Sunday, 10 September 2017

Pots - series 8

I've got really exciting pots this weekend: my tallest ever (still below 20cm high), and finally getting the hang on the Owen blue glaze !

Glossy grey x2, misty green x2, at an angle

A drizzle of Owen blue on top of 2x Tenmoku
I love the details of the Owen blue glaze dripping,
and reacting with the Tenmoku underneath

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Pots - series 7

For my seventh series, my three pots have a combination of pink and green/blue. It also features my first 'closed' vase (it has a tiny hole at the bottom so that it doesn't explode in the kiln). I love their soft curves !

Pink x 2
Sea mist x 1
Sea mist x 2

Pots - series 6

For my sixth series, I inlayed black slip clay at the turning stage. Carving, then filing the holes with black slip and finally scraping most of the excess. I love the angles of the top one.

Orange x 2
Transparent x 1

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pots - series 5

For my fifth series of pots, I tried out a new shape: the jewellery box. Mine have the size of an egg, so maybe more of a ring box. It was very time-consuming to throw and I'm not keen on doing those again! We started with a cylinder, then closed it up to make like an egg, empty inside. At the leather-hard stage, we sliced it open and painstakingly try to make a lip for the lid to fit perfectly onto the base. Then glazing and firing as one unit so that they evolve the same way to maximise the fit. They came out of the kiln stuck, and gentle banging with a stone on the sides (protected by a fabric) easily separated them again.
Two egg boxes (two more to follow)
in: 3 x Late Owen blue
out: 3 x Misty blue

My usual "series of three"
3x glossy white
3-4x Late Owen blue

lid & inside: 3x Late Owen blue
outside: 2-3 new blue-black, then transparent

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Taste of watercolour

During our stay in Venice, we took a watercolour painting class! It was really interesting; very different from the acrylics I am using! 

We start by making a pencil drawing of the composition. We also add values (shading) that will be converted in colours.
The main difference for me was that the work with colours is in transparency. We do not 'block' the paper with the pigments, but rather do different layers of transparent colours. It's more like combining filters and light than opaque colours on a support (the light being the white of the paper). 
There is no black; the shading 'grey' is made by mixing the colour with its opposite colour in the colour wheel (for example shady red is red+green, making a brown-ish tainted with the original red colour).

The key things I learned were: 
1/ You need to use lots of water
2/ To make interesting marks or stains, you need to use lots of water
3/ Need erasing? No problem, just rub with water
4/ In doubt, put more water
5/ Water is the key

In action!

With Sébastien our teacher

Our view

First step - pencil drawing

With water, and colours

With more details

Red, Green, Venice

A selection of pictures we took in Venice. I loved the red & green colours!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Pots - series 4

For my fourth series of pots, I aimed at being more 'daring' with the glazing. This ended up meaning that I used darker glazes. And again, I did not get the effect I was aiming for. This being said, I think I'm getting better at throwing interesting shapes.

2 x brownish-black glaze 2 x Owen blue and a rather thin stripe of red

I love the stunning blue on the inside ; shame it did not behave similarly outside...

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Pots - series 3

This is my third series of pots. They are painstakingly getting a bit bigger.
Glazing is still the part where I feel the least confident, hence I'm making lots of pots in the same design... 
Also, I'm learning to throw lids!

2 x glossy white, 2 x glossy turquoise, and a thick band of iron oxide (which bubbled)
2 x matt turquoise - I love the speckles!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

My second series of pots!

Another set of three little vases
Black slip in carved lines, transparent and blue (neck) glossy glazes

Three little plates
Single dips in pink / grey and pearly glazes at an angle

My first attempt at the temperamental
green matte glaze

Mug with barely visible white slip pattern
under a transparent glossy glaze 

It fits really nicely in my hands!
Shame the inside is not food safe..............

Moon bowls with a spout
Here again, not sure this glaze is food safe...

Sunday, 5 March 2017

My first pots !

When I was in Australia last winter, Jessica got me on her pottery wheel and I loved it! A year later now, we've happened to move near a workshop / studio for artists and I have started a pottery class at Freya's Clay Club there. I thoroughly enjoy it! On top of that, Freya (our teacher) is on the Great Pottery Throw Down (on now on BBC 2)! 

It is really rewarding to see how quickly one can progress from one pot to another. On my first block of 4 sessions, I've done bowls; the first ones were small and thick, the later thinner and wider; and small vases with constricted necks. 

First step is throwing the clay on the wheel and shape it to whatever you are able to make. Then the following week, the clay has hardened a bit and we turn it on the wheel again, this time refining the shape. Then it is fired at 1000°C to become hard as a stone. We can then apply glaze on it, by dipping them in the bucket of liquid glaze. Then the pots are fired again to vitrify and fuse the glazing to the ceramic pot. Interestingly, the glazes are not the same colour at all before and after firing, so it's always a surprise to see how the pots end up looking in the end!

The studio with the wheels to turn the clay

My pots, fresh from being shaped 

My firsts vases; smaller is easier! 

Thick edged bowl; thicker is easier!