Friday, February 12, 2010

dumpety dump dump



These are the best of the things (actually almost the only things) which I produced during my IAP studio.

I actually got complemented on this one, though it is not particularly functional -- I used a combination of underglazes and glazes to get this effect and apparently the underglazes, if too thick, might not be particularly well sealed against water. My instructor said that in the future I could use only underglazes on the interior of the pot and then some transparent glaze.

Same pot, inside. I thought about trying to set up a more neutral space to photograph these, then decided that catching the nice light coming in my window mattered more to me. Perhaps the next go-round I will attempt to photograph them under my skylight. I am a little curious to see what the skylight will do to the colors. Since the shaft of the skylight is quite deep (about three feet) and painted blue, the light coming in there is very, VERY blue (even more so when it has been overcast, like it has for the last few days. bleeech.)

Anyway, the books provide scale. . . sort of. . . the stack is about 4 and a quarter inches tall.

This is a very chunky, very lopsided bowl (which I chose to take a picture of from an angle that disguises at least the latter). The exterior glazed in Shino, which I have used a lot of. On the wite clay, Shino is generally creamy with speckles of brown, and it breaks (I think that's the right word) to brown when it's thin, i.e. over texturing or other sharp edges (you can kind of see that in the picture here.) Oh Shino. . . I would call it a "temperamental" glaze, since it runs in almost every combination, picks up pigments from other glazes (once I had it come out green), and is unpredictably (at least for me) any number of colors between brown (hello, brown clay, argh) and a demure cream.

Here is the inside of the same pot. I'm not sure if the color balance is quite right to see this, but it is one of the most successful brown glazes I have done -- the "Randy's Red" glaze has a lot of nice variegation between red and brown. I will have to throw more pots in the brown clay if only to get this kind of glaze (or, I suppose, start experimenting with brown slip.)

This bowl also fails to have a continuous shape on the inside, which as my instructor said "would make it difficult to navigate with a spoon". . . must work on that this semester. I have just not produced very much functional stuff in terms of shape.

I sort of didn't throw anyway this week. . . about two weeks ago I sliced the skin off the end of my thumb with a mandolin while cutting up cucumbers. It's almost healed now, but I was a little nervous about potentially getting clay in it.

For a blatant mistake cup (i.e. it started collapsing and I pushed it into a triangular shape to strengthen it), this came out pretty well. (And here is Shino behaving itself yet another way.) For the curving pattern, I brushed on Randy's Red, and then dipped in Shino over it. (Well, the pale lines were carved in before the bisque firing with a needle tool.) It's subtle-ish for a glaze; a little boring, but I think the shape and the design have enough to hold up by themselves. This cup fits really well in the palm of my hand, but I think it would awkward to actually drink out of it.

This is Shino dipped in the cobalt blue glaze, Noxema. This is what I meant by not mixing the blue glaze very well. . . it's usually VIBRANTLY, AGGRESSIVELY ULTRAMARINE BLUE. This is sort of pale and wishy-washy. I still like it. I even like the drip, and it usually irritates the sin out of me when my glazes drip in a spontaneous and non-aesthetic manner. At the very least, I could give it away pretty easily, at least in my family, the land of earth tones and blue.

Soon I will leaving to go to book club to discuss The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Before I go I have one more photo:

This, my friends, is my current room at Fenway, called affectionately the "Cha Minh," after the guy who built the bookcases (you can see one on the right; across from it is a built-in wardrobe.) It used to be a bathroom (where the loft is), joined to a large walk-in closet and dressing room (where my desk is) by a door. I am not responsible for the ugly moons on the opposite wall. It is an awkward, bizarrely shaped room, with quite a bit of space that is rather unusable -- see the space under the loft. But, I have a window by my desk, a skylight over my bed, a radiator that works, and I am on the top floor and can hear almost nothing from the rest of the house. It feels rather like Narnia, and I love it.

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