Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Big Pots. Canterbury earthquake.

Laura took some photos of me working on a couple of large pots last night. In the photo above I have just attached a coil of clay and am now carefully throwing it upwards with light pressure from my finger tips. Notice almost no water is needed for this.

I am truing up the top of the pot by removing a little "worm" of clay from the rim with a needle.

I am folding the top of the pot over to form a nice thick rim. Wheel thrown flower pots can have a nice thick rim built into them by folding the top outwards and down, then carefully pressing it together (without trapping air) to double the thickness of the pot at the rim. This feature is just not done these days with press molded flower pots, although some of them do imitate it.

I brushed white slip onto the pot after I had finished it, then I scratched patterns into the wet slip with a home made comb.

This pot is 16.5 inches high (419mm), and was made by throwing a largish lump of centered clay as high as I comfortably could, then adding coils of clay and throwing them higher, after first allowing the base of the pot to stiffen. This pot has a nice even wall thickness and feels well balanced and quite light (to me) for its size.

Here I am brushing white slip onto another large pot, this one is about 15.5 inches in height (394mm).

I scratched a decoration into the slip on the following day (today!).

I added some "sprigged" decoration to this pot.

I have made various bisqued clay stamps and molds, and sometimes use them to decorate soft clay. On the left the raised decoration is in the form of a crown. I took a clay cast of a little metal box lid that someone found under a house near here. The box may have been for snuff, and it had a rather nice crown embossed on the lid. The raised decoration on the right is something I made when I was going through my "bronze age" period. It is a bit like a bronze age shield.

These pots are made out of earthenware clay, and will have a simple clear glaze put over the slip. The pots will be fired in my wood fired kiln (I haven't any other kiln big enough to take them... even if I wanted them done another way!).

Quake Update.
Thank you to those of you who thought of us when New Zealand was shaken up early on our Saturday morning. We are about 4 hours drive South of Christchurch and, fortunately for us there was no damage, although the shake was bad enough here to make the blinds clatter, the bed shake, and the lights swing violently. There was a lot of damage done in Christchurch and in the surrounding towns. Some buildings fell down, or were so badly damaged they have had to be demolished. Hundreds of aftershocks continue to keep people in a state of tension and some are strong enough to cause more damage, especially to buildings that are already weakened by the initial 7.1 quake. Whilst some of the City now functions... many people have not been able to return home, or go to work. Most schools in Christchurch have been shut, but may open next week. More than 80 workers at the Kaiapoi New World supermarket have been told that they are to lose their jobs. The supermarket was wrecked in the quake.

The two images that follow are from , these should give a fairly good idea of the wobbly nature of the Canterbury area of New Zealand at the moment.

This image shows the 7.1 quake and the aftershocks in the days following it.

This image is the recording from the Seismograph drum that is located at McQueens Valley, Canterbury, quite close to Christchurch. The image shows the size and number of aftershocks that have happened over the last 24 hours. Where the shock is very large, the trace is marked red and is clipped in size to stop it overwriting too much of the surrounding image.


ang said...

Good to hear all is well at your end i did see the mayor of Christchurch on the news tonight putting a positive spin on it all that no one was even hurt as a result of the quake so nice to hear that too!! super combing on that big pot, wil that be some gentle wood firing then??? I do have a habit of blowing things up in my twee wood firing kiln :))

cookingwithgas said...

Nice shots of you working- thanks to Laura!
I hate hearing about the quake- I hope folks recover soon!

Tracey Broome said...

Lovely pots Peter! Glad you guys made it through the quake without harm!

Linda Starr said...

What great pots and nice to see your process; more folks out of work not good.

Arkansas Patti said...

You do such beautiful work Peter.
Wonderful news that the quake only being 4 miles away that you escaped so well.
We have been seeing a lot of pictures on the news. It will take a while for the town to recover but thankfully no lives were lost.

Peter said...

Hi everyone..., thought I had better put out a quick correction first...

Hi Patti, you'll be even more pleased to hear that the quake was not "4 miles" from us.., but 4 hours away by car, which is much better!

A lovely spring day today, with some warmth in the sun, and a nice blue sky up there, so I'm hoping it will make people feel a bit better in this part of the world.

Hi Ang, I'm really enjoying working on a bigger scale, I don't do enough of it to know what I am doing, so everything is an experiment... including the decoration. I hoped the combing would enhance the form of the pot. The firing will be a very careful one... I really hope to do it before I go away to America, but I am not sure that they will be dry by then, so I may have to wait.

Hi Meredith,
Laura's good with the camera. I thought we had better have an up to date photo of the potter about now on the blog so that I am easily recognized when I come to NC!

Hi Tracey,
Good to hear from you! I was pleased to read your "Peace" post a few minutes ago, and do hope that there is a lot of grace and tolerance shown from all sides as September 11 comes close.

Hi Linda,
The only "up side" of the earthquake as far as employment goes is that there will be a lot of work for the construction industry. Already people heading to Christchurch with earth moving equipment and the like to help in the clean up.

Kitty Shepherd said...

Ohh I like these new big vases they are very gutsy! Sprigs are good, I have never had success really with sprigs, they always come out looking like I have stuck something on the pot rather than being part of it, looking forward to seeing those come out of the kiln.
I did think about you in NZ when the news hit the UK telly glad all is OK but what a mess for those in the middle of it all.

Angie said...

So pleased you were not affected by the quake ...cant imagine what it would be like.

LOVE these giant pots ...I get an ethnic feel from the decoration.
These would take maori patterns ...or Lauras art.
I think one would look amazing sitting in a corner filled with dried grasses ...maybe a little retro ...but thats me lol

Armelle said...

Nice scale for your pots, Peter, what a white slip !!! I cannot find such a slip here, and mine looks grey before firing. Nice patterns onto the pots, looking forward to see them fired.
Hope the earth is quiet now.
Only 2 weeks before your journey to will come very soon now !!!
Best wishes to all

Armelle said...

I just see a photo of you and Laura on Rémy's blog:
nice smile !!!

srgb said...

Hi Peter
I have been following your blog for a while now, I'm a wood worker but but go get a lot out of of what you are doing, I passed by your gallery during my last holiday we did a tour of the South Island and now relate to where you are.
At the moment my mind is on how you are doing during this cold snap and your preparations for the trip, I thought I may wish you a wonderful time.
Bob S

Peter said...

Dear Kitty, Angie, Armelle, and Bob, Thank you for your comments, it was good of you to write, I am really sorry not to have replied sooner... as you will see from my next post, it has been a busy time here as the voyage to the USA gets close!

Bob, welcome to my site, thanks for your kind thoughts. I have just popped over to your site, and you do lovely work. I will put a link to your site from mine, and I hope you will get some more visitors that way! I see you like Leonard Cohen... will you be going to one of his concerts when he is over here next month??

Now I must away and get some sleep before I pack tomorrow. Best Wishes All!