Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tiny Towns

I have been busy building entire towns out of clay and throwing them into the Raku kiln.  They are handbuilt and range in size from 1" tall to 3"tall. They are simply glazed using mostly white crackly glaze.

These little buildings are great for filling up small areas in the kiln and are really fun to build - takes me back to my childhood.

It is fun to know that my little house have found homes not only here in the U.S. but also in Australia and Canada.

I just recently expanded my building to include factories.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Large Raku Bowls

I have been busy learning the "art" of Raku.  One of the forms I enjoy making are bowls that are large, around 15". These large bowls are the largest diameter pot I can fit in my Raku kiln and I have been told that these thin large bowls can be some of the most difficult to nurse through the firing process without thermal shock causing them to crack or worse.  I've had few of those broken ones but also have had more success's than failures.  These bowls have been a good seller for me in the Local Color Gallery in Joplin were I show my work.

Here are a few examples.

Above is a shot of my Raku kiln during firing.  It's heated with propane and takes about 45min.  These large bowls fill the entire kiln so they must be fired individually.

Reached 100 Cup Mark!

I challenged myself a few months ago to make 100 cups and I'm happy that I reached my goal last month. 

I learned a lot about cup making, especially about how important volume and form is.

Perhaps the most important result of this challenge was that I taught myself how to pull handles instead of extruding them.  I had thought that I couldn't pull a handle without someone really teaching me, but I DID IT.

I worked in both porcelain and stoneware.  The brighter colored cups are English Porcelain with Celedon Glazes and underglaze accents.

All the cups are stamped with repeating textures.  The texture was created by using stamps that I made from clay.  Each impression is individually stamped.  If you look closely you can see my finger impressions on the inside of the cup wall were I backed up and supported the clay while stamped.  The result of this method adds a secondary unexpected texture to the inside of the cups.

I think I came along way and it was really worth it.  Here are a few highlights.