Friday, September 16, 2011

The Unload

Here are a few quick shots from yesterday.  And I threw a few more things after I took this picture.  Pretty productive, I would say.  Looks like I will be chasing plastic today.

Here are a few shots of the kiln as I was unloading yesterday evening.  A decent firing.  There were some things I really liked, some things that did not work out as well as I hoped.  I will get some more pictures up next week.

Layer 2 (forgot to take a picture of the top shelf)

Layer 3
Layer 4
 I guess that is all for now.  Until later.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ready, aim, fire...or something like that.

Here is the work of the past couple days.  As I said in the last post, I got a bisque load fired and out.  Yesterday I went about the task of getting everything sanded down, washed off and waxed for glazing today. 

Here is everything laid out with wax drying, waiting to be glazed.  It doesn't look like a lot, but it was enough to fill a kiln.  On a side not, I hate the color of that wax.  It is just a commercial cold wax resist, but I added some red ink to make it easier to see.  Now it is a sick bubble gum/pepto-bismol pink.  Next time I am going to have to add a different color.

 Everything set out once again, this time all glazed and ready to go.  The kiln is now running through a glaze cycle and is currently at...1280 F and rising.  It should be finished by morning and I should be able to unload tomorrow night or Friday morning.  I will snap some pictures of the finished stuff and get them up here when everything is out. 

As Christmas is approaching I decided to work on some ornaments.  Previously I had just barrel fired them with some interesting results.  More often than not, though, they just came out smudged with soot and what not.  These I made with low fire clay (that I got for my second continuing ed class that failed to garner enough interest) and plan to glaze with some old low fire glazes I got from the wife's cousin.  Before that happens, though, I will have to get some kanthal wire and make some sort of contraption to hand them from.  I'm not really fond of using stilts

Damn dirty low fire Christmas ornaments
I guess that's all for now.  Here's hoping the kiln fires off alright and everything comes out looking spiffy. Until then.


Friday, September 9, 2011

I was all by myself...

It is Friday night, the wife is out of town...what to do?  Well, if you are a potter with a bisque kiln firing and a child sleeping in the other room, you sit around drinking hard cider and watching Louis Black.  This guy is freaking hilarious.  He is mostly a political satirist and as far as I can tell he is spot on.  Great stuff.

This past Tuesday I once again attempted a continuing education class at the local community college.  It fekin' sucked.  I had three people pre-register and only two people actually showed up for class.  That is exactly nine people shy of a full class.  It is extremely disheartening to have a class canceled.  As previously stated, it fekin' sucks.

On a lighter note, the bisque kiln is chugging away.  I am really happy with a lot of the stuff that I have in there this go around.  I am anxious to get it glazed and finished up.  I am going to go ahead and use the regular clear glaze that I have been using on this load, I think.  I am, however, planning on testing a few different clear and satin glazes.  I would really like to go in the satin direction if I can find something that works.  I don't know that I really like the super glossy finish that I have now.  The satin finish (I am hoping, anyway) seems more natural; softer, not as harsh.  We will see.  Until then.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Scratchy scratchy

Here are a few pictures of the stuff I have been working on lately. All of this stuff was thrown quite a while ago, but I have just recently gotten around to decorating them.

Bank with lid (the money slot is on the other side)

Oval flower vase brick thing
I really enjoy making these vase things, but I don't know that they function really well on their own. You would either need to put a lot of flowers in there or use one of those green foam flower block things. Perhaps a lid with holes in it?

Salt and pepper keys
These have a hole in the bottom for a stopper. I got a bunch of them a while back, but they do not work like I thought they would. They do not stay in the holes very well. Now I have 90-something sub-par stoppers. Suck.

Small round jar with leaf pattern
I am happy with this jar...except for the fact that the lid has no knob. I plan on epoxying some sort of knob on it after it is done, but I am not sure what.

Lidded bank and squared vase.
Two rather different styles of decoration. I really dig the realistic stuff, but it takes quite a while to do.

I am getting a little burnt out on carving, though. Or at least my hands are. I am going to have to try working in smaller cycles. I am also going to have to do some reformulation of my slip, I think. It is not very durable in the green state and frequently smudges or scratches while I am carving. It may also have something to do with spraying it on instead of brushing or dipping.