps I've been a little discouraged due to the lousy weather (my temporary studio is my dad's motorcycle trailer with a space heater...), lack of time away from my other job, my bad attitude having negative effects on the cooperation of my clay, the fact that everything I've managed to actually make lately I look at and it's ugly to me... and of course, my horribly awful pugged clay.

Let me expand. This clay I've been trying to use the last of is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E. I'm even inclined to say it's rounding up on evil. It has so much ---- crud in it, for lack of a better word, that it's barely even usable. Sponges, wood chunks, plaster chunks, tool tips, rocks, a piece of a pencil, and what resembled a part of a shoe lace.... is driving me mad!!

Perhaps it's my fault for being lazy and cheap and deciding to use a local art classes pug mill to mix my used clay, since I don't have my own mill. On top of that, because I'm a nice person, I decided to pug all of their clay along with mine (they offered me 2 free bags of pugged clay in addition to mine, and really, who can say no to free clay?). So I can't complain too much I suppose. I just need to get through the last of this clay... only 70 pounds to go.......... Good thing I requested two days off this week to get some thrown. Maybe I'll be able to convince myself of what everyone else is telling me, that they are beautiful.

But enough about negativity.

The tiny bit of work I've actually managed to do the last few weeks has actually been going relatively well. It's a little harder when your clay and wedging table are in the garage- your wheel is in the trailer, my drying shelves are in my mom's guest bedroom (it's too cold in the trailer and everything freezes, thank you Utah winters...) Glaze is back in the garage and everything has to be transported between these areas multiple times before I can fire.

Luckily though, my parents are a huge support. Dad put together all of my spreadsheets and graphs I need to ensure my firings are on schedule, and my finances are in line. He also strung me a new outlet so my kiln no longer sits in the back yard (however, the dog's did enjoy basking in it's warm glow) and is now located in the garage as well, and he supervises my kiln firings when I'm stuck at work. Mom bundles up in her winter coat and sits in the trailer with me while I throw, and gives me that little extra nudge I need to get going. She's also my official Pot-Pusher, and is doing a fantastic job of getting my pottery recognized locally. Mom has also taken a shine to making ceramic beads, and hangs out with me doing those while I do handmade elements, like pigs and handles (p.s., I despise handles - but that's a whole separate post).

So perhaps I'll go pick as much of the crud out of my clay as I can, and wedge some up to get it ready for throwing later this week.

Until Next Time,