Friday, 14 June 2013

Post 101 Work in progress

I've hit a bit of a forced potting hiatus lately with the supplier of the clay I like to use stocking out in South East Queensland; can't get it anywhere. Its never a good move to run out - your customers might just go off and find a better alternative.

The last couple of pots I made with the RGH are these, a pair of small ovals, slightly ddifferent sizes, getting close to completey dry and ready to bisque.

 And thie next one is a pot commissioned by my wife after she saw a beautiful 1000 year old chinese pot in San Francisco. You can see that pot in Post 92 and see how close I got in design. The glaze will be the trick and it will be interesting to see how the shape holds up. I slab built this one with very firm dried flat slabs so I'm keen to see the final outcome.

Here is the pot from the museum.

And what can you do when you've run out of the clay you like to use - well one thing is find a white stoneware clay and make tanukis. Here is the latest version. This picture is taken with it in the horizontal position. When its been fired I'll post the 360 views.

My clay supplier suggested I try something called 'toast', a very sticky manganese coloured clay with lots of grog; sticky and gritty. Not easy to use but would make a fine unglazed surface depending on the final colour. I made 2 pots to a new shape I think of as compound oval, where the sides and ends are both oval sections joined with long radius bends. These ones have quite vertical walls with the feet set in line with the pot wall; different sizes as you can see.

Getting desperate to pot I did some research and then drove a long way for a couple of bags of Walkers Special Stoneware. It is just offwhite and fires a similar colour I understand, perhaps just a little lighter than I would like. I have a commission pot to make and need to get on with it so worked in a little RIO and here is the pot half made. Its a big oval, aiming for a final 575mm long and 55 high. At this stage it's about 13% bigger than that and at the very limit of what I can fit in the kiln, and even then on an angle.

The Walkers Special has a beautiful feel to it and works really well; I might have found the answer, but let's see how it goes through the whole cycle. I've made shrinkage and deformation test pieces of this one and the Toast to see how they compare in those vital characteristics compared to RHG at vitrification.

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