Thursday, April 9, 2009

I have enjoyed making jugs this week

A friend called whilst I was putting a zig-zag line of clay around a largish jug I was decorating. He said that the jug reminded made him think of Cleopatra.

So I turned the zig-zag line of clay into a snake, and hid its head and tail under the handle to be a little surprise.

I also gave the pot eyes and just a hint of little breasts.

It was fun pushing the boundaries a bit between making a plain tall jug, and a sculpture. The jug is just over 16 inches high. I then made another jug, slightly shorter, that I added a lid and a spout to.

It reminds me a bit of a dancer, with one arm raised, and the other placed with a hand on the hip.

I have been exploring the whole thing of attaching handles, of leaving lively marks where the handle is pushed on to the pot a the top, and thumbed off from the pot at the bottom.

This 16 and a half inch high pot may be a bit narrow at the base, but I am playing with form at the moment and trying to see what works and what does not, and to find what I really like in the process.

I have been throwing, drying the pot a bit with a hot air gun, then adding extra doughnuts of soft clay, and throwing the pots higher. I am really enjoying working this way.

It is nice coming to Friday evening and having some big new pots on my shelves to look at. It has been a busy week (when are they not!), with an exhibition opening to attend in Dunedin first thing on Saturday morning, then an open studio here for the rest of the weekend. Monday, I attached a handle to the Cleopatra Jug and finished her off, then we went through to Oamaru (nearly an hour north of here) to see my parents for lunch. When home again I did more work in the studio. Tuesday was a day in Dunedin at the Potter's Co-operative, looking after the gallery there. Wednesday through to Friday I made more pots here, and gave two young people a potting lesson.

I feel excited with the larger jugs that I am making and hope to do more next week.

The exhibition opening in Dunedin was of an exhibition of teapots at the Stuart Street Potter's Co-operative (of which I am a member), I have put a few photos of the exhibition on our Waikouaiti Old Post Office Gallery site . Most members of the Co-operative have teapots in the exhibition. We also have our regular shelves around the gallery space with displays of our work.

Marion, one of the Co-op potters, kindly fired some pots for me in her gas kiln to about cone 11. She managed to achieve good reduction in this firing and I was pleased how the shino glazed pots came out.

Yes, this bronze jug is shino, I have simply added iron and manganese, and a small amount of cobalt carbonate to my shino recipe.

I had my camera with me in Dunedin on Tuesday and took these photographs of tiles down at the Dunedin Railway Station. I went there with Marcus Wainwright, who is a German trained stone mason, you might enjoy having a look at his website,


Linda Starr said...

Love the decor on the new pots you are making, Cleopatra and the dancer. The shinos glazes on the fired pots are great, but that bronze shino is spectacular, my favorite.

Peter said...

Thanks Linda. The bronze shino is a really new glaze for me, and the jug was the first functional piece that I have tried it on. It results from a couple of experiments that I did with my standard shino recipe the last time I fired my wood fired kiln. One was adding some Chromium Oxide to make a shino green, and the other was the bronze. To be honest, the bronze was a happy accident. I had thought that the oxides that I added to the shino would make black, but the bronze that resulted from my experiment was much better. The green was quite interesting too. My hope is to get a green that breaks to the shino red where thin. It may never happen, but it is fun to try these things! P.

Linda Starr said...

Hi Peter, experimenting is definitely fun - I hope you get that bronze again it is spectacular. I picked your blog for the Kreativ Blogger award, check my blog for the rules:

Judy Shreve said...

Your large jugs are wonderful. Giving yourself the freedom to play with shape/form/surface has really made them lively & creative.

I also like the shinos -- the one you added the iron, manganese & cobalt looks like an ancient korean pot. You get such great results from 'what if I added . . . '

& thanks for the link to your stonemason friend's site. He does tremendous work.