Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How do you take a good picture of your work?

Ok, so they are a few days later than advertised, but here are some shots of work out of the kiln. I finally got something of a photo cube set up so these pictures are moderately better than before. I still have to play around with the lighting set up. I am also pretty dissatisfied with my pictures as a whole. They just seem so boring; not very good for advertising the work. I'll have to work on that. Any tips on that front would be welcome.

Blue serving-ish bowl with rectangles, 3.5 x 7 inches

Light and dark brown serving-ish bowl with circles and stripe, 3.5 x 7 inches

Light brown salt & pepper shakers with...whatever that is, 2.5 x 2.5 inches

Light and dark brown flower basket with swirly plant things, 6 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches

I will post more pictures as I get them taken. Until then, don't forget the eggs.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sneak Peek

Just a quick peek in the kiln. It is still a tad too warm to unload, but the kiln is propped open a bit and I will be at it first thing in the morning.

Glaze fire is go!

I finally got all of the work decorated. I decided to run everything through the bisque this time. Next time I will keep a few pieces back to single fire just to test how it will work. If it works out o.k. I might be able to save myself a considerable amount of time and energy eliminating the first firing.
Here is most of the work decorated, but not yet fired. I had quite a few bowls in this round of work. I also had some new forms; banks, oil lamps spice shakers, knob-and-all, etc. I am very interested to see how they turn out and if they will sell. That is really always what it comes down to, isn't it? I really like making the banks and oval flower baskets...but if they do not sell I will probably not be making very many of them even if I enjoy it.

Yesterday I managed to get everything glazed and loaded, so I was able to run a glaze load through last night. Here are the left overs that did not make it into this firing. I am going to have to throw more next cycle. I think I could probably work it out so I can throw enough to fit everything in one bisque and still fill two glaze loads. Of course that is if I don't single fire.
I am also going to have to throw a wider variety of forms. Like I said, I had a lot of bowls in this cycle which made for a bit of unused space in the kiln. I had a few small items, but not enough to fill all the voids around the bigger items. It looks like there may be more spice shakers in my future.
I am pretty excited to get this stuff unloaded. Aside from the new forms I have in there, I also used new colors of slip. My old slips I mixed using oxides & such. These I mixed using mason stains. I already tested them a while back and was pleased with the color of most of them, but they were lacking something that the oxides had. They were too clean. I will just have to wait and see how these turn out.

Glazing my work is the easiest and fastest part of the process. Since all the decorating is done before firing, glazing just consists of dipping everything in a big bucket of clear. I am trying something new in this load, though. On a few pieces I sprinkled some wood ash over the wet glaze. Now ash glazes are not my favorite, but some ash can do pretty cool things. I am not sure how this topical application will work, but I am anxious to find out.

And last but not least, here is the latest slug. You will have to excuse the picture quality. My wife spilled water on the camera, so it kind of fuzzed out on us for a bit. It is right as rain now, though. You can't really tell from this picture, but this guy is laying down with his back arched.

Kiln temp as of 10 am. It will probably be some time tomorrow before I can get everything out and photographed. I will try to get something up when I do.