Friday, June 26, 2009

Instant Spray Booth

I was just going through my not so routine blog check and came across a post by Jen Mecca, part of which concerned the application of surface treatments (i.e. terra sig, slip, glaze). So I thought I would use it as a nice little seg-way into my own “spray booth” set up. For a while I have been spraying slips and glazes onto my pieces so I do not have to brush them. I do not have batches big enough to dip pieces and I hate brushing on glaze; thus spraying. I found a used air compressor and spray gun relatively cheap; the only problem I have run into is a spray booth. I do not have the space or funds to get a “real” spray booth, so I have been trying to adapt as best I can. For a while I just sprayed without anything, which worked, but also covered everything in the garage with a nice layer of slip/glaze dust. Then lightning stuck and an idea worked its way into my head.

The most advanced spray booth since the stool on a side walk!
Clear plastic tub + blocks + banding wheel = instant spray booth! And the tub is tapered at the bottom, so when you set it on its side all of the overspray runs to the back. Drill a hole in the bottom and you can easily catch and reclaim all that precious glaze! Granted there is no exhaust system and you are somewhat limited as to the size of pieces this will work for, but better than nothing. And relatively good for smaller spaces as it can be used for other storage or tucked away under a table or in an attic or something until it is needed.

And the group for this post is the ever impressive Clutch. Good old fashioned rock n' roll/heavy metal. And they have some of the best, funniest, wittiest lyrics this side of the chicken shack! "Condoleeza Rice is nice, but I prefer A-Roni"...freaking great.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garage Days Revisited

To get in the proper mind set for this post I am listening to Garage Inc., which is a compilation of a bunch wicked cool recordings by Metallica from '84 - '98. They are all covers, re-releases of garage days revisited, b-sides, one offs, etc. Excellent listening, and fitting since I have been forced to move my studio out of the new shed and back into the garage. That is not to say that everything is packed up, but I am once again cramped between the front end of my truck and the back corner of the garage. Oh well.
I have managed to get a bit of work done in there since moving everything back. Aside from glazing a bunch of stuff with my fancy pants spray booth (more on that later), I have started a dinnerware set for my wife.
These plates are about 12 inches across right now, but they are still wet so they will shrink quite a bit yet. And they will be accompanied by dessert plates and bowls. No cups as we already have plenty of those.

And here are some more very unprofessional shots of some of the mugs out of the last firing. These are actually the first mugs finished for the 100 mug challenge. I gave myself a tentative deadline of the end of June, but I don't think I'm going to make that one. Only about 12 completely finished so far...
Yellow slip with clear glaze, I forgot to glaze the inside though! Drat!

Light brown slip with clear glaze, cone 6

KPI celadon, cone 6 (slightly over fired)

KPI Speckled Tan, cone 6 (slightly over fired)

Friday, June 12, 2009


So there has really been almost no progress on the ceramics front for the past couple weeks, with the exception of finally getting a glaze firing done (pictures to come). This is due in part to other family and household obligations... and in part to the fact that I am so freaking tired! Since school is out I started a new job this week working construction with my father-in-law. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind the work. Actually I haved enjoyed a lot of it so far (except putting in fiberglass insulation, that I hate). What I didn't count on, though, was how exhausted I would be after doing manual labor for 8-9 hours. Everyday this week I have come home after work, taken a shower and promptly fallen asleep on the couch. Needless to say not much work got done in the studio. Hopefully this slugishness will abate as my body is reintroduced to manual labor and I will be more productive when I get home. As for now my plans are to hit it hard this weekend cranking out plates.

Here is a quick peek at one of the pieces out of the kiln on Monday. It looked so tasty I had to make some tea and try it out.

Cone 6 porcelain with commercial glaze, slightly overfired

Friday, June 5, 2009

Getting back in the swing of things

As I have been having problems staying connected to the internet I have devised a plan. I am going to type this stuff and save it on the ‘ol computer like a journal (which is kind of what a blog is anyway, right?), then post it in the fleeting moments when the internet is cooperating. So here goes…
The past few weeks have been busy, but not. That is, if feels like I have been very busy, but it doesn’t look like I have accomplished a whole lot. That is very frustrating. So in an attempt to get back in the swing of things I think I am going to have to set a specific time each day to get in the studio…and stick to it! Sounds simple, right? My wife says I have a knack for doing things the most difficult way possible, so I’ll probably figure out a way to complicate it. First order of business, finish glazing so I can finally fire the kiln.

And so this post is not without any pictures...

Teapot #7553, 4" x 4.5" x 6.75", cone 6 porcelain with colored slip

Teapots are by far one of my favorite things to make. There is something about them that just seems complete, that seems right. Sorry, these pictures are not great. I am not a photographer and have a pretty shoddy picture set up right now. Building a light box is another thing on my very long list of stuff to do.