Thursday, November 27, 2008

Studio Projects

This is some of the stuff I'm currently working on and trying to finish up. The bottle and vase forms need to be burnished. I want to barrel these, Christmas gifts I hope. I'm also glazing the round and rectangular platers. Both the platters were made out of red earthenware clay and formed in wooden molds that I made. The black platter I've already discussed. The round platter is glazed with commercially bought turquoise, which will be fired to cone 05. I'm still cleaning up the lines on the 2 sculptures. Not sure how I'll fire these. The little one is porcelain and the larger one is stoneware.

Yesterday with a lot of help from my friend Darrel we did a lot of kiln maintenance. Not too long ago I bought a used Cress electric kiln from my old ceramics professor. It was firing-up real good last weekend when the weld securing all the kiln bricks broke. Thank goodness Darrel was standing in front of it when it happened. All the bricks on the bottom portion of the kiln shifted. Quick thinking Darrel grabbed some banding wire and we quickly wrapped it around the kiln in a few places and tightened it up real tight. It worked and shortly there after the kiln shut down. Total firing time to cone 05 was 8 hours. Anyway Darrel did the welding and we managed to get the thing back together. We also made a new level base for the kiln, that was a problem too. Now it is set up on a layer of hard fire brick covered with a layer of 1-inch 8-pound density fiber. Yeah, yeah, yeah......... Its always something.

Might as well post a couple more Raku Glaze Recipes. I've never tried this one but I like the way it sounds--Antifreeze Boil Raku Glaze. Lithium Carbonate 60, EPK 23, Frit 3124 20, Chrome Oxide 0.25

Another Raku Glaze Recipe that just sounds good is Bad @ss Alligator Raku Glaze. Gerstley Borate 8 cups, Bone Ash 2 cups, Copper Carbonate 0.5 cup, Cobalt Carbonate 0.25 cup, Cobalt Oxide 2%

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bears In The Night

I figured I might as well title this piece something, so "Bears In The Night" sounded good to me. I used a wooden form to create the shape of this platter and then used a church key (can opener) to impress all the diamond-shaped points around the edges. The platter is made out of red earthenware clay and once it was bisque fired I painted several coats of white underglaze in the center of the platter. Over that I painted 3 coats of black underglaze. Then I used a sharp pin tool and etched the bears through the black underglaze. To finish this piece I'll brush 3 coats of clear over the platter and fire it to cone 05. Although the black underglaze looks gray in this picture, once it is fired it will be a glossy jet black. The outlines of the bears will be a bright glossy white.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newest Potter In The Coulee Region

Natalie is my little studio Buddy. This weekend she painted underglazes on one of the bowls she made, glazed a couple of my bisqued tea bowls, and glazed a few porcelain pendants I had on the shelves.

She is quite the little artist but pottery is her new medium of choice. Not only is she taking clay home to make things, she is also creating stuff at school.

I'll be posting photos of some of her finished works real soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Raku Glaze Recipes

I was searching through my sight meter and realized that a couple people were searching for a specific raku glaze recipe. One was for a White Crackle Raku Glaze and the other was for a clear so I thought I'd post what I have.

White Crackle Raku Glaze Recipes
#1 Frit 3134 85%
Kaolin 15%

#2 Colemanite 64%
Custer Feldspar 12%
Flint 12%
Ball Clay 6%
Zinc 6%

#3 Gerstley Borate 80%
Nepheline Syenite 20%
Add: Zircopax 10%

Clear Raku Glaze Recipes

#1 Called 1 2 3 Clear
Gerstley Borate 50
EPK 33.33
Silica 16.67

#2 Called 3110 Clear
Frit 3110 100
Tin Oxide 3
Bentonite 3

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nude IV In Progress

I have really been enjoying this sculpting stuff. This is where I am after a couple days of carving on my latest project. It is somewhat what I envisioned when I started but every time I take a bit off here or a bit off there the form starts to change and morph into its own being. Hopefully I can finish this up today and start on another.

I've added a few potter's blogs to my page. These artists post frequently and I really like their work. I still have many more to add but will get them added as soon as I can.

I want to fire-up my electric kiln this Saturday but I still have a large bottle form and a vase that I need to burnish. I plan on barrel firing those two pieces. If not Saturday, I'll fire it up on Sunday.

A couple more Raku Glaze Recipes.

Alligator Crawl Raku Glaze Recipe. Gerstley Borate 250, Bone Ash 125, Nepheline Syenite 62.5, Copper Carbonate 62.5, Tin Oxide 53.5

Green Lichen Raku Glaze Recipe. Gerstley Borate 70%, Frit 3134 30%, Add: Zircopax 10%, Add: Cobalt Carbonate 4%, Add: Chrome Oxide 2%, Add: Manganese Dioxide 3%

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sculpture Step One

Step one for my latest sculpture. I started this last Friday. Basically I just wedged up about 7 pounds of clay and then sketched out a rough drawing of what I wanted to sculpt. I started carving away with a wire cheese cutter and some old kitchen paring knives. It has come a long way since Friday and I hope to finish it up today.

Good news is that my friend Darrel finally finished all the wiring for my kiln. He ran a 240V line into the area of the basement where the kiln is located and then he connected all the wiring for the elements. I don't have a full load to fire but will fire it up 1/2 full this coming Saturday just to test it out and see how it fires.

Raku Glaze Recipes Of The Day

White Pink Raku Glaze Recipe

Frit 3134 90% EPK 10% Add: Tin Oxide 10%

Turquoise Crackle Raku Glaze

Gerstley Borate 80% Nepheline Syenite 20% Add: Zircopax 10% Add: Copper Carbonate 2%

Friday, November 14, 2008

Greenfield Village Kiln

Is this cool or what? Thanks to Kerri for thinking of me and taking this pic when she was visiting Greenfield Village in Detroit, MI. I think this twisting chimney is a work of art in itself. Man! I'd love to have a chimney like this when I build my kiln. I don't know much more than it was built in 2004. I "googled" it and found some more photos, not nearly as nice as this one, but thats about all.
I'm still sculpting. I finished Nude III yesterday, started another, and will get two more going this weekend.
I've neglected posting raku recipes. I know that there are some people looking at the recipes. I'm really just documenting them for myself but I love sharing so here are a couple more.
Deep Blue Ash Raku Glaze Recipe
Gerstley Borate 40%
Nepheline Syenite 10%
Wood Ash 50%
Add: Cobalt Carbonate 1.5%
Flaming Moondrops Raku Glaze Recipe
Lithium Carbonate 20
Magnesium Carbonate 40
Gerstley Borate 70
Chrome Oxide 0.3

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nude III

This is my latest sculpture, Nude III. Porcelain clay body, leather-hard state, approximately 8 inches tall.

My original plans for this sculpture was to have smooth curving lines throughout the form but as I was "getting into" the piece I realized that I loved the hard angular cubist form that was slowly developing. I kept the round curved line of the belly and decided to create hard angular lines for the rest of the form. I think its awsome and am going to try another similar sculpture but make it much larger.

Not sure how I'm going to fire this piece yet but will post a photo when it is finally completed.