Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
By Oded [2nd year],who was Gareth Mason's devoted assistant during the Symposium, as is apparent in this piece. The students showed us a good and varied selection of their work; the crit went well,though it is always a gruelling process [some 12 hours for 23 students over 2 days] - as usual on such emotionally-charged occasions,there were a few tears [and quite a few laughs].
Tel Hai Bikoret/Critique
Friday, February 13, 2009
For a while I have had both the urge and the clay to make some flower-pots - the clay a gritty Spanish earthenware made for sculpture of which I bought 50kg,which turned out to be just enough to throw 8 big pots and to fill the kiln. The flower-pots I see in shops are either boring, concrete or imported,so I decided to make myself a few. With lead glazes out of fashion [and their replacements unimpressive],unglazed pots like these seem to me a legitimate use for earthenware clays. It's also a great way to practice throwing larger weights without needing to factor in glazes and high temperature firings.
Note in passing-a few days ago [Feb 9th] was this blog's 4th anniversary.Thank you all for your 18000 visits! Shabbat Shalom!
Sydney dug out a couple of tiny bottles of gold lustre [English spelling]- one with a ragged but distinctive Potclays label,dating it back to the days of Leumi Chemicals and Hamashbir,two ceramic suppliers that closed down a decade ago.The gold lustre itself is from Matthey,but there's only a smear left.It's the top one [see the M?]Gold lustre,as you can see,is tricky to photograph.
Next up is the house gold for quite a few years- Colorobia from Keramicon.It doesn't altogether thrill me [I think I've had better over the years] but I've got a lot left.Bottom picture is Sydney's bottle of Hanovia lustre [a respectable amount left]- nice and dense,but very coppery-coloured,whereas we want our gold to look like gold. Fired in the trusty test-kiln to some indeterminate temperature in the high 700's. Yes,we're back in the wonderful world of pyrometer issues again. I'll spare you the details.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
At last- a glaze firing.It went reasonably well,but I lost sight of one of the cones at a critical period and consequently fired to cone 8 instead of cone 9,so everything came out a bit underfired [but still acceptable]. I have long believed that it's not so wonderful to have a good first firing of a kiln- you learn so much more when you encounter problems,and it's better to leave room for improvement in subsequent firings. This was a fairly classic example. As you can see,I made mainly bowls to fill up the kiln quickly,and used apprentice Goldie's beads as fillers.