Sunday, March 17, 2013

Watching pots dry... slowly.

If you visited my studio and peered into the gloom of my drying shelves, you might see something a little bit odd there... even odder than usual!  I have been making lots of cylinders, globes, and bowls on the wheel that can be stacked and joined together.

Most of the objects have been made from stoneware clay, but some are from a fine white clay.  The white clay will have crystalline glazes.  Some of the stoneware might be fired in the wood fired kiln.

I have made little joining pieces that fit in between the larger sections, and I have tried to standardise most of the joints so that pieces can be "mixed and matched".

We have concrete wheelchair ramp to the front door of our home and studio, and I want to make it more exciting visually by replacing some of the metal posts that support the hand rail with my ceramic posts.  When I do this I will put a metal rod up the centre of my ceramic post, and probably fill the centre with concrete.

I also want to make fountains, and have been making bowls that are designed to fit in between the other sections.

I have been making more pots and vases that will be crystalline glazed.  The pot in the photo above is made from porcelain.  I recently "took the plunge" and purchased my first bag of porcelain.  I have read all sorts of things about porcelain, about how difficult it is to work with, but the porcelain that I bought was actually easier to work with in some respects than my stoneware clay and definitely much easier than the white clay that I have used in the past.  The porcelain is Primo Clays - High-fire Porcelain, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing how it looks when fired.

I am starting a bisque firing of some of the stoneware pieces for the front railing as I write this.  Other work will be drying on racks over the kiln as the firing proceeds.  I am very busy at the moment, because I am a guest potter in an exhibition in Oamaru next month, and the month after that I am a guest potter at an exhibition in Timaru.  I would love a fountain to be ready for the exhibition in Oamaru, but may run short of time as some of the parts are drying rather slowly.  It is the end of summer now, and washing can hang all day on the line and still be damp in the evening, and pots dry slowly.  I have several large platters drying on my shelves that may end up being what goes to Oamaru... but we will have to wait and see which work wins the race to the kiln!


Angie said...

What a fantastic idea ...they will look amazing ...cant wait to see them in the future, insitu.
Have fun doing all the guest potting ...dont tire yourself out though. xx to you all

Amy said...

wow, congratulations on the upcoming exhibitions! and I hope you post a 'finished' pic on the mixed and matched pieces.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Peter!

I look forward to seeing the guest potter when he comes to Oamaru - hopefully with the mix'n match fountain!
You may find that the dehumidifier helps a bit?

Armelle Léon Bitterolf said...

Very interesting Peter, your ceramics posts, made me think to the one I saw in Thailand, supporting ramps in houses, they were coated with beautiful iridescent or cobalt blue glazes. Best wishes for your exhibition in Oamaru and Timaru.

Anonymous said...

Peter you are a talented and arty man. I love the lines and shapes of posts and fountains. How exciting to be guest potter in both Oamaru and Timaru. Amazing!


Peter said...

Hello Angie,
Lovely to hear from you. Your "don't tire yourself out"... is a sensible piece of advice that I really must attend to one of these days! I really must!! It is nice working on something bigger than a coffee mug (although I enjoy making those), and I am looking forward to getting things finished.

Hi Amy,
I'll try to remember to post some photos of the work when it is finished... It will be fun to see what they look like (I hope!!). I am thinking of getting rid of the cobwebs in the wood fired kiln for firing this lot!

Hello Dad,
I had forgotten the dehumidifier!! Thanks for reminding me. I have the kiln shed full of pots drying around the kiln today.

Hello Armelle,
Thank you for reminding me about the posts that you saw in Thailand. I will have a look on the internet for examples. The blue or iridescent glazes would work well with architecture.

Hi Sue,
Wot me arty? Ha, Ha!! Sometimes I feel rather middle aged and saggy round the middle, but doing something like the posts and fountains is rejuvenating for the soul or something!! Our friend Rhonda would say that I am "getting rid of beige!" Regarding Oamaru and Timaru... I'm just starting to get nervous! Lots of stuff drying, but will it get done in time??? Eeeeek!

Anonymous said...

Haha! Getting rid of beige indeed ;)
Let me know when you're in Timaru, it's only a two-hour drive away, so may pop down for the day.
Glad your soul is feeling rejuvenated. I do think you're onto something you know.

Peter said...

Hello "Anonymous"!

I'll let you know when we will be up in Timaru. The way it is looking is that there will be at least 3 visits to the wee town, some of them busier than others. I will be there first on 20th April, but will be really busy for a few hours. After that I may be up again on the 7th and the 10th of May, but am still sorting that part out. The opening will be 10th of May (if I have got my dates right!!) P x

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Maybe I can take a trip there in May.
Anonymous is Sue from Chch. I don't know how to leave a comment any other way. :)

Jill M Hodgson said...

They will look stunning, what a creative idea. Look forward to seeing a photo of them in situ.

Peter said...

Hi Sue,
I knew it was you!! You are always welcome to email if you like, opogallery AT gmail DOT com
P :)

Hi Jill,
I'm looking forward to getting them finished. All a mad whirl here with trying to get pots glazed in time for an exhibition deadline. Must dash back to my glaze bucket!! P

Linda Starr said...

The totem posts and fountains are going to be wonderful, looking forward to seeing the finished installation.

Peter said...

Hi Linda,
Lovely to hear from you. I'm feeling about 100 years old as I write this!!! I was firing a kiln load of crystalline glazed pots through the night before last, and it has all caught up with me today! I'm certainly looking forward to all the work coming together. P

Jesh St Germain said...

Hopped over from another blog.
Ah, pottery and sculpture in general is on my bucket list! Just finding the time...since I'm a painter:)

Peter said...

Hi Jesh,
Welcome to my blog site, it is good to hear from you. I was a painter who was seduced by pottery about 8 years ago... I haven't found the time to do any painting since then! Hope you are able to achieve a happy balance between all your interests, it is fun to try new things. P.

gz said...

You're having fun....Good!!!