Friday, February 22, 2013

cooling kiln and a clean studio

dirtKicker pottery studio 2013

The first glaze firing of 2013 is cooling.. finally!  Thanks to a bad flu, 2013 pottery making got off to a very slow start. 

While the glaze is firing, I always clean the studio.  I scrub everything top to bottom.  I love starting a new making cycle with a clean studio.

   my pottery studio - 
where you'll always find me

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Throwing Pitchers - Part Two - Spouts and Handles

Wheel thrown Pitchers and Jug

The plan was to add some technique variety to my spouts.  Starting from the left: 
#1 - simple jug with narrow neck, sized for a cork stopper.
#2 & #4 - rim pulled spout.
#3 - attached wheel thrown beaked spout.
#5 - attached slab beaked spout.

Wheel thrown beaked spout - I threw a cylinder with a wide split rim.  I used my heat gun to firm it up, then cut the shape of my spout.  Scored and attached using magic water.   After the attachment was secure I did some shape work on the spout. 

Slab beaked spout - starts with a snow cone shape.  

Size and cut the pitcher.  Bevel the inside edge for a smoother transition between the pitcher body and the attached spout.  Score, magic water and attach the spout.    
Freshly attached spout ready for detail shaping.

I pulled the handles not on the pitcher, mainly because the pitchers were not quite leather hard and I didn't want to cause distortion.

I added some subtle decorative touches with shaping and bisque stamps.  Each of these pieces were thrown using 5lbs of clay.    Down the road, I might make some larger pitchers, but for now, the 5lbs doesn't mess with my neck.

If you haven't thrown pitchers or jugs, I suggest you give it a go.  They are fun and a good challenge.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Throwing Pitchers - Part One

This morning I watched a video clip of Arwyn Jones forming the spout on a tall jug.   I was instantly inspired to throw some pitchers.    Mine are made with about 5 lbs of clay.

I start with a good bit of clay at the base because I compress well and I like a little extra clay weight on tall pieces.
At this point I think about where I need to leave the clay thick for bellying out.

I like using the soft "Sherrill Mud Tools" rib when pulling up a heavy amount of clay.  Some people use a sponge or knuckle. 

I sized my base and starting to work on form.

The throwing is complete.

I used Steven Hill's technique of lifting the rim on each side.  It created a slight oval shape.  After the piece is leather hard I will throw and attach a beaked spout. 

I threw four pitchers today.  On two I formed spouts from the rim.  I used Arwyn's technique for the spout.  If you watch his short video, you will see he uses his thumb and middle finger to define the flow between the body and the spout.   It's going to take some practice to perfect that technique.

I need to wait for these to get leather hard, then I'll pull handles, throw a couple beaked spouts and decorate.