Saturday, January 14, 2006

Post 53 - Busy Day with Clay

Went into the studio this morning.

We are running short of raku clay and 266 (Chocolate Brown). We have a few hundred pounds of Standard Clay 306 (Brown), a box of Standard Clay 308 (Brooklyn Red), a box and a half of Cassius Basaltic, and some dried out porcelain.

I threw three mugs and a large dip warmer (bowl and base) out of 266. I set a piece aside to make handles with, then wrapped the remaining eight pounds or so for Julie, so she could do some slab work. I listened to Barenaked Ladies, their "Gordon" album.

Next, I broke out a bag of the 306. It feels softer than the 266, and in the wet state is a darker color (266 looks like a reddish milk chocolate color when you throw with it, and fires to bittersweet. 306 looks the color of chocolate milk made with syrup, when there is a lot of chocolate in it, and I believe it fires to a toasty buff color with dark speckles. The wet 306 is a bit lighter than Cassius when wet). I threw Julie a tall vase for her dragon work, and then threw a small mixing bowl. It didn't start as a small mixing bowl, it started as a cookie jar, but the rim wouldn't behave when I tried to notch the step for the lid (again).

I put my wet pieces into the damp box, rearranging some drying pieces onto common boards to free up space. Cleaned up all the wet clay and splatters around the wheel, cleaned my throwing tools, then sat down to trim the two Cassius vases that I threw a few days ago.

Julie asked if there was somthing that I could do about the trimming marks, since her handbuilding changes the surface of the piece, she ends up having to play with the whole surface of the vase so the transition from thrown trimming marks to handbuilt dragons is not as noticable. Once I trimmed the pieces, I used a wooden rib to burnish the surface of the pots while they were turning on the wheel, and then ran a wet elephant ear sponge over the surface as well.

Hopefully, the pieces that I threw this morning will be ready to trim tonight or tomorrow.


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