Monday, 30 July 2012

Post 27 Finished pot

The glaze firing went well and Pot 19 is now done. It featured in Post 24 when bone dry and now here it is all glazed up.

The finish is a nice flat satin, blue going green.

Final dimensions are 422 x 312 x 81. Dimensionally it has come out really well, I'm very happy with it.

Just for fun to illustrate how much fired clay shrinks, here is a picture of the finished pot sitting in the mould it came from. This is a bit hard to believe when you look at it but it comes to 55mm. Bear in mind that most of this shrinkage occurs in the glaze firing. So as the glaze melts and the clay vitrifies the whole thing contracts, sliding across the kiln shelf - love to have a time lapse series of that.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Post 26 First new oval pot

This is the first pot I've turned out of the new oval mould I made recently. This is air dried only - having taken a good three weeks bagged. If you look back to Posts 21 and 22 you can see that it has turned out as expected and a very good likeness to the shape I was after. It just has to stay that way through bisque and glaze firing.

 Final dried dimensions are 440 x 320 x x97.   What do you think?

I need to get in and make some more now before I get any where near ready to glaze it.

I've been spending my time getting ready for another trial of a series of glazes. My Seger model has been very useful to adapt recipes to available materials in a much more informed way. The trial has about 4 or 5 base glazes each with 2 or 3 subtle variations to test changes in surface finish, further superimposed with a number of different colourant combinations. On top of that there are a number of one-offs which look interesting and fun to test. So I have ended up with about 100 test tiles to fire - that is quite an enterprise to mix and apply let alone make all the test tiles to start with. It's taken up most of my potting time over the last couple of weeks.

With all those test tiles I have only room in the kiln for one pot to be glaze fired, but the testing remains a priority right now.  I'm planning on firing up the kiln tomorrow and so over the next week should have some glaze test results and a finished pot to share.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Post 25 Chinese Elm Group

We are deep in the middle of winter here in Australia at the moment. In fact the max today was only 19C so it was a really cold day!!! Yes ok that's true - down 'south' it really does get cold. Hard to believe then that the deciduous trees we grow here really think they need to drop their leaves. Mind you I do have a few that sometimes go right through to spring without doing so and so need a little 'help'.
I put this one up earlier in the season and wanted to show it again bare. As you see I've dressed it up with some moss to make a pretty picture.
Apart for the tree let's look at the pot.

Now firstly it's not one of mine, that is I didn't make it. I can't remember when I bought it even, but it was a long time ago and it wasn't expensive. The pot doesn't demand attention and has a subtle off white colour with a pleasing diffusion in that colour. Around the rim there is a depth of colour reminicient of patination. When you get close you can see that the glaze is a 'crackle' glaze - formulated especially to crack - and there are a number of mineral inclusions which have bled as the glaze fused. The whole effect is a clever contrivance to give the impression of age. Even a little glaze carryover onto the feet suggests making at a less precise time than now. Suffice to say that these things haven't happened by accident and are the result of careful planning and deep knowledge of the materials applied. I'd be proud to create the same illusion.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Post 24 New pots

I've got a couple of new pots just coming out of the air drying stage.

The first one is Pot No 18 which like No 17 was designed to approach the design shown in my Post 13. The pot in the post is a ribbed rectangular pot whith quite high feet and foot recess. Quite a masculine design if there is such a thing I guess. This one will finally fire to about 410 x 300 x 95.

As you can see it has come through drying really well, hardly moved at all and didn't need any tweaking along the path. It's been in a bag for over 3 weeks with a board on top.

The next one, Pot No 19 is out of the first oval mold with a false floor inserted to make the pot a shorter height. It is interesting that using moulds can be more flexible than you might think. With a little creative post casting manipulation a variety of final shapes, not just one, is available.
So here is No 19 which should finish up at around 420 x 320 x 95. I can lift that floor up even further to make a pot as shallow as I like and will next make one closer to 60 to 70mm, for a nice landscape or group planting pot.

Again it's come through drying well after a long dry.

I've also cast a pot from the new mould of Post 22. It's drying now and will be there for a little longer. Suffice to say the proportions of the pot are what I was after and it will be a good match for the model shown in Post 21.

Pots 17 to 19 will shortly be bisque fired along with a large number of glaze test tiles for the next series of tests. These test glazes are all mixed and ready to go as soon as the the pots are finally dry. My Seger model has been very useful in designing any changes to recipes and for the first time I'm quite optimistic about the outcome.