Friday, March 28, 2008

What Goes Into Making A Mug?

I get this question everytime somebody picks up one of my mugs and this step by step process of what goes into making a mug is an adaptation from Sam The Cat Lady's description.

1. Drive to studio--1/2 hour each way.

2. Dig out tools, bats, water bucket and prepare to throw.

3. Weigh out clay for each mug.

4. Wedge (knead) clay.

5. Center clay on wheel and throw mug shape.

6. Remove from wheel and let dry 24-48 hours.

7. Clean up mess.

8. Put mug back on wheel and trim.

9. Clean up mess.

10. Hand pull the handle (basic shape).

11. Attach handle to top of mug and let dry approx 1/2 hour.

12. Hand pull handle to final shape/form.

13. Attatch base of handle to mug.

14. Let mug dry approx. 3-4 days. If mug or handle cracks, re-cycle clay and start all over.

15. Bisque fire mug in electric kiln approx. 12 hours.

16. Prepare glazes, mix and sieve as necessary.

17. Clean up mess.

18. Wax the bottom of mug so it does not stick to kiln shelf.

19. Choose glaze, design, and glaze mug.

20. Clean up mess.

21. Let mug dry thoroughly.

22. Clean up glaze drip marks and wipe bottom clean.

23. Fire mug to 2400F. This takes approx 12 hours.

24. Wait 12-14 hours to kiln to cool down to under 400 degrees.

25. Remove from kiln and inspect the mug. If mug is cracked or glaze turned out butt-ugly, start the whole damn process over.

26. If mug has miraculously survived to this point, hand sand the bottom baby-butt smooth so it doesn't scratch or mar any tabletop surface and put up for sale.

27. Last but not least, try not to attack the foolish person who innocently asks "Why does this mug cost so much?"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Clayart Mug Exchange

Once a year potters from all over the world flock to NCECA (National Council On Education For The Ceramics Arts). This year its in Pittsburgh, PA. Potters who participate in ClayArt, a list serve for potters, get together at this convention and exchange a piece of pottery. For potters that do not attend the convention, ClayArt promotes the Mug Exchange for stay at home potters. This year my exchange partner is Penni Stoddart from London, Ontario. This is the mug I am sending to her.

Cone 10 stoneware coffee mug glazed with Viterbo Rutile Blue.

Viterbo Rutile Blue Glaze Recipe

Dolomite 790gr, Custer Spar 1500gr, Whiting 555gr, EPK 840gr, Flint 1315gr, Add: Rutile 400gr, Cobalt Carb. 50gr, Copper Ox. 30gr.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mugs Mugs Mugs

Just some of the mugs that I've made the past month or so. Although I have neglected posting to my blog, I have not neglected my pottery.

Many of my new mugs have a lot of texture on the exteriors. I used found objects to stamp and impress images onto the surface as well as a couple different types of leather stamping tools. I also used the point of a can opener to create a nice triangular boarder around the mug.

I spent a couple hours yesterday glazing them. The glazes I used were Meloy White, Rutile Blue, BSU Temmoku, K-Shino, BSU Turquoise, and Viterbo Chun.

Once glazed they were loaded into the kiln and will be fired today.