Monday, October 17, 2005

Mugs should feel "just right"... just right in the hand, and to our lips. Figuring out what features are desirable in a mug is what is making them interesting to me again; I see that just small variances in handle placement, rim angle, and width to height proportion can make a big difference...The other day I made 8 mugs, changing proportions slightly. When it came time to glaze them, I wanted them to work as a set if a buyer wanted more than one, so they all have vertical stripes of a rutile/titanium wash, and horizontal copper stripes, but I tried different Mason stain stripes in between the copper . From left to right, the pairs have stripes of 1-an iron mixture, 2-blackberry, 3-pink (burned out) 4-turquoise. Iwanted to have the rutile wash stripes cause the horizonal stripes to sag, but I need to use a heavier application next time.

And yes, of the eight, two or three are my favorites. They have a slightly thinned lip, exactly 3 and one-quarter inch top diameter, and the handle placement and shape give a feeling of balance. Actually they all feel pretty good, but the human hand can distinguish slight variations. If you've read this far, you must be a potter !

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I want to post a few pictures from my Oct. 9 glaze firing (^7ox). In one of my earlier entries I was wailing about how my favorite iron red glaze was not coming out right. Well, it turns out this glaze likes a soak on the way down at about 1600 for several hours . I learned this from John Hesselberth on "Clayart". Another Clayart member, Tom Buck clarified some of the reasons for a "muck" olive color replacing the red ...overfiring most likely. Anyway, the top photo shows 3 pieces which I redipped and refired- they are much improved. The mug was not a refire, and shows a decent color too. (the turquoise mug is there to make the other one look redder, haha. I didn't know the handle on the red one was so "sturdy"!!- someone else must have sneaked into my studio and attached that one. Feels OK, though.

At the suggestion of Dannon Rhudy, I tested adding a little bone ash to this glaze and sure enough, a side by side test looks promising enough to try a larger amount next firing.
This is an 11" plate. As is the following one of gourds.
This next one is an 18" tray. It turned out to be somewhat of a "spinner". Well, hey, is that all bad? It's big enough for me to call it a lazy susan-done intentionally, of course!