Monday, 26 August 2013

Post 117 Biggest pot to date

Some time ago I posted a picture of this pot when it was being made and upside down. Well it has finally worked its way through the pipeline to completion. I should fess up to the fact that this is actually the second one I made; the first just was not up to scratch.

The final size of the pot came in at 600mm x 420mm x 55mm which was right on the required spec. This is the largest pot I've made to date and there will not be a bigger one. The design process started with a paper template to place in the kiln, on the diagonal, to find out just how big I could go. That worked out at about 670mm, which meant that I made it so that when it was wet it was too big for the kiln and I was relying on the shrinkage from wet to dry to get it in the kiln for bisque firing; very tight. I couldn't get the same length with a rectangular one.

The clay is Clayworks LGH and fired a nice cream offwhite. The clay works well and behaved well throughout the process.

The glaze colour was also a special request and I actually ran a test of about 15 offwhites to get the right tone - not too yellow , not too pink, but just right!  The only colourants are titanium and tin, both of which can be quite influential on colour when you are looking for subtle shades.

A lot of trouble for one pot, I hear you say and yes that's right but each new challenge represents a learning opportunity that should make the next time easier and the investment in time hopefully gets spread over many not just the one. For the time I've invested it certainly is great value for money, but I now know just a little more about this craft than I did before, too.

I hope the next time you see this pot it will be under a forest planting of Tridents at the NBPC in Canberra.

My latest challenge is clay. Since the relaunch of Clayworks RGH, reformulated with a new RIO colourant my early experience is mostly unhappy which is why there haven'tbeen too many  'new pots' posts lately. The clay characteristics and my working patterns seem to be less compatible than they were and I am faced with moving to a different stoneware choice that may be berrter suited to the sort of handbuilding I do. I have trialled a couple previously and have at least two to test more widely. What do they say about the only stable thing being change!

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