Friday, December 24, 2010

The Cup: Just Getting Started

I have rediscovered over the past month how much fun it is to make cups and mugs and I think I have started down a path of focused exploration with the form. I want to explore size, scale, form, handle shapes, surface decoration and as these pictures show glaze combinations.

All the mugs below are approximately 5" tall and 3.5" in diameter Fired to Cone 6 in an electric kiln.

Some of these combinations got a little crazy but I was feeling good and a bit whimsy when I glazed them. I was please with the out comes. What do you think?

Overall these feel a little small to me in scale. I started with about 1lb 8oz of porcelain for each mug. I will be experimenting with the right amount of clay and the size. The overall presence of the mug may be the most important factor in my mind at the moment. Too small it won't hold enough and no one wants it! Too big the beverage will cool before you can drink it all and no one wants it! To find the perfect size is my mission right now. Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dinner for 6

My pottery output over the past few months has been sporadic and interrupted because of my heavy Furniture Design travel schedule, but I'm happy to report a good amount of forward progress in my craft despite the travel.

Over the past month or so I have had the opportunity to create a Dinner Service for 6 for a friend of mine and his wife. I believe these pieces represent some sort of milestone in my craft development. No longer do I seem to struggle so much at the wheel as forms come more naturally and I am also able to repeat them. The right glaze and application still seem to my biggest hurtle to push me to the next level, but I feel that I am now beginning to be able to consistently put multiple pieces out there with a good result consistently. As I do not pull my handles, but rather extrude them I have also struggled to overcome the disadvantage, but I again believe I am starting to make progress in being able to apply the handle to the form.

Below are a few pictures of my Dinner for 6 series of plates, bowls and cups. They are all made of porcelain and fired to Cone 6. I am using a combination of 3 glazes applied to each piece. I think the matte steel green blue interior is rather unique and compliments the more rustic exterior. I have tried to achieve a more wood fired appearance on the exterior using an electric kiln.


Extruded Handles

Bowls, 5.5" with Steel Matte Green Interior glaze

Glaze applied to the plates by pouring on to the surface
and moving plate to spread glaze in desired way.

Dinner plates are 10" x 1.5" I like a higher lip on my plates
to help retain food more easily (espeically if you like eating in
front of the TV).
Top view of plate and bowl set stacked and nested.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rustic Bowls

I decided to push my throwing ability by trying to produce several larger bowls. I combined them with my latest combination of glazes that I feel are very rustic and have a wood fired look, all though the are fired only to Cone 6 in an electric kiln.
Each bowl used between between 7-10lbs of clay
and measure about 10-11" in diameter.

This is a slightly larger bowl measuring about 12" in diameter using a
Matt Sage Glaze with secondary glaze poured on the interior.
Not so rustic but more Arts N' Crafts perhaps?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love The Bowls!

I produced several different style of bowls in my
last batch of work, both hand built and thrown.
Some with unique added surface treatments.

Love Bowl: 8"x 4.5", wheel thrown, cone 6
with Cherry Blossom glaze. Hand stamped
words wrap the upper rim. Words include:
Love, Peace, Joy, Pottery

Brocaded Square Bowl: Hand built, Cone 6
with interior of multiple glazes poured in
randomly. Outside surface has a hand
stamped brocade texture. Rim is uneven and
varies in height.

Set of 4 Bowls (only 2 shown): Metallic black mat
interior with combination of glazes on exterior
to replicate wood fired finish. Cone 6 in electric

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tea Cups & New Glazes!

I have a love for Japanese craft and
especially their ceramics. Below is a small study
of new glazes using my small Japanese inspired

All cups are about 2.5"H x 2.25 Diameter, Wheel thrown
with stamped flower design. Cone 6. Electric Kiln.
These two cups were glazed by dipping using two
different glazes which gives a warm earthen wood
fired appearance.

Red Tea Cups, High Gloss Red. I have been
working on a red of this quality for over a

Blue Green Tea Cups. Glaze broke brown on
the interior surfaces?

Copper Patina Glaze. Very Art's N Crafts
inspired and exactly what I was hoping for.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

HOT to Fire

Heat Index has been up to 110 degrees this week in the Ozarks and I decided to fire my kiln!
My studio interior temperature neared 100 degrees as the kiln reached Cone 6.
Below are just a couple of pieces from the firing, but watch over the next few days as I post more images.
I am excited about my glazing! I am finally getting a couple of things I like zeroed in that I will be using more consistently going forward.

Set of 4 Bowls (Two Pictured), 6"x 2.5", Wheel Thrown with multiple glazes.

The Twins, Wheel Thrown and cut in half and altered with stamped brocade texture added to interior walls. The exterior of this piece uses a combination of two glazes that I have discovered gives a wood fired appearance! I am excited about this combination.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pots Under Construction

Smoothing the Rim of a large bowl.

Under Construction. Thown pot cut in half and then flat side added with stamped texture.

Under Construction. Tall Vase. Wheel thrown and cut in half. Slip used to reassemble pot that has pushed out from the joint will be left as is for visual texture. My hope is that this slip material will not only act as an interesting visual but also as a place for glaze to hang up for added effect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Glazed Porcelain

Set of 4 Bowls, 3"x 6", porcelain,
mulitiple glazes.

10" Porcelain Plate,
multiple glazes.

6" Porecelain Bowl,
multiple glazes
applied by dipping.

6" Porcelain Plate,
Celedon glaze,
black slip inlayed details.

10" Porcelain Plate,
multiple glazes
applied by pouring method.
I couldn't wait to post a few pictures from the kiln.
My porcelain bisque pieces from my last post turned
out with some nice surprises!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bisqued Porcelain and a New Image!

Large Porcelain Bowl

Porcelain Bowl Sets of 4

Porcelain Plates with in layed black slip

I'm finally back in the studio after much overseas travel including an extra 7 days in Italy because of volcano ash last month. I have been on the road 5 out of the past 9 weeks, which makes it hard to keep that ceramic flow of making, drying and firing.
I've been giving a lot of thought to updating North Star's logo (see above in the banner). I wanted something that would reflect a hand made feel as well as capture my studio location in the woods and of course that North Star that is always present, steady and guiding my creative way. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of both the logo and banner design.
I have been working the past few weekends in porcelain. Working on several sets of bowls for that morning cereal and a plate shape that is dishwasher friendly. I enjoy much about porcelain from the white clay body to the more saturated color when glazed. Each plate has a small stamped design that I have filled with black slip. I plan on glazing these with a celedon glaze so that the black slip will show throw to the surface. Should work?
Look for more posts as I plan on being much more productive through the summer as my travel schedule is slow until October.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I've Missed the Pottery Wheel

It's been too long since my last post.
My ceramic time over the past several months has been consumed with filling an order of 32 SQUARE plates and bowls. I must confess that I didn't realize how difficult this project was going to be. I ended handbuilding over 60 pieces to end up with the final 8 place settings that I was satisfied with. I learned so much from making square foot rings, to shrink rates, to how glaze color can differ when a kiln is overloaded. A good experience and I'm glad I stuck with it, but it sure felt good this past weekend to finally turn my wheel back on. These are my pieces from the weekend. 6 rice bowls, 6 tea cups, 4 mugs with handles, 6 cups with no handles, 8 bowls of various sizes with largest 12" in diameter, plus a small vase and large lidded jar. They are ready for the bisque fire tomorrow.