Posts Tagged ‘bisque’

Thermocouples And Relays…

June 24, 2013

What’s this? Digging in the kiln guts again…

kilnrepair

I was firing off a bisque and I got a dreaded errd error code which according to the manual means that the actual temperature is more than X (can’t remember exactly) degrees away from the set point. Well, that cleared everything up right away. I guess all I had to do is get those two measurements closer together. After repeated “shazams!” and “voltos!”, I called the controller person who was extremely helpful and two days, two relays and two thermocouples later, I think I’m back in business. The lesson I’m taking away is, if I’m gonna replay relays, thermocouples or elements… I should just replace them all. Duh. In other news we had our beach vacation a week ago or so on St. George Island just off the panhandle of Florida. It was hot and although the forecast said that it would rain everyday, it never rained once. I guess the lesson I’m taking away from that is, don’t pay attention to weather forecasts… duh. Hell, I think I learned that lesson in high school. Anyway, the bug had a great time. She swims like a fish… at least 6 or 7 hours a day. Here’s some beachy pics…

sofia

sofia

sofia

sofia_dad

Then one day, this washed up on the beach…

dad

Not sure what it was but it had sand in it’s beard and squinty eyes. Hopefully, I’ll have a glaze firing soon. Sofia’s been drawing like gangbusters lately and I keep taking pics but I had such a backlog that I decided to put all the pics together into one big file (click to enlarge)…

sofia_drawings

Justin Beaver Is No Crappy Face…

May 26, 2011

Long time readers may remember this post where I recounted my early success in convincing the bug when she was about 2 1/2 years old that the d1sney princesses were all named crappy face. Well the glory days are apparently over as she came home from school talking about Just1n B1eber the other day. I don’t think she’s seen him anywhere yet but has heard him at the roller skating party. I interceded in this conversation and insisted that her and her friends were mispronouncing it and his name is really Justin Beaver. A flicker of doubt ran across her face but she easily dismissed this and the jig was up. I had to pull out big guns and tried to convince her that young Mr. Beaver has a cousin named Justin Racoon. Her deep seated skepticism didn’t allow her to even bite for a second. I gave it the old college try but I guess it’s time for me to up my game. In other news, Sofia has settled on a color for the stumphouse. I don’t usually like to go on about the weather but we are drowning in rain… it’s hard to believe how much and bike riding has become more difficult to work in. So has painting the stumphouse, by time we get it painted, she will have lost interest. Here’s the bug putting on a coat…

Maybe we’ll wrap it up this weekend if it’s not raining… yeah right. Just thought I’d throw in another pic of the bug playing dressup…

Seems the last post generated a few comments. I resisted the urge to reply and would only like to point out that I tried to make a sharp distinction between normal use or even frequent use and outright obsession. Just one thing on that note, I recently read an article saying that the iPad we now responsible for a plummet in extramarital affairs because iPad owners are not only not interested in the opposite sex, they are unaware they even exist… also they are unaware that other living things even exist. The bisque came out fine…

Sorry for the blurry picture. I decided that I was going to go back and make a definitive inventory of glaze test tiles for all the glaze I have mixed up over the years sitting idle in my basement. Some of these are so old that I wasn’t even using porcelain and many other things have changed since then and I can’t really remember what all of them looked like. I’ve been surprised at how tedious and time consuming it is, especially if the glaze has no water left and has to be reconstituted first. It should be interesting. Here’s the beginning of my test tiles…

Here’s the reconstituted, remixed and re-sieved glazes stacked up so far…

UNO!…

September 27, 2010

Well, the weather finally broke and it was a brisk 53 when I walked the bug to school this morning. We had a wonderfully idyllic weekend together. But before I get into that I was delighted that 2 fellow ceramics people (one that I’m acquainted with in person and one that’s a blogging friend) are featured in the current issue of “Ceramics Art and Perception” magazine. Fong Choo, who makes dreamy miniature teapots and who is a professor here in Louisville is on the cover…

Here’s a good shot of Fong and it gives a great idea of the scale of his teapots…

Also, Eugene Hon, my blogging buddy from South Africa, is featured in the same issue…

Eugene is a fantastic sculptor whose pieces are exhaustively researched and steeped in the history and metaphor of Africa and modern culture. Of particular fascination to me are his wonderful preparatory drawings where he works through conceptual ideas and I was happy to see a couple reproduced in the article…

Congratulations to Fong and Eugene and one may ask how I got those nice pictures… well, I followed the link on Eugene’s site to the Ceramics Art and Perception site and they have an online version of the magazine. I believe that it’s only intended for subscribers but either the login has a glitch or they allow access to only the current issue (probably the former). Either way, I subscribed once and I’d like to subscribe again but I have to keep my subscriptions under control.

In other news, this weekend was beautiful weather-wise and Sofia and I spent both days hanging out together. On Saturday we had a little picnic in the park, here’s the fruitbat eating her favorite Honeycrisp apple…

Here’s the obligatory mid-run shot, I include this just as a simple reminder of what I’m not able to do anymore…

Things are happening fast in the bug’s life. We discovered this week that she has a new tooth coming in and it’s making the one above it loose. She was beside herself to find out that she’s getting a new tooth and came to me and said, “Dad, there’s no such thing as tooth fairies, right?” I said, what do you think? She shook her head and said, “nah”. A chip off the ol’ block there. She also made the whistling breakthrough this week. She’s been trying to whistle on and off for quite some time and has been very frustrated at her inability to produce a sound but we had a bit of a eureka this week. One night after putting her to bed, I went upstairs to get something and I heard her lying there practicing. And of course the latest obsession has been UNO. We play UNO after school and during the afternoons on the weekends and we played on our Saturday picnic and on the porch for hours on Sunday…

Oh, the competitive gene is strong in that one. We also unloaded the bisque that had all her pieces in it. I was amazed at how much of her stuff was in there…

Here’s the bug with a warm bowl…

So that’s about it except for a couple of bisque pictures. Here’s some knurled beer glasses…

Haven’t decided if I like the ones with black slip better than the bare ones yet. Here’s some others…

That’s all I got, we’re hoping for rain. It’s been months and it’s supposed to happen today.

Autumn Bisque…

September 24, 2010

Sounds like soup. It’s been a productive week of getting up with the bug before school and heading directly into the studio (as opposed to the computer). So work and exercise. I’m amazed that yesterday was September 23rd and the thermometer on my bicycle speedometer read 99 degrees on my ride (and I’m not sure if the bike’s thermometer has a 3rd column of digits to report 100+ temps). Of course officially it was a mere 97 and the weather on TV stated last night that we’ve had 85 days over 90 degrees so far this year. I think it’s gonna break tonight though. Mom and I attended Sofia’s kindergarten open house last night where she showed us everything she’s been working on and led us around the room on a little tour. It was a hoot to see her so seriously making sure we saw everything and we understood what everything was for. It still seems a bit lonely around the house without her and I look forward to her getting home each night. Additionally, I still get to have Saturdays and Sundays with her. I have about 115 miles in on the bike so far this week and am fast approaching 1000 since getting my new speedometer. I’ve come to the conclusion that my bike doesn’t “fit” me or maybe I don’t “fit” it but something’s got to give as right around 30 miles parts of me that shouldn’t be hurting are (it’s not muscular). I ran into the (maybe homeless) guy, Michael, that helped me out when I had my hip injury accident a while back. I’d been looking for him to thank him and I finally got to do that. He remembered me, I guess because it’s hard to forget someone writhing in pain and cussing up a storm and not being able to do anything. It’s looking less and less like I’ll be able to make the trip to North Carolina for the Clay and Blogs show. Unseen forces are conspiring against me and I’m kinda bummed about it because I really wanted to meet a bunch of people that I’ve met through blogging. It makes me feel especially lame since Peter‘s coming halfway around the world from the land of earthquakes to go and I’ve only got an 8 hour drive. I was also planning to pick up and fondle many pots of participants when no one was looking… especially Pru‘s. Anyway, to celebrate the hot autumn weather, I’m going to go ahead and bisque and it probably won’t make the house seem any hotter than it already is. I managed to get most of Sofia’s work in this load which I was surprised at how much room it took up. Here’s the bisque loaded up…

Here’s a couple of the new shellacked pieces (someone take that wee brush away from him)…

My Kingdom For A Horse…

March 2, 2010

Or should I say, my kingdom for some tin oxide. I’ve got probably 3 kilnloads to do and I wanted to try 2 new glazes out. Obviously, it would make sense to put the tests in the 1st load and then depending on results use one or both in the next loads. So I’m cruising along mixing up the base glazes and what do you know, I need tin oxide. I know I have some but my mental inventory shows me that I have plenty. I look in my colorant cabinet… hmm, not there. When I extended the studio almost 2 years ago now, I had to stick all the materials I had down in the basement and I’ve only been bringing them up when I need them. So down to the dungeon rooting around and I find the tin oxide… about 50 grams. I need more than that just for the test. Fortunately, even though it was almost 5:30, when I called Kentucky Mudworks in Lexington, they were still there… so the tin is on it’s way but it still throws a small wrench in my gears. Then I ran out of EPK (Edgar Plastic Kaolin) that’s in the plastic container I have upstairs and went to get some more and I had 100 lbs. in two bags at the very bottom of my stack which meant I had to move about 15 bags to get down to it. The whole time I wondered what had made me put one of the most frequently used ingredients on the bottom of the pile. I love that EPK though, here’s a glamour shot…

So, onward and upward… sure everything will go smoothly today. Here’s a bowl that I haven’t decided the glaze for yet…

Donde Esta Febrero?

March 1, 2010

It’s March 1… where the hell did February go? I know it’s the short month but considering how bad I felt for most of it, it seems like it would seem longer. Maybe it’s the deadline looming or maybe just that I’m older than I’ve ever been before on March 1. Sofia woke us up this morning and pointed to my chest hair and said, why do you have fur right there? Before I could answer she said, I know, I know, you’re a guy, a dude, a men. I said, I’m a men? She said, no, you’re a guy, a dude, a men. Yesterday she and I went to get a beer at BBC and walked in at the end of the USA/Canada hockey game (I thought that it was over) and with 19 seconds left in regulation USA scored to tie. I have to admit it was shocking and of course the bar erupted and people started chanting U S A, U S A in unison. This unnerved Sofia as she looked around the tavern in disbelief. I think she wanted to ask me what was going on but the decibel level was so high we couldn’t hear each other. Eventually it died down a bit and she said, why did they do that? Add that to the long list of 5 year old posers. I tried to explain nationalism/sports thing but halfway through she saw a girl her age come in and she stopped listening. She wouldn’t have gotten it anyway as many people much older than her still don’t get it. Anyway, kudos to Canada… let’s move along now to March madness and the rest of the endless string of “special days” to come. I actually heard the guy at the adjacent table of hockey fans bring up college basketball within one minute of the final goal. In other news, the Red Pooper closed yesterday. Sofia and I haven’t gone in in 3 weeks but I had lunch there with a friend a week and a half ago and they were very concerned about us not coming in on the weekend. I thought it was a bit strange that our weekly visit would have meant anything but apparently they were on their last leg and we didn’t know it. This is usually the way it goes with the little gems of the restaurant scene… they either become so popular that you can’t get in anymore or they remain diamonds in the rough and eventually go out of existence. We unloaded the bisque yesterday and no big surprises. Here’s one of the bowls and a closeup of the groovy textures…

Glazing starts today although I will probably just get the space set up and mix a couple new glazes that I want to try out.

I’m Glad Smellentine’s Day Is Over…

February 15, 2010

We’re halfway through February and it snowed all night again and that’s not supposed to be the end of it. I’m starting to feel like I live up north again…

I’ve realized that there’s someone who really loves the snow… Dingus. When we were out walking in the snow, she dives in with her head and throws it up on her back and yesterday I think she ate enough to equal about two pilsner glasses of water after melting. We went to meet Coco and Andy for a beer last night. They left a bit early and when we’re there on Sunday, Sofia has two little friends that she plays with on the stage at the tavern. The two friends showed up after Coco and Andy left and we decided to stay a bit longer so they could play. They decided not to play on the stage but to sit at our table. So I was sitting at the tavern with Sofia, and her two friends and they were all drawing pictures with Sofia’s markers and paper. I had forgotten that it was Valentine’s day because we did that on Friday until the two little girls started talking about it. I told them very seriously that it’s not Valentine’s day, it’s really called Smellentine’s day. They didn’t like this new information and began arguing with me. I told them that I could prove it and beckoned them to sniff the air, sniffing thrice and saying… you smell that? This confused them but they stuck to their guns. Eventually, I told them that I owned everything and they didn’t like that either but were unsure until I mentioned that I owned all the cars in the parking lot and that I just let the people that drive them borrow them, that’s all. Then they apparently had enough and said to Sofia… your dad’s silly. I can’t imagine what they told their parents… but such is Smellentine’s day. Here’s a bowl from the bisque…

Here’s sugar’s finished pot from yesterday…

Crappy Face…

February 14, 2010

Yesterday was another fun filled bug day. After a bit of computer time we headed off to Tommy’s for some coffee, tea and pomme frittes. Sofia was so content that, as we sat at the counter, she never got out her drawing supplies… just sat and watched the other people in the room. I know today is some kind of holiday but pshaw… we took care of that rigmarole on Friday because Mom’s at work today. Not sure why I’m surprised but at the preschool they had a little holiday party and the bug came home with a bag of candy… I guess every holiday is now a reason to tank up on sweets. Not only that, the little cards they give each other are merely un-disguised advertisements for toys and of course the girls give ones with princesses and the boys with fast cars lest anyone get mixed signals on the appropriate gender rolls… clearly I’m not ready for kindergarten and what follows. This reminds me of a little story… consider it another version of pissing in the wind. We have received a steady flow of hand-me-downs over the years because the bug has a cousin that’s just old enough to be through with her clothes as Sofia needs them. Early on when Sofia could barely talk, she received a pajama top with 3 disney princesses on it… I have an extreme aversion to this disney crap. Before I noticed it (and could throw it away), the bug found it and of course it was her favorite garment for months. When she found it she asked me what the girls’ names were, pointing to one and then the next. Being quick on my feet I replied to the first question… crappy face, then the second princess… crappy face, and then third… crappy face. She said, they’re all named crappy face and I said yes but the pictures of them are not quite right. I had her take the garment off and I drew big handlebar moustaches in permanent marker on the 3 crappy faces. Being an inexperienced father, I had no idea how well this would work. To her they were crappy face and any other disney princess (they’re all drawn the same) she automatically referred to as crappy face. I actually overheard her arguing with cousins later insisting that their names were crappy face. One day, Mom, bug and I went down to the Vietnam Kitchen and Sofia sat in her highchair. We order her a side of rice and some tofu and when they brought it, the little rice bowl was served in the center of a plastic plate. Sometimes the plate would have Winnie the Pooh, sometimes Goofy but on this particular occasion it was… crappy face. Sofia immediately slid the bowl of rice to the side and stood up in the high chair yelling loudly… crappy face, crappy face is everywhere! Once we met a little girl, her mom and grandmother at the park playground and the girl had crappy face shoes which Sofia kept pointing out and the mom and grandmother kept looking at me like I was an evil person because I didn’t correct her and even though I understand how strange it may have seemed, the grandmother spoke Portuguese and no english and I just didn’t think I could convey the whole story with pop culture references to her satisfaction, not to mention that even if they understood perfectly, they probably still would have thought I was crazy. Over the last couple years, obviously, Sofia has come to know that this was something that dad did and I believe it informs her on some level to my sense of humor. So Friday she’s going through her bag of plunder and taking out the cards one at a time and asking me what they say. She shows me the one with a blonde-haired princess in a long evening gown and I say, it says happy valentine’s day, I hope I don’t crap in my dress. Of course, she wanted me to reread this over and over changing what it said each time. Such is our little fun. Anyway, after Tommy’s we got some bok choy for supper and went home to unload the kiln…

Only two small disappointments in the load, one of which was a low profile bowl that cracked through halfway around the foot and I gave that one to Sofia to play with. She was very excited to unload her tiles and sand the bottoms. Here’s one of the beer glasses, I think the size of this one will be perfect after the glaze firing…

After we unloaded we came upstairs and I tried to get a bit of resist work done (which I never even attempt on dad and Sofia days) and she was content for about 40 minutes. I heard her singing in the other room. She had taken the bowl I gave her and was drawing on it with magic markers then she got some of her tiles that were already fired and drew on them. She took them one by one into the closet and I asked her what she was doing and she said… I’m loading the kiln. After it was loaded, she counted to about 35 and declared, it’s done. The she disappeared for another while and finally came to me and said… would you like to buy something in my gallery? I said yes and followed her into the bathroom where she had put about 15 tiles and the bowl, all drawn on with markers, and a drawing on the bathroom sink counter and pretended she was a gallery owner. I eventually purchased all the pieces with the money she gave me. Here’s the gallery owner with her glaze pencil…

Can We Go To Tommy’s?…

February 13, 2010

Last night as we were ending the bedtime ritual and I had already gone downstairs, Sofia asked Mom to ask me if we could go to Tommy’s today. I guess the Red Pooper is on the outs at least for a while. So, it’s bug day and we’re heading to Tommy’s a bit later for some chamomile tea in the wee teapot with the wee cup, saucer and spoon. I checked the kiln when I got up and it’s still at 249 so I’ll just think about something else and it should be unload-able later this afternoon. My right thumb keeps going numb and I’m not sure if it’s from the computer’s mouse or from painting detail with the tiny brush but either way it’s annoying to say the least. Here’s a few shots of the same pot, it’s cooling in the bisque right now…

That’s all I got this morning.

Firing To Keep Warm…

February 12, 2010

I don’t think firing a bisque to keep warm is working. It’s 14 degrees and I left the door to the basement (where the kiln is) open and hoped to feel a nice warm draft wafting up the stairs and enveloping the kitchen this morning but although it’s comfortable down in the basement, it’s about the same upstairs. In the summer it’s quite a different story. In addition, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to a sound I didn’t recognize… could have been a critter noise. When I looked in the direction of the noise, I noticed that Dingus was alertly looking that way too. It’s not as though she was going to do anything predator-like, more likely she was planning her escape route. Then I couldn’t get to sleep because I started imagining a veritable ark procession of possums, raccoons, mice and rats marching up the stairs from the basement in pairs. I struggled with the thought of getting out of bed and lacing up my new shoes (the shoe lady said do not go anywhere without these things on) to go downstairs and look for critters and close the door to the basement. After a while the adage of “closing the barn door after the cows had gotten out” sealed the deal and I managed to drift back to sleep. Here’s a very un-well-lit picture of one level of the bisque…

I’ve been painting on the splashy pots for the last couple days and have got several more to do, the tedium is in full swing…

Trailblazing…

October 12, 2009

It was a beautiful autumn weekend… high 40’s in the morning warming to a sunny 68 and breezy by late afternoon. Took the bug on a “long” hike over on the mountain bike trails in the park. We ended up by the creek throwing these large furry acorns into the overflowing water. We managed to see a uniquely Kentucky site… two men came out of the hedge along the creek with dirty wife beater t-shirts, one was very large and the other half his size but both were carrying a “cultivator” rake like this…

rake

They went immediately from the brush to their truck and returned to the base of the giant oak sans rakes but the large man had a 10 gallon gasoline can and what looked like a bag to hold a video camera whilst the other man had something cupped between his hands. The large man poured water from the gas can over the other man’s hands and then they plopped down at the base of the tree. The large man say cross-legged with a camera and the other man put his hands against the base of the trunk… holding a snake. We sneaked up and watched for about 5 minutes while the smaller man tried to pose the snake for a photograph while not letting it slither off. Sofia had questions but sometimes the end of a long line of “why’s” only confuses more than enlightens. I’m glad they weren’t killing it. By time we got back to the car, the bug was all in and ready for a beer. It’s a glazing week here and I hope to get everything ready to fire by Wednesday or Thursday. Here’s some bisque shots from the shelves, there’s some overlap…

bisque

bisque

bisque

No Rats, Just A Bug…

October 10, 2009

Didn’t hear or catch any rats last night. It’s our weekly Dad and bug days, today and tomorrow, replete with dog walking, errands and Dad and Sofia lunch at the Red Pooper. My friend Vern, the digital artist whose pictures I post occasionally (click “vern” under “categories” in the right column), is stopping by and will accompany us at lunch. Somewhere in there, we’re gonna unload the bisque and I will happily be ready to start glazing Monday. I managed a peek when we got up…

bisque

Sayanara y feliz fin de semana.

Year Of The Rat…

October 9, 2009

According to the chinese zodiacal calendar (which is never wrong), last year, 2008, was the year of the rat and this year is the year of the ox and next year is the year of the tiger (not the eye of the tiger). I’ve never questioned the chinese calendar before and was always happy to see, while sipping my eggdrop soup, that I was born in the year of the dog and although there are some other more badass years like dragon, at least I wasn’t associated with the year of the rabbit, sheep, pig or RAT. As you can see by the zodiac, despite my infestation, this is the year of the ox and not the rat…

zodiac-12-cycle-chinese Anyway, last night after we put the bug to bed and settled down to watch an hour of tv in our recently rat-free home, I heard a rustling noise again… I hit mute on the remote, nothing… resumed sound and heard it again… hit mute again, nothing. Mom had been painting the windows in the dining room and had them cracked open a bit and we discussed that maybe this time it was the neighbors doing something on their back porch. Then another sonic hullabaloo from towards the kitchen and I said to Mom… I can’t believe there’s another one. I wasn’t sure but set the trap again. We went upstairs to bed after checking the bisque and as I was checking email and watching a video someone posted of some dolt blowing himself up with sulfur and magnesium and Mom called out… did you hear that noise downstairs. I said it was probably the explosion on the video I just watched and she said… no, pretty sure it was from downstairs. So down I go and lo and behold the twin of the rat from yesterday. I was shocked because I really didn’t think there could be two and up until yesterday there was no evidence to suggest even one. So in 2 days my mental characterization of our house has gone from cozy neighborhood home to urban rattrap shanty (pun intended). I didn’t take another picture, suffice to say they seemed identical in size and color. By the way, my blogging buddy, Eugene Hon in South Africa just finished a series of clay rats and has done an exhaustive research of the rat for those pieces here. Moving on but staying on the numerological theme a bit, I’ve decided not to celebrate my 200th post, which is the next one, and instead call attention to the fact that this is my 199th post today… hurray! This is a miniscule effort to break from our proclivity toward base 10 numbers with the acknowledgment of 199 being the largest prime number to date of my postings. And finally there’s the number 1749, the year that Goethe was born and the temperature of my kiln when I went into our rattrap basement this morning to check the bisque…

kilnsitter

By the way, it’s been raining for days and last night the torrents woke me twice and I figured I’d have to wade to the kiln this morning but when I descended to the basement floor, nothing but a dribble. I like that it didn’t leak but don’t like that it doesn’t make sense. The upside is that the dribble indicated the origin.

Glaze Sloshin’ Comin’…

August 10, 2009

I think I have enough bisqueware for two glaze firings and that’s what I’ll be doing this week. The bisque came out fine with a couple pieces that have great potential. Today won’t be too productive though, probably spend most of it sorting out pieces and trying to decide which glazes go with which pots. Then, tantara please… Mom and I and two friends are going to dinner and a concert. This will be the first time since Sofia’s been born that she will be spending the night away from us. Although I don’t really relish that thought so much, it will be novel to actually go out and not hurry home. So we’re gonna put Sunglasses in a kitchen chair and duct tape her paws to the chair’s legs and tape her mouth shut like they do with hostages in movies. Then we are going to see the Decemberists and I cannot wait. I’ve been waiting my whole life to find a band that plays music like this or should I say writes music like this. I was introduced to them late after they had already released 5 CD’s (how out of touch is that?) and now I have them all and think they’re all great. Anyway, it should be fun fun fun and here’s one of those bisque pots with potential…

bisque

bisque

Bright White Clay…

August 9, 2009

It was a banner day yesterday… Sofia and I had some breakfast and walked the dog before the heat rushed in. She was invited to play with a friend down the street so I waited for her to come home before unloading the bisque. She put on her duct taped flip flops and went down into the netherworld of the basement with me. Here she’s cleaning one of her tiles…

sofia

Notice that in the background is the filthy floor but it’s dry, the firing must have helped that a bit, of course who knows what kind of critters are lurking in the crawlspace. We have a full day today too and it’s gonna be hot. Here’s a bright white bisque piece fresh out of the kiln and a closeup of that groovy texture I dig so much…

bisque

bisqueThat damn twitter doesn’t work still.

What A Total Crack(ed) Pot…

July 11, 2009

In my next glaze firing, hopefully early next week, I was gonna do a couple tests of Joel’s (over at FetishGhost) ^6 crawly glaze. He warns on the blog about it’s inability to be handled and other tendencies. I mixed it up with Sofia and grabbed a test tile that already had some glaze on it and submerged it for a couple seconds and set it down behind me. I turned around after a minute or so and here’s what my test tile looked like…

crawlytest

Now here’s where years of glazing experience come into play. Just by looking at it and without any other information I figured out that this was not going to work, hard to believe I know. Decided maybe add some more water and maybe dunk it quickly and maybe even put it on a piece that’s already damp. Anyway, got a couple of tests where it doesn’t look like it will fall off and melt on my shelves so I’ll see what happens. On another note, my second bisque was cool enough to unload. I had several ornately decorated bowls in the bisque, several smaller ones and two larger ones. I didn’t even have to pick it up when I saw this large crack on one of the bigger ones…

bisque

Pretty sure this is NOT due to the firing and I believe that I may have bumped it when the rim was hanging a touch over the edge of the table. I don’t mind losing pots and we all do but I wish I would have ruined it earlier before I spent however many hours I spent decorating. C’est la vie! <– French, I can't help it, it just flows out of me. The bright side is that the chocolat <– ok, I'll stop, glaze from a couple posts ago was really meant for pieces that have no underglaze and I wasn't going to test it on one of the underglazed pieces because I thought that it would be a bit too dark and that the underglaze would get lost underneath the dark chocolat glaze. I wasn't sure what it would look like either way and now since the bowl is ruined, I can try it out and if it's too dark, then it's doubly ruined. Here's one that didn't get ruined…

bisque

The next pic is a closeup of some of the textural details. This is the sort of thing, with the different textures near or on top of one another, that gets me going and makes me really look forward to seeing the finished pot, of course, I had better have a more successful day than today. The cracked pot was only the beginning, read: damn reading glasses and infernal clumsiness! Tomorrow is bug day but might get a bit of glazing in because the bug had about 70 tiles in the kiln and we might glaze together.

bisque

More Bisque, Not Tomato…

June 30, 2009

Still trying to decide whether to interrupt my decorative phase and go ahead and fire a glaze load or not. I hate to shift gears in the middle on the one hand but on the other, I have a small order that needs to get finished and maybe the results would affect how I go at the remaining undecorated. My brother is supposed to be in from central NY either today or tomorrow or today and tomorrow so that will keep me from getting too much done but it will be worth it because I rarely get to see him. Here’s some more bisque-y pictures…

bisque

bisque

I don’t want to jinx it but as of this morning, the demon dog has gone 5 consecutive days without poopage or peeage in the house. I was starting to think it would never end… now she just seems like a sweetheart that chews things. I have little patches of cayenne pepper sprinkled throughout the house… a little on the corner of the carpeted stairs, a little on the hole in the love seat. For all I know, she loves cayenne and I’ll have to move up to habanero.

cayenne

Hydro-Abrasion Test Bisque Results…

June 28, 2009

Michael Kline has informed me that at Penland they referred to the process I’m using as “hydro-abrasion”. Makes sense to me and makes it seem really scientific too. I tried a couple of variations on the splattery bowls and bisqued them before I committed to doing too many of them in a fashion that I didn’t like the looks of. Of course, I don’t really know what they look like until they’re glazed but I feel a lot closer to guessing after the bisque because all the resist has burned away. I also answered one burning question… if slip was left on a previously shellacked surface (in other words, if the slip had resist between it and the clay body), would the slip adhere to the clay body once the resist burned away or would I be able to simply brush it away as debris? Answer: yes, it adheres just as if I had painted the slip on the raw clay. So I was trying to decide between the first two pictures’ approaches, the first where the negative space is black slip or the second that has a black slip stripe around the previously etched area. I think I like the first one better so I’ll probably do the remaining one’s like that unless something else comes to mind while finishing them up. Here’s the first two…

bisque

bisque

By the way, my finger is still numb where the ants bit me… is that possible? I was just kidding about the necrosis, now maybe not so much.

Bisque, not Tomato…

March 16, 2009

bisque
detail
A glazin’ we will go, a glazin’ we will go… finished up my second bisque and stared glazing. A couple of shots of bisqueware. The second one is an attempt to show detail but since there’s not much contrast to begin with, I’m not sure if it’s worth putting up here. Anyway, hope to fire a glaze load sometime this week and see how some of my experiments worked out.

Groucho, Eat Your Heart Out…

March 13, 2009

groucho?
Someone is going through another “tape” phase… I should own stock in 3M or Scotch Brand with the amount of tape we go through. The funny thing is attempting to tape untapable (<–untapeable?) things to the wall, e.g. a hammer or a large stuffed animal… you know, something heavy.

greenware
Anyway, the beat goes on. I just barely fit all the bowls into a bisque load which is running as I type this. You know when you get to the top shelf and the remaining pots stick up about 1/8 of an inch to high? My kingdom for three 5 and 1/2 inch posts! I even called a friend to see if he had some 5 and 1/2ers and it didn’t occur to me until talking to him that he only does flat wall pieces and all his posts are 1 and 2 inchers. I ended up cheating it and they eventually cleared the lid by a sliver.