I missed a week due to some crappy life situations, and I almost missed tonight because I am lacking sleep due to setting up Kacey and my Spacelab show. This show has tested my patients, a lot of tears and curse words happened. Over a half of my ceramic pieces exploded in the bisque firing and one piece fell off of the wall during the installation. I have for sure learned a lot this semester.
I have finally made some glazes that I really enjoy. And I have also been busy learning how to bisque, firing cone 6 and cone 10, which has been very interesting and rewarding. A lot of stuff from my cone 6 firing turned out crappy and I realized that when firing cone 6 having your glaze even is very important. I have my BFA crit next week so I have a busy week ahead of me, but I have everything planned out, I just need it to happen smoothly.
Kacey and my show opening is tomorrow, I still have to bake goods, and write my artist statement before I can sleep. I hope after my BFA crit I can catch up on some sleep. Until then coffee will be my blood.
Like every week my work is all over the place, with a million test and a lot of hoping. I started a bisque kiln last week and it should be finished tomorrow. I am excited to get everything out, make a clear cone 6 glaze and fire my first cone 6.
I have also started experimenting with rolling out slabs and taking natural items and pressing the items into the clay. I made a few tumblers with bark pressed into them. I am in limbo trying to decide if wheel throwing or hand-building fits my style. I feel like right now I have an even amount of wheel thrown and handbuilt items that I should soon know what I prefer. I am leaning more towards hand-building because I feel like the imperfections fit my style more.
I have been spending a lot of late nights at school working on things for my show. I have expanded on the bathroom items and am really excited about how some are turning out. I started making a toilet seat and was struggling with how it is turning out and it was after I already built a failure piece I realized on my drive home what I have been doing wrong. So for my show, I have just a few things to hand build and then it is all relying on my glazing to pan out.
I have spent most of my week testing out a new clay body. I found a clay body online called Revised Steve’s White c6 and thus far I have mixed feelings about it. The consistency is a lot different than past clay bodies I have thrown with. It feels like I am throwing with butter. Which has its pros and cons. Pros being that it is much easier to center and pull. And the cons are that it is hard to push the size because the piece starts to collapse. I know this is due partly because I am used to throwing faster with my past clay body because they had more grog in them.
Along with testing clay bodies, I have created test tiles for cone 6 glazes I plan to make this week. I have not picked out my glaze recipes, but Luke so kindly is letting me borrow a recipe book. I plan to shoot for the same colors I created for my cone 10 tests, teal, green and brown. My plan is to have some of my cone 6 items completed before my BFA critique so that I can show where my work is headed.
One thing that was cool last week was that I got to see my cone 10 glazes on some of my work and I actually like the results.
Last week was filled with a lot of thinking and trying out ideas and reworking them to be more efficient. After much research and contemplating my future in ceramics post-graduation, I have come to the conclusion I want to explore cone 6. The reason I think this would be a better fit is that it is a more affordable option and I think it will allow my textures more room to grow. I spent a lot of last week mixing cone 10 glazes that applied to my original track for this semester and visually these glazes were some of the most lovely colors post-firing. We will see their true colors in the next couple of days though.
I have been making a lot of progress on my Spacelab pieces and having fun recreating bathroom items. The plunger has been humorous to build as well as the toilet brushes.
I feel like the biggest issue this semester that I have been struggling with is tying up all the loose ends to all of my plans. hypothetically if everything I have ideas for works out this could be a really solid semester, but I am not holding my breath.
My goal for this week is to make two types of cone 6 clay bodies and test them out.
Last week was spent sketching and planning out recipes I want to test. I have picked out three base glazes and chosen the colorants I plan to test. I have everything ready to mix the glazes I am just waiting on my textured test tiles to dry and then I will have to bisque them. My plan is to create a teal glaze, an earthy brown glaze, and an earthy green. The combo will complement the main colors of the outdoors.
Over the summer I made a bunch of textured items so I think that after I pick out some glazes I like I am then going to try them on the textured mugs I have already made before applying them to items I make this semester. As much as glaze testing stressed me out last semester I am really excited to experiment again and see what I can create.
I have started on hand building items for my Spacelab show. Thus far I have a hairbrush, which I don’t like, but I know what I plan to adjust for the next hairbrush. I have also started building a plunger, which I am oddly super stoked about. I am also going to hand build a toilet brush.
Thus far into the semester is has been filled with figuring out my semester plans and making the supplies to create said plans. Over the weekend I worked on making a white stoneware that was better for hand building as well as made hand-built test tiles. I completely understand the convenience of the test tiles that are extruded, but I dislike using the extruder. I researched different ways to make test tiles and I only found one person showing how to hand build them. The ones I made I feel like will work best for testing glazes that respond well to texture. I still have to add the textures to the tiles and then they will be complete. I have also spent some time sketching up ideas for my SpaceLab show as well as started hand building bathroom items. The picture of the items I have started is not much but is the start of a plunger, hair brush and curling iron. I have been also spending time on glazy.com trying to figure out what 3 recipes I want to start testing. I can’t seem to narrow them down. My goal is to have them all planned and written out by Wednesday.
Over the summer I spent a lot of time studying texture and figuring out how to apply that texture to thrown cylinders. I wanted to find a successful way to bring together a man-made functional item that brings me comfort and organic textures found in the woods that bring me a sense of comfort. I don’t feel like I have reached the point I visualize with this idea which is why over this semester I want to push this further. I really am interested in exploring glazes that respond nicely to texture and help give the surface a push and pull effect. I found some ceramic photos out of a magazine that are an inspiration to what I would like to create with a glaze.
Along with applying more texture and creating a glaze that responds well to the texture I want to explore the memory project I created last semester. I am not for sure how I want to tackle this, but I am between casting bathroom items and hand-building mixed medium bathroom items. For an example, making q-tips, but only making the middle part clay and adding cotton to the ends. Or hand building a hair dryer and then adding a real electric cord. I am starting to lean more towards hand-building because manufactured look has never been my style.
Nature texture I was exploring over the summer
More nature texture I was exploring over the summer