Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pottery Week 7: Glazing, Coiling and more!

Happy Saturday again! Somehow D and I have suddenly made it to Week 7 (?!) of our pottery class, and I have only managed to blog about it twice. Pottery time flies. We missed a couple of classes due to the snow storm and running errands, and I found out that we only have one or two more classes left unless we register for the next session (we're definitely signing up). Having been introduced to hand building, we'll be learning about slab techniques and other finishes if we stick around for more. We may eventually get to wheel throwing, but for now we are both really having fun with hand building (shocker!)

Lots to show you today. We talked a little about glazing, which is a completely intimidating process by which you can really mess up your nicely made pots when you're a beginner. The glaze cannot be applied too thickly, otherwise it will run off the pot. There are infinite combinations of colours and finishes you can create by combining different glazes and slip-paints, and we were encouraged to try out different glazes on our pinch pots.

D's pinch pots with slip-paint only

My pinch pots, slip paint only.

Wet glaze colours also do not look anything like their actual, post-fired colour so if you're doing a lot of projects at once and layering the colours, you have to remember what colour you applied. Here, I can't tell you what these little pots will look like once they are fired. I know we used white matte, turqoise, honey, and foggy blue, and possibly some aqua glaze. The mystery makes it kind of fun.

Next, we worked on our coiled pots. So far the best coiling technique has been to roll out the coils as long and as evenly as possible prior to building up the pot. You can wet your work surface with the swipe of a sponge and roll your coil over that to keep it damp and pliable. There's no need to score the coils if they are soft and easy to smush at the seams. For our coil project, we are making a lidded jar with a lip.

D, starting to form the base

The coils can be formed in any style and then added to the pot

Slip painting the pot

The coils can be left as-is on the outside, or you can smooth the surface in any variety of styles. And to ensure a water-tight vessel, the inside coils need to be smoothed at the seams. Here's a third coil project I started:

My second coil project turned out to have a pear-ish shape, so I made a little lid with a stem, also by coiling. You add a lip to the lid, slanted slightly inward, and allow the lid to sit in the jar as it gets to the leather hard stage so that it shrinks together the same way.

My happy pear jar, which I will hopefully not mess up with glaze

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