Monday, February 21, 2011

Insert Clever Blog Title Here

I had a three and a half day weekend this weekend, which was nice. I got quite a bit done, but nothing in the studio. Instead it was a weekend of getting outside, taking care of animals, house work and playing with motorcycles. I also spent some time just hanging out with my wife and son; something I don't get to do enough of.

Today was especially good as I got some eggs pickled (the chickens are producing an abundance of shelled goodness) and got bread baked. I also got our microwave fixed; a chore that has been hanging over my head for quite some time now. Things are looking up in the kitchen.

Another high point of today was getting the motorcycle (Hank) running. Oh I wouldn't say that he runs well by any means, but at least I can get him started. The plan now is to get him a seat (he is lacking that essential component), get him licensed (another missing component that the government thinks is important) and get him a good tune up. Hopefully I can get these things accomplished pretty soon as I have been hankerin' to get out on two wheels. I would have been able to take Oscar (the smaller bike) out, but I think I fried an electrical component messing with the battery. So it goes.
The ultimate plan is to get one bike running decent so I can ride it while I tear down and rebuild the other one. Do I know how to build a motorcycle? No. Do I even know how to work on engines and such? No. Am I going to let that stop me from wasting large amounts of time and money trying? No.

Now, as far as pottery goes (this is supposed to be a pottery blog after all), not really a lot happening. In late January/early February the art club at school was making ceramic pendants for a festival at the school. We made them pretty quickly with a variety of bisque stamps the school had on hand (sorry, no pictures of these). Despite being free they did not go over very well (folks were more taken with the henna "tattoos" we were also doing), but I did enjoy making them. I don't know that it is something I would want to do a lot of on my own, but it might be a fun distraction every once in a while. And it could be a nice little something I could throw in for lagniappe.

I did get a chance to sgraffito a couple mugs...
Oh! Side note: I got a new spray gun for spraying slips and glazes! Perhaps after I have used it a little more I will do a little review post.
...The first of these I made for myself. I make hundreds of pieces and ocassionally keep seconds, but rarely if ever do I make things specifically for my own use. Oh sure, I make stuff for my wife from time to time, but never something just for me. So finally last week (or some time, I really don't remember) I up and made myself a mug.

Rob's owl mug - side A

Rob's owl mug - side B
Apparently I was working on this mug at the same time Ron Philbeck was working on his fantastic owl and branch yunomis (check them out here and here). He got his posted first, though, so now I look like some kind of Johnny-come-lately. Oh well; maybe I will just call it a Philbeck cover pot (you know, like a song cover but with pots).

The funny thing is that when I was deciding what kind of decoration to put on my mug it ended up being exactly the kind of decoration I have been wanting to do on all my work. I think I mentioned a while back about wanting my work to be more narrative instead of just decorative, and I think that is how these mugs turned out. Or at least it is a step in that direction.

This mug is the Bomb!

You can still see the pencil marks on this one where I was playing around with the final design. I decided to go with just one skull bomb though and suggest the others with the dotted drop lines. I was thinking the lines might look good with some luster embellishment. I forget what color the slip is, though, so I don't know if it would work. (Don't ask me what the imagery means because I have no idea.)

Now the problem is finding a clear glaze that is not going to distort the images. The one I have been using has a tendency to run and smear the sgraffito images a bit. Not a big deal with the more abstract, decorative designs, but I think these would need to be more crisp to be effective. Actually I am not sure if that is due to the glaze or the slip. Either was a bit of testing is in order.

Ok; unfortunately I have to go to school tomorrow, so I better knock off.


Post Script - Goats! More on that later...

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