Saturday, May 8, 2010

Experimentin'

So I've been on the prowl for some new glazes lately, and I think I've found a company I love. Coyote Clay has some really amazing and unique colors for really reasonable prices. They ship me the dry chemicals, and mix them up myself. I really loved the first few glazes I got; consistent results are always a plus. However there is one glaze where get the most beautiful result:

unfortunately, it is also the SAME glaze I get the most awful result!


It's so unpredictable and I can't seem to get the right result when I want it! I need to do some experimenting with this Red Gold glaze and see how to get the EXACT same result every time. I have a crap load of the stuff so I'd better figure it out quick!!
I emailed the owner of Coyote, and he had some good tips- so I'll give them a whirl. For any other potters reading who may have the same problem with Coyote's Red Gold glaze: Hotter kiln, thicker glaze application. Also, it seems like the lighter the clay I use, the more gold the glaze goes. But according to a review I found online, don't use it on Porcelain. Only stoneware. So, hopefully this should work.

Courtesy of said glaze, I had a massive disaster with a set of nesting bowls I was making for a local lady's mom for Mother's Day (Sorry Carrie!!!!). Although the bowls themselves were beautiful and nested perfectly, the glaze was rough- blotchy- a horrid color brown and disgustingly drab. Mom described it as: "Blech."
I feel horrible that they turned out so badly, and that she didn't get her gift on time. I'm working on a new set now- and learning from my mistake, I'm making multiple sets in case one comes out "blech".

But, an entire kiln load was not lost due to the blech-ness of one faulty glaze... I re-fired them last night, and I'm pleased with the result.
I haven't ever had much luck - or desire to re-fire pottery, and I'm always hesitant to waste the energy and my time on another possible fail. But this time I believe it paid off.


A deep cinnamon-terracotta color with hints of blue and purple make them interesting and eye catching.
Because I re-glazed them in a different color, they're the wrong color to match Carrie's mom's new kitchen, so I'm still working on a new set for her. They're drying in the basement now.

Speaking of the basement! Because it's warming up outside, and getting closer and closer to Goldwingin' Season, I needed to get my stuff out of Mom and Dad's motorcycle trailer, and into their basement :o)


I threw down a tarp and some plastic sheeting to catch the splatters downstairs and got to work.
It's a lot easier to just go in the basement and throw some clay around, than back and forth and back and forth between the house and the garage and the trailer and back again. I believe I'll enjoy this... Mom and Dad on the other hand, are still deciding....


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mugged.

After some gentle persuasion from a sweet friend, and some poking from relatives, and prodding from co-workers, I've finally made myself hold still for two seconds and write a new post (sorry Kevy, you're being neglected right now).

A hectic transition between jobs, and the 14 hour work days that came attached with said transition, made blogging lower down on my list of things to do than it should have been. However, despite the miserable lack of posts in the last couple months, I actually have been busy with my pottery.

A friend of my sister's discovered one of my pie plates while visiting her, and eating pie, a couple months ago, and had my sister tell me to contact her about participating in a giveaway on her website. Red Head Recipes featured one of my Wiggle Bowls, and had an amazing turn out!

Click HERE to see the post!

119 posts on people wanting to win MY bowl! I couldn't even believe it! I was honestly stunned! A lucky girl named Andrea in Orem, Utah was the lucky winner- I hope she loves it!

Also, I've been keeping myself busy with mugs. I've been trying to force myself to work on mugs with handles, since those who know me, know have a deep seeded hatred for them. The way I was taught to do mug handles just never worked for me, and I acquired a love for handle-less tea mugs in return. However, the demand for tall, fat tea mugs isn't nearly as high as the demand for squatty, 10 oz mugs with handles. So I gave in, and decided to get past my anger towards handles, and just re-learn.
I've probably watched fifty how to videos across the web, and looked over a million websites just looking for new ideas or different ways to make handles. So far, I've discovered that attaching a lug to the side of the mug and pulling a handle directly from that, is the easiest way for me.
And here's the result.

Of course, I couldn't resist putting my signature thumb-print button on the bottom of each handle, like I've done on every other mug I've made with a handle... so not very many.
In addition, I love my new glaze combo here. It's most definitely my favorite so far. It reminds me of the beach. I'll be experimenting some new color combos on my next batch of mugs. I plan on making more this weekend.

I've also had a couple local orders, like a set of nesting bowls for Carrie, (which just came out of the kiln!) some strawberry pots, a few stray bowls, some Piggies, and a giant coffee mug.


So I suppose I should get some rest for a long day of work, and some more potting tomorrow. I will update soon with pictures of my newer items soon.

Until next time,
Pinky