To make them I started with 2 kg of clay, and made the acorn shaped main part of the pitcher on the potter's wheel. These were rested for a few hours so the clay stiffened to become soft leather hard, then clay was added to the top and thrown higher on the wheel to form the neck of the pitcher. I sometimes speed this process by using a small gas torch to stiffen the clay.
The method that I used for adding the clay varied depending on what I wanted to do. On some I added a coil of clay that was then thrown higher, and others had necks that started as open ended cylinders that I threw on another wheel.
The following day handles were added to each pitcher, and in the evening of that day white slip was poured in and out of each of them, to coat the inside with an even white layer.
SlipThe white slip, or engobe, was the same as what I used in the previous post, but I will give the recipe again here,
Daniel Rhodes Engobe for damp clay. Cone 1 - 6.
Ball Clay 25
Nepheline Syenite 15
I add all the ingredients to water, let them sit for about an hour if I can, then sieve through 40, 60, and 80 mesh sieves. I rarely bother to go finer than 80 mesh for anything these days. I start with about 1 litre of water for every 1000 grams of dry material. I like to make the slip the day before I use it, and I might need to add a little more water to thin it to the consistency of fresh cream.
DecoratingThe next morning I began decorating the outside, and I thought you might like a little glimpse of the decorating process.
I make use of an old aluminium bucket and 2 lengths of wooden dowel when doing slipping or glazing the outside of a large pot. The bucket sits on top of a wheel so I can turn the whole thing around when I need to. I found it was handy to tape or rubber band the dowels together at one end so that they could not spread apart, then I loosely clamped the other ends with the metal handle of the bucket.
I find it useful to have a second bucket nearby, without the wooden dowels. I can use the second bucket if I pour slip over a pot that I am holding, and I don't want the dowels to get in my way!
I was not able to photograph the first step in decorating the outside of a pitcher, as I really had my hands full, but I think that this sequence of photos should give you the idea.
This pitcher is just over 17 inches tall, and fairly soft, so I have to handle it quite gently. I don't feel confident that I can hold it upside down and pour slip over it in one operation, and I do not have a deep bucket full of several gallons of slip to dunk the whole thing in, so I tackle this one in two steps.
|Here is the pitcher after stage one of the pouring of slip. The handle and the top part of the pitcher are all now covered in white slip.|
|Next, the lower two thirds of the pitcher are covered. I like to pour slip with an old metal milk saucepan, the sort that has little pouring lips on each side. I am rotating the pitcher as I pour.|
|Hey Presto... All done!|
A Summer Flower!Whilst many of you are enjoying winter, we are trudging our way through the warm and rather dry months of summer here....
I thought I would share a bit of summer with you by posting a photo of a lovely hydrangea flower that I took a few evenings ago.