Reclaim: Fail…

Well, I was gonna switch up and throw bowls this week (which I did) and I thought since I just reclaimed quite a bunch of clay that I would use that because it was that nice soft consistency I like so much. That didn’t work out like I wanted and like has happened so many times before. I’ve come to realize that the drywall mud mixer attachment that I have in my drill and that I use to mix up my reclaim after it has slaked down was painted with a heavy duty black paint and due to neglect on my part (leaving the mixer attachment submerged in the slurry for long periods of time), the paint came off in little black chips which distributed nicely throughout the reclaim. So early in the week I kept picking little black paint chips out of the clay wondering where they were coming from and then when trimming those kept coming upon more. I really gave it a good go and after a couple days of slow going, I just had to go against the economical side of personality and ditch the reclaim (maybe Sofia can use it and it won’t slow her down). Anyway, it pissed me off and now I have to get a new drywall mud mixer and I’m not sure how many buckets of slaked clay I mixed with the chipping one. So I got my fresh clay and kinda got stuck on this form for a bowl which is new to me and reminds me of something but can’t put my finger on it…

I’ve finally gotten really into the throwing groove and I’m running out of room for greenware. I really don’t want to enter the shellac zone quite yet. In other news, it’s been hotter than hell here this week with record high temps and consecutive days of 95+ degrees with heat indexes of 106 and 107. I’m staying with the cycling thing and haven’t missed a weekday in weeks. I even went today during a thunderstorm… all the while trying to remember if I ever heard of a cyclist getting struck by lightning. Sofia asked me as I was leaving if I thought I might get “caught” by lightning so I guess she was worried about it too. I was almost done and it came down in sheets and my speedometer stopped working… the damn thing’s only about 15 years old. They can put a man on the moon, you’d think they could make a digital speedometer/odometer/clock thingie that’s impervious to thunderstorms. Of course you’d also think that if they can drill an oil well in water that’s a mile deep that the braintrust behind that great idea could also plug it up if they need to. It’s gonna cool down today and it’s raining already which means I’ve got to post this in a hurry and unplug the computer because the radar shows an ominous storm a comin’. I posted both the big bowl from the Pottery Making Illustrated article and a similar chocolate one to Etsy in the past couple days. Here they are (clicking sends you to Etsy)…

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12 Responses to “Reclaim: Fail…”

  1. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Earlier this week I was working with what was supposed to be soft, wonderful reclaim clay… and I couldn’t for the life of me throw anything with it. I finally detected a sliver of plastic, like a 4-inch thin string of plastic from clay bags. Got that cleaned out, then found another and then another… All while trying to throw. Though I was frustrated by the plastic strings, I was even more relieved to see that there was a reason for my lop-sided pots and that my throwing skills had not deteriorated THAT badly!… Still haven’t figured out how it got there, and other batches have been fine this week. Another clay mystery.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Beautiful bowls! Good job on the biking! I’m with Sofia, I don’t think it’s good to bike in a thundertorm. I’ve heard of a biker being struck by a deer while riding some trails but not by lighting.

    I haven’t had a chance to tell you – Congratulations on the Pottery Making Illustrated article!

  3. f'Arti Says:

    I think I saw a similar shape as a lid on a woven steaming basket. It also reminds me of the Devo hats. Keep on bikin’. That’s really impressive for an old fart (from one old fart to another).

  4. Eugene Hon Says:

    so frustrating when that happens- we have a lab assistant that recycles and mixes our clay. He left clay in the machine during the summer recess and when he came back just decided to switch the machine on, needless to say the clay was rock hard in the areas where it did the most damage. Total disaster. Really like the chocolate bowls as always.

  5. ang Says:

    nice work indeed jim…diggin the chicoate one espec..probably the reference to the dark stuff itself!! nothin beats a lovely chocolate…had the yumiest canoli at the ‘jazz night’ that came close, it was devine….hope you enjoyed the throwing groove, hit one of those myself today…could have thrown many more hours if it hadn’t gotten dark and chilly out !!

  6. medrecgal Says:

    Interesting shape on those bowls…never seen any quite like it. Liking the color on that chocolate one, too. And you guys aren’t the only ones getting that hot, crazy weather…back here we just had several days of 90+ degree weather, which I’m really glad has passed now!

  7. Peter Says:

    Hi Jim,
    Really exciting shape for those bowls. That rise after they have come out is great. I had to laugh at the “drop and curl if your hair stands up” advice from Linda.., in that I wondered how many people will be hitting the floor when they are having a bad hair day (sorry Linda, but I do have a silly sense of humour!). Einstein…, he never would get up off the floor!! Anyway, lightning is scary stuff. I think that your speedometer was just terrified and didn’t want to be sitting on your metal bike with all that electricity whipping around. You should speak very soothingly to it, and it might recover.

  8. Peter Says:

    PS… Regarding the hair standing up thing, Laura just asked, “what do you do if you are bald!!??” (I think that my woeful lack of hair might have something to do with her question!). Hell, don’t stand near him in a storm, with a head like his you’d never know if lightning was about to strike!

  9. Peter Says:

    PPS…. Laura has just suggested a remedy to my problem, I should wear the cat on my head! Now this is getting really silly!!

  10. meredith@whynot Says:

    the bowls remind me of a shape I have seen here that has an Asian influence with the drwn up sides before the lip.
    Very nicely done.
    Oh and that skirt whirring and there is nothing like a picture of a girl with her clever meat tenderizer—chop off hunks of clay- do people really understand what we do?
    Riding bikes in lighting storms- are you carzy!???
    whoops! just a bit of mother slipping out of me.
    I think you should wear a cat on your head just in case!

  11. Steve Says:

    Can you give me an idea as to the influence of your “calligraphy”. It is very nice, but I don’t see any pattern to suggest it is an actual language or alphabet. Thanks, your bowl is beautiful!

    • jim Says:

      hi steve, i try not to think about influences while i’m working but i have loved zen calligraphy, islamic calligraphy and others for quite some time. mostly though, i believe a stronger influence would probably be certain abstract expressionist painters. cy twombly and mark tobey come to mind.

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