I cranked out some new forms this past weekend. Basically bottle forms and vases for my barrel firing.
I managed to burnish four of the vases this weekend but was unable to bisque fire them. I was hoping to light-up the barrel kiln, but as usual it didn't happen as scheduled. Its going to happen next weekend, weather permitting.
These bottles and vases are about 12-13 inches tall, except for the shorty up front.
The two forms I like the most are the rounded bottle form with the flattened top and the bottle form just to the right of it.
Back to burnishing. I did briefly describe burnishing in a July 2007 Post but never really explained why I put the laborious time into getting a high satin gloss surface on the pots before firing them in my barrel. I suppose the main reason I burnish the pots is because I like the polished glossy surface when the pieces are pulled from the ashes. Burnishing is like polishing. It rearranges and compresses the clay surface particles and creates a smooth even texture that accepts the colored markings from the fire much more dramatically.
Burnishing my pots can take between one and three hours of rubbing and rubbing in very small circular motions with the back of a metal spoon. Another method to get this smooth glossy surface is by applying a layer of Terra Sigillata to the pot and then buffing to a high sheen using a soft cloth. Terra Sig is another new uncharted territory for me, but one that I'll get to.
Currently I am more interested in discovering what types of organic and inorganic materials create what colors during the firing. Not to mention, I am also looking for appealing pottery forms that compliment the entire process of "Barrel Firing."
Took my first clay classes at Bemidji State University in 1989. In 2002, after a long break, I started more pottery classes at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI.
I do not have one area of interest, but that isn't to say I am unfocused. I enjoy making everything from coffee mugs to trompe l' oeil. I work with highfire stoneware, and low fire earthenware. I'm just clay crazy.