Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pickles, ruination and a dog...

According to this page, that may or may not be reputable,  the world record for the largest potato is 8 pounds, but an unconfirmed contender may have topped it with a 25 pound behemoth that looks like Slimer,

Now, pots and such.  Actually we are going to start off this week with a bit of putting by.
What are these?  Why pickles, of course.  I planted some cucumbers in the garden this year for the specific purpose of making pickles.  This is only the second batch as I only put in four plants and it has been pretty dry, so not many cucumbers.  These are freaking delicious though, and ridiculously easy to make.  I heard about it on the Survival Podcast, or you can check out the recipe here.

In studios news, I got a load of stuff glazed and fired.  Here are some before and after pictures of the top shelf.  I am really digging the tall oval vase forms.  They are fun to make and create a very nice "canvas" for decoration.  Now I just hope they sell so I can make more.
There were also a couple other new forms in this load...small planters, small lidded jars and garlic keepers.  The small jars are possibly one of my favorite forms thus far.

And the culmination of the red clay (again with these references to stuff I put on Facebook!)...

This teapot and all the other red ware got a nice coat of white slip before decoration.  It worked out much better for some pieces than it did for others.
Alas!  I shall be resting no spoons!
This spoon rest, for example, I tried to move too soon after dipping it in the slip.  Did you know that if you dip a leather hard pot in slip it will rehydrate and become soft again?  Good, because that is just plain common sense!  Only a foolish individual like myself would forget this and ruin a good pot because of it.

 But wait...there's more...
One of these things is not like the other one... some on, sing!
These mugs looked great after I dipped them, all slippy and just waiting for some sgraffito.  When I came back to check on them though, the handle had broken off every single one.  Not sure why. 

Not all of the red ware broke though; and I really dig how the survivors turned out...more folky than my usual stuff.  I definitely want to give this stuff another shot, but without all the ruination.  If anyone out there has any experience with this sort of work and knows what I may have done wrong, or even if you just have any tips in this area, please give me a shout.

As for the stuff that did make it...
The aforementioned small lidded jars and a couple of spoon rests immediately post dipping.

Jars and teapot after being decorated.

Large (16-17 inch) platter with a crane.

The larger pieces (platter and teapot) were sprayed with slip as they would not fit in the bucket, and that seemed to help the breakage problem, but the handle of the teapot still cracked at the bottom.  Knackers.  
These are all in a bisque firing right now.  I am quite anxious to get them glazed and see what they will look like all finished up.  
Actually I would really like to go to it on these things with an underglaze pencil since the experiments and the stuff in the last kiln load came out so well.  Unfortunately my underglaze pencil is almost used up.  And even if it wasn't, my electric pencils sharpener (which is apparently the only way this pencil likes to be sharpened) is jammed, so I cannot even sharpen what is left of it sufficiently.  Oh well, next time.

Speaking of platters, (We weren't really speaking of platters.  That was just a nice way to switch to a different subject.  It's called a transition; I learned about those in English class.  And even though that was a pretty poor transition, we are going to roll with it.) the platters I have been working on are all scratched up (decorated, that is) and in the kiln.  No pictures yet, other than this one.
The platters were too large to fit in the make-shift spray booth that I normally use, so I had to move operations outside.  Luckily it was not windy at all, so the spraying of slips went off without a hitch...the dog helped.  I enjoyed it so much in fact that I may (weather permitting) continue spraying work out of doors.

And last but not least...Saint Vitus!
Old school doom metal band ala Black Sabbath. 

Up next...Timmy Tabasco!

Post Script:  I have a show coming up this weekend in Belleville, IL.  Midwest salute to the Arts.  It kind of sneaked up on me, so I have been rushing to get some stuff done this week.  If you happen to be in the area feel free to stop by and say hi!


  1. Your deco is looking good, somebody said the best way to learn is try it, much like your slip faux pas, I've been doing a lot of learning the hard way myself (breaks, cracks, etc) bet those pickles are good.

  2. Love your spray booth! The slipware looks great - although, it is heartbreaking to see the casualties! Lovely work, and yummy-looking pickles.