Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Porcelain and a spider

One of the joys of culling together three part-time jobs doing three different things I (fortunately) really enjoy and that require reporting largely only to myself, is that when things pile up, they really pile up. At some point, I will take photos of the new glazes I've been using. Initial results have ranged from truly spectacular to good-for-under-plants to not-even-its-mother-could-love.

I'm experiencing some impressive, unpredictable bloating in my dark clay (Standard 266). This was something a friend had warned me a while ago to expect with this clay but that I've never had problems with until recently. For some reason, only bowls bloat; chickens, zigzags, salt rocks, and mugs have been fine. Meanwhile, my favorite white clay, Li'l Loafers, is leaving annoying little bubbles in the new glazes (unless the clay is super thin). From what I've read, I suspect there are impurities in the clay that can't quite burn out through the glaze. Slower bisquing hasn't seemed to help, so I'm trying a switch to Helios porcelain.

Porcelain and I haven't gotten a long so well in the past; it's finicky, while I'm generally an impatient kludger. Having avoided porcelain for a few years, I'm currently pretending we're just meeting each other for the first time, and I plan to try to get to know porcelain for what it is, as opposed to what it isn't. All I shall observe at present is that, astonishingly, I can throw a bowl out of two pounds of porcelain that's about twice as big as what I can throw with two pounds of Li'l Loafers or 266. Also, porcelain doesn't rinse off as well as the other clays. (I'm shedding clay dust on my computer as I type; new studio cleaning habits will commence shortly.)

Since I don't have a photo of pots, I'll post this photo of a hard-working spider that was hanging out near the porch studio last night.