Sometimes a nice glaze is all you need!
Two bowls on made on the wheel with white clay, I used the same glaze “gun metal grey” and love them! I have them together in my lounge room they match my colour scheme. Sometimes you don’t need anything else but a nice coloured glaze. Less is more!
To glaze or not to glaze?
I made this small bowl with tissue transfers in a clear glaze on the inside, I painted the design in underglaze and left the outside raw unglazed. Now I’m torn should I glaze the outside in clear glaze as well.?
Love Blue Pottery
The Two Way Vase
This vase is made from recycled white and red clay mix together. The bottom of the vase was made on the wheel and the top was slab hand built. We pushed into the top of the slab tops of metal screws to give it the design. Then it was glazed in this crazy beautiful glaze made by Cesco called “Copper Rust”. The problem with being a potter is that you will at some point have to sell your works, as you just start accumulating too much. But how do you know what is marketable and should you make what you like or make for the market?
Second Lizard Pot
Entirely hand built in reconstituted clay and with a glaze made using left over glazes…. the ultimate in recycling!!
The Chris Cross Mug
Made this cup on a wheel with red clay, used wax resist to make the patterns and then glazed in cobalt blue and S66 glaze. I made a spur of the moment decision to use the wax resist but happy with this one!
What to do with the mermaid?
I started making this with hard wax a while ago with the view to cast the piece in bronze. But I changed my mind… As I would like to cast her in clay and use as two sides for a large vase… But now I’m stuck… if I make a latex mould the tail is too fragile and will snap if I try to pour in slip. I’ve never made a cast and I’m afraid I will loose the whole work…also as the tale curves it might not be easy to remove from a mould… So my poor mermaid lies half finished in limbo!
What to do with left over tissue transfers? Make Chinese/Japanese Tea Cups!
We are never finished
I made these ladies from wax and then into bronze. I called the piece “We are never finished” as I left them unfinished …
But its ironic as now I wish I had actually completed them more.
From the brink of disaster!
I made this bowl from stoneware on the wheel. I used Blackwattle G15 Sky Blue (a mat blue glaze) and painted edges with Duncan Crystal Glaze- Glazier Storm. (dark blue crystal glaze). Low mid fired. It turned out bad the glaze had crawled leaving patches of exposed stoneware. . and the crystal glaze was black not dark blue. I thought this bowl was beyond help but decided to reglaze… and wow..it worked out great!!! Still black not dark blue but I really like the effect.
I handmade two bowls and joined them together, not using a wheel but hand building. The secret is to work when the clay is just hard enough… Too wet and it will collapse, too dry and it will have issues fusing together. I glazed and high fired. Its not as perfect as being thrown on the wheel but I love the colour of the glaze and have it in my dining room now!
Geisha Tea Cup
Made on the wheel from white coloured stoneware, painted inside with Mayco ug1 kings blue, (no other glaze colour used, so that colour of stoneware will be visable) fired to bisque then put Japanese Geisha transfers on the cup and handpainted Japanese writing and cherry blossoms. Clear glazed then high fire. Rolled pattern into the handle.
Really happy with this …its my new favourite tea cup!
Testing Glazes I wanted to test some new glazes, the green shouldn’t work at Low mid fire, as it should only fire to 900 degrees but it worked fine, I also tested my new Duncan black and white low fire glazes, they actually look nicer than the picture… so this one is a win. I made the vase with white stoneware, I painted on the black glaze and using a sculpting tool and just turning the vase by hand to make the patterns… I wanted to test my new white glaze so added some for effect.
Of course with the good comes the bad, I tested Duncan Crystal Glaze and it was not good.. It should have been dark blue but it fired a black colour, it also took off the light blue low fire glaze, so I have patches of raw pottery. I am going to try and re-glaze this with the Duncan Crystal Glaze and see what will happen. I didn’t make an effort on the outside as it says it runs…but of course it didn’t… Anyway try try again.
Rice bowl with hand painted fish design. I used deco blue underglaze on white stoneware, the colour turned out much brighter and darker than expected, but I like it. I dipped in a clear glaze and high fired. The bowl was made on the wheel. I did a very light carving into the clay when it was green and then hand painted the fish design. I’m still getting use to how dark colours turn out when they are high fired…
Fifty shades of grey bowl
Little bowls are great for cotton buds, cotton balls, coins, keys and water containers for the art room, can always find a use for them….
Shades of Blue Mug
Sometimes you cant take a break! I love this mug … its made with white stoneware I bisque fired then glazed in cobalt blue, wax resisted some squiggles on it then put a light blue glaze over the top… But I put the second glaze all the way down to the bottom of the mug and I dipped the mug into the glaze for too long….so.. the glaze fused onto the pad I had underneath it. It had to be grinded to get it off the pad and now the bottom is out of shape…. SO its time to make another one and try again with these colours.
Lesson of the story for me, only one minute in each glaze and only put second glaze halfway down the mug. Will see what happens next time!
Blue Sgraffito Vase
Made on a wheel with white coloured stoneware clay, then I painted 3 layers of colour, which I hand mixed using brown, black and blue. Then I carved the design out. I made it to go with my bird sgraffito plate. Really like the blue colour, cant wait to see it fired. Ohhhh no….. this is what happened in the bisque fire!
Handmade Soap Fish
I made two soap fish to use for my laundry as soap dishes. I handmade them with white coloured stoneware clay putting strips of clay across the body of the cut out fish shape and then curved when leather hard. The first one I glazed in eggshell blue, which turned out white with green specks, which I actually quite like but nothing like eggshell blue. The second one I dripped glaze in light blue but the glaze had two blobs which I didn’t get off and you can see the blobs..so this has been given to a friend who makes mosaics to be reused/recycled. On to my next project!
My First Attempt at Sgraffito
Handmade this little bowl from white coloured clay, then when just dry painted twice in black underglaze. I found a colour in picture of a bird and copied the outline onto the bowl using a sharp tool. I then took away the black clay from around the bird and leaves… Not hard and I love the effect! I plan to glaze the outside of the bowl in a turquoise glaze and the bird in a clear glaze.
5 Pottery Lessons (learnt the hard way)
These are lessons I learnt the hard way….
- Keep records of the clay colour and glaze name and brand, I take photos of each piece as glazes never come out the way you expect and if you like something you can recreate it or if you hate something you know not to use that glaze colour again. For example the lizard was made in a green glaze, I thought it would show much more brown as in the sample..but its a very light green. I wont use this glaze again.
- Mix the glaze by hand then strain. I spent so much time mixing the glaze but didn’t strain it and the result is the fish soap dish lumps of colour. I will never forget to stain the glaze its so worth it!
- Roll out the slab using guides. I have lots of trouble with thickness of the clay being inconsistent. The guides (see photo) and practice help!
- Use one piece of clay slab, this saves a multitude of issues you don’t have cracks and issues with joining pieces of clay together.
- I found the wooden bowl in the photo in the op shop for 50cents…bargain!!…its fantastic as clay doesn’t stick to wood, as the clay dries it just comes away. Beware though it must be raw wood, any thing with a varnish wont work (you need to use glad wrap or oil spray).
The sad tale of two large pots
Oh Dear.! .the problems of a newbie potter..I hand made these large plant pots for my garden….I sculptured the lizard onto the second pot. But … I didn’t get the thickness right in either pot… Both are made from a red coloured clay… I was in a hurry to go to my pottery group and picked the first green ware pot from the sides…you guessed it.. a huge piece of clay came away… end of pot one.
The lizard pot was fired and became bisque… I mixed up a glaze.. and was lifting him into the glaze when a teacher saw me and said no no …you need to use the tongs… I said I don’t want to as its a big pot and it will break… Rubbish she said… its bisque… and so she picked it up with the tong..and now it has a hole in it.. To be honest at that point I wanted to throw it out but she was like it will be fine just put silastic in it..when its finished. So I glazed it ..but without much care, as I wanted to see what the glaze colour looks …so stay turned… and we will see how it turned out… But bottom line it has a hole in it …so time to make another one and now I am using timber guides with a rolling pin to try and get my thickness more even! A lesson learnt so all is good.
Little coin bowl
Made this little bowl from red clay with a brown glaze after being bisque fired. I dipped the rim in wax and I really like the effect of no glaze on the top of the bowl. I love little bowls like this. I keep coins in them and they are also great for keys ..
My first Attempts at Pottery
The first piece with the plant, is made by hand using a half round plaster mould then finished off by hand, the second was completed on a wheel with lots of help from my mentor Fred. I’m hoping to buy an old pottery wheel so I can practice more often. The bowl with the plant is made from white clay bisque fired and dipped 3 times in glaze, leaving the top unglazed. I brought the plant stand from K-Mart Australia (which is actually a candle stand) so I have a free candle… It was a bargain usually $7.00 but now just $3.50 on sale. I really like the effect, I was going to push the planter down further but I like showing its bottom. I was originally going to hang it with a macrame hanger but this for me was a better option as it has a tray to collect drips after watering. The second planter was made with a red clay with no glaze on its bottom.
Little bird sgraffito bowl
Thought I would make a pop art sgraffito bowl, I made it with primary colours of an Australian galah but didn’t like it… I filled in the sgraffito lines with slurry and recarved this design.. then touched up with spearmint and white and grey paint…Its been bisque fired …so far so good … cant wait to see what it looks like glazed… when the true colours will pop..