Friday, March 4, 2011

Post-firing debriefing

As always, I need time to come to terms with my pots post-firing. For example, what I considered yesterday to be disturbing crusty bubbly purple stuff, I now consider (just one good night's sleep later) merely befuddling crusty bubbly purple stuff. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Good news first:

The Moebius Diatom Boxes experienced minimal warpage, and none of the parts stuck together. The photos make them look toastier and bagelier than they are in reality. I expect future MDBs will end up electric or gas fired, maybe with some stains for color, to reduce preparatory exasperation.

My four favorite pieces are square boxes (wheel thrown and altered!) that I glazed top to bottom. They responded beautifully to the soda. The tallest box is about 5" high.

There are two fine pitchers, an excellent bottle, some lush double-walled bowls, a confident teapot, and a juicy green pear (looking artificially green in the photo; it's a little bluer in real life). I consider it a bonus that only one of the pitchers seeps, because--like every other pot I've produced in the past two years that has seeped--they're both made from Loafer's Glory clay. No more Loafer's Glory clay for me (regrettably; it's a lovely clay to work with when it's wet). I have a can of very dangerous highly toxic spray that's supposed to help seal pots, unless the can explodes or the spray poisons you in the process; I haven't tried it out yet, however, because I value functioning lungs, skin, and eyeballs more than I value my seeping pots, but maybe this spring I'll get out the goggles, gloves, and respirator and give it a whirl.

Here are some chickens mugging for the camera:

I will concede that the bubbly crusty purple stuff looks pretty good on chickens. Here's a close up of the crusty stuff on some cups, where it's less appealing (dry crusty stuff and lips don't go well together):

Upon pieces that are strictly objets d'art, the purple stuff is fine. The objet on the left is actually a vase form on its side, though I very much like the spherical look in the photo. I was planning to give up holes for a while, but I think I'm going to have to try making some hole-filled spheres.

On the Double Torus-Multiple Size Hole/Total Coverage Klein Bottle that's been patiently waiting to be fired since last summer, the purple is a little garish against the green glaze. What am I saying, the [w]hole thing is garish anyway:

I will try sanding the crusty bubbles off of pots that should be functional, such as this bowl and colander, as no one wants little bits of heavy-metal-laden glass to chip off into their noodles:

Also in the category of Pots-That-Have-Been-Waiting-Since-Last-Summer are several wheel thrown and altered oval boxes. Alas, instead of using my purple alumina hydrate wax on the lids, I wadded the lids--with the somewhat predictable result that most of the lids warped. Dang. From here on out, it's alumina hydrate wax for me.

In the Total Fail category are several pieces made from a highly recommended ^5-^8 porcelain that I purchased online. I'm used to porcelain being finicky and S-cracking in the bottoms of bowls and cups, but these pieces split in some very odd places. Several tumblers had vertical cracks down the side, often beginning well below the rim and ending well above the foot. In the photo below of the two tumblers, a long vertical crack cuts through the cup on the left, while some beads of water are leaking through a crack in the cup on the right. The salt-rock pear has a horizontal crack across the top that is, as far as I can tell, completely unrelated to the form. Homer Cat doesn't mind the cracks in the tumblers, since all he sees are People Cups, but these pieces are headed for the trash can. I bisqued all of my porcelain pots well before the outside temperatures dropped below freezing, so I'm at a loss to explain the defects. Schade.

To end on a more positive note, here are some non-crusty, lid-fitting oval jars (does that count as litotes?), and a picture of a flattery* penguin chatting it up with a chicken at an office party (penguin and penguin photo by Bob F.).

*as in, "imitation is the sincerest form of..."


Anonymous said...

Lovely pots! I do like the chickens looking on....

Nina Paley said...

I should check your blog more often. Those pieces are fabulous. The Moebius Diatom Boxes especially, and the square boxes, and the collander, and everything actually.