I’ve had a piece accepted for the West Michigan All Area Show!
And word on the street in the studio is that very few ceramics pieces were accepted — I only know of two others at this point, and I know the work of some of the potters who were rejected and they are absolutely top-notch.
So, yes — stunned.
The 2008 KIA West Michigan All Area Show runs from July 12 – August 23. It’s one of the area’s largest juried art shows, so if you’re in the area it’s definitely worth a gander.
Life has been rather more distracting than usual the last several months – many, many appointments…we’ve run the gauntlet of neuropsych and genetic testing for Miss Emma. Results from the genetic testing are still outstanding – yet before us is the ever-so-enjoyable Large Battle With School for appropriate services and IEP. Heck, getting them to switch her from SPD to OHI looks to be akin to the invasion at Normandy. Things aren’t looking good, in any case – we’ve been hearing results we’d strongly suspected, certainly, but even so it’s not news any parent wants to hear.
For the discussion of Things Which Keep Me Sane we find ourselves at the studio. Last night was the unloading (of the salt kiln) – and it was a grand ugh moment. Not ugh as in it was really effing cold, although it was can’t-feel-my-fingers cold, but ugh as in ‘why the hell do most of the pieces look like total shite?’
I must say that the weather has been thirteen shades of foul for weeks, so Sunday (in the rain, wading through ice water up past our ankles as we clutched, hunched-over, freshly-wadded pieces to our chests (in an attempt to keep them dry) through the back area to reach the kiln. For hours. Fuck.) we finally, finally loaded for the first time this term – I mention this because although we weren’t arse-deep in blizzard it was colder than a witch’s tit in a brass brassiere Monday when the kiln was lit (with difficulty, mind) and salted. So it was run to cone 9 – but because we’re having burner issues and then the cold..well, it’s clear that the top and area in front of the bricked-in opening reached 9, the rear and center certainly did not because a lot came out looking like under-cooked crap. *siiigh*
I have two pieces that just need to go again, but are otherwise fine, and two bowls that were lined in a glaze that was somehow Tremendously Not Right, and so I need to re-glaze and run them again. I threw some tenmoku in one (the other I have to dremel first, as there is schmutz in the bottom – it appears that there was some exploding wadding, probably the pancakes between the shelves and the support bricks, not under pieces) and popped it back on the cart (given the number of pieces that require re-fire I imagine we’ll be able to re-load very soon…probably not this weekend, but hope ever springeth eternal.) I had used that same glaze a plate, as well, and before I left last night I sprayed the offending surface with some malcolm davis shino – we’ll see what happens.
I have some other pieces to glaze that I just pulled off the bisque shelves, and I glazed (high-fire, not wanting to wait on the salt kiln) a bowl last night for the Empty Bowls project – I have been much better about being on top of things this year, in past years I had issues with getting pieces through the process in time to make the donation (and if I can get a second glazed in the next couple of days I may have two to donate – we’ll see, in theory I should be able to get in this weekend, at least for a little while, as I need to throw a stoneware cassarole for my sister and fuss with trimming pieces I threw last week). Small bowls move really fast – so what I have sitting are bowls too large and non-bowls. One of these days I need to photograph the lot and get my etsy back up and humming – after some bizarre server hiccough made all of my listings go bye-bye I simply haven’t had time to re-list what I have already photographed, much less goof around with the things I’ve been schlepping home from last term.
Other life-bits go on as usual: resident elderly is the same as ever, office follies continue apace (I should note that the Program has been online for a while, and printed Programs are due from the printer any moment so will leave Kalamazoo in batches forthwith. So for godssake don’t call me about not having received yours, yet!), and the superhero in our midst is making fantastic progress with reading, writing, and all other things kindergarten.
The briefest of updates, as I have been poked soundly via email regarding the aforementioned dearth. It’s lovely to have friends and colleagues that think so highly of my prattle that they
nag incessantly gently remind me of my responsibilities. *snort*
Add that to the bits I mentioned at the beginning of my last post, put it into your pipe, smoke away. So there. /petulant sneer
I want to go see OOTP. Now.
As in, taking the afternoon off work sounds like a fine idea. *grumblesnarl*
Helped loan kiln last night. Nothing of mine in, tho, as I still need to dremel the last two pieces, since they (like nearly everything in the last load) suffered when so much of the wadding exploded and they have chunks stuck in the glaze. Bring the temp up slowly kiddies, candle that sucker for a while and don’t be impatient.
I have 6 mugs and a couple of porcelain pieces to glaze. And Thursday is the last day for fresh clay, so I should, really, spend my lunch tomorrow at a wheel.
And clearly I’m not blogging much. I’ve been reading others and thinking about a lot of things, but I’ve really not moved to jump into the discussions. Yet. Or not.
I haven’t measured these so I’ll have to add the dimensions later (been a little busy. g’figure) but here are some things I hadn’t photographed yet in the pre-Congress panic that came out of the last kiln loads of the winter term. And one of these days I’ll really learn to photograph well…clearly – it hasn’t happened yet.
(this one I’m definitely putting through again – the pink on the interior was actually a green glaze! the atmosphere did something different with the copper than I wanted or expected, although it’s not unheard of. there was one that didn’t make it in that I need to pick up today – I wonder what that will look like?)
(this one was donated to the PTO for auction)
(this had wadding so affixed it was damaged while we were trying to knock them off, so I repaired and it’s now mine, mine, mine. I like it – it has heft)
(this is a set I made for someone)
Lots of tart warmers, I’m still fussing with which size and shape I like the best…fickle moi.
This was a special order.
A veeeery small bottle, as in with a cork it would probably hold maybe 3ml (and that’s just a guess):
Porcelain! Bowl! Porcelain! (didn’t work much with porcelain last term, but I really want to do more with it! it’s wuuuunderful!)
There is also a porcelain vase that I will re-fire – the interior was all matte rosey pink (like the mug above) and while the exterior pale blue crackle was what I was aiming for, the interior…not so much. Oh well.
And one (out of three, grr) trays of the scent diffuser tiles were actually fired at the correct temp (of course, all that I had used my new cut-out for were on the first two trays, darn it all. these are hand-cut and rusticus).
Note: the pieces aren’t crooked, the photographer was tired. DOH!
salt-fired teabowls in porcelain and stoneware:
2.5″ X 4″dia rim
2.2″ X 4.25″ dia rim
salt-fired stoneware mug (waiting on a whole slew of others, as well as tart warmers):
3.75″ X 4″dia rim
3.5″ X 6″dia rim
a handbuilt stoneware bowl with a lattice-weave textured interior:
2.75″ X 11.25″dia rim
another tree-tile, this one salt-fired:
8″ X 8″ (another stupid stress-fracture! gah!)
some of my part-wheel-thrown/part-hand-built stoneware boxes:
7″ X 4″ across rim (alas I tripped while holding this and as you see, I had to repair. damnit.
8.5″ X 4.25″ across rim
7.5″ X 3.5″ across rim
stoneware lidded jar, salt-fired, my first experiment with masking:
6.5″ X 7″dia body
and I made a bunch of salt-fired, woven, organic-looking stoneware soap dishes (or whatever dishes). as you can see, there were two of these listed as casualties in the Great Clumsy Incident, too:
2.5″ X 5.25″ across (approximate measurement, for obvious reasons)
1.5″ X 4.5″ across at widest point
2.25″ X 5.25″ across (approximate measurement, for obvious reasons)
1.5″ X 4″ across (approximate measurement, for obvious reasons)
2″ X 6″ across (approximate measurement, for obvious reasons)
1.5″ X 5″ across (approximate measurement, for obvious reasons)
Goofing around with my sgraffito tool. Clear glaze was rather thick and it’s a very strange-looking mug now, alas.
4.25″ tall X 3.75″ rim diameter. I really need to remember to watch the consistency on that glaze.
tart warmer, salt-glazed. 4.5″ tall.
bowl,salt-glazed. interior crackled very nicely! 3″ tall X 8″ rim diameter.
Most of my stuff in this kiln load requires re-fire because some things in certain parts of the kiln didn’t fire properly – storm front came through and dropped the temp in the back at a bad time is what we think. It’s a process that isn’t about human control in many ways, it’s always a surprise, it seems. So I had some things (and many others as well) that had really f-ed up glaze flow, they didn’t look ‘done’ even though all of the cones were down. Oh well.
Mucked around with porcelain for the first time yesterday – a bowl, a vase, and a teabowl. Very different – soft, easier to center, really lovely. I want to see how the surface is different with the different clay body…I saw some amazing things in porcelain come out of the first kiln load.
Here are a few shots I don’t think I’ve gotten up here yet, and what came out of the first salt firing – the kiln is ready to go again, so hopefully I’ll get some more stuff back this week.
A cassarole dish. It was made for someone, and I think I forgot to measure it, but at least I remembered to take a photo.
This was an experiment – I wanted to try and throw a chip/dip tray in one piece. This was the result. Again, I gifted it without measuring. I’m fairly happy with it (I think next time I’ll make a deeper dip bowl, it’s hard to dip large tortilla chips in a shallower vessel) and will likely make more at some point.
This is my first salt class, so I’ve been working at experimenting with surface decoration and trying to work with, not against, the salt. I’ve been working primarily with stoneware, but I’m tempted to muck around with some porcelain – it reacts to the salt differently…almost opalescent.
This small bowl has a glaze liner (and I am very pleased with the liner, it’s an amazing blue, these pictures don’t do it justice) and the surface is just a little cobalt slip and the salt glazing itself. I love the warm brown of the salt and the rustic pitted appearance from the little mini salt explosions when we would salt the kiln. Size 3.25″ tall, 4.75 rim diameter.
Still with the out of round, I do like modifying wheel-thrown forms – this bowl is oval, obviously. Much like the previous piece, but I used white slip and applied it rather thick for texture and to see how it behaves differently. As you can see, the slip has an interesting crackle effect. This was probably in the center of the kiln – as you can see, it has less pitting than the other bowl. Size 3″ tall, 5.75 rim widest.
I put a plate in there to see what would happen – I just swirled some glaze (a different one than I used for the bowls, but I ended up with very similar effects) in the center. Less surface pitting, but that same rustic brown salt glazing on untreated surfaces. Size 10″ diameter.
This one is fascinating – I made this rhenishware-style jug last term, and we pit-fired after bisque, but I don’t know that we let it go long enough because the smoke effects were practically non-existent. So I figured I’d put it in this kiln load to see what the salt would do. I rinsed the inside before I put some matte salt glaze in there (dripping it on the outside a bit for a very rustic feel) as liner. There must have been some residue inside that reacted in really violent ways to the glaze (and possibly to the salting – there was no glaze spillage, this didn’t stick to the kiln shelf!) because the bottom blossomed three-ways. (look closely you can see some of the cracking) The inside looks like melted metal and burnt cheese…damn interesting.
I wanted to make a vase, a tall (well, tall for me) vase. I did a lot of finger texturing because salt loves texture, applied the bottom separately because I wanted a really present bottom edge with a grounded feel, and used the same glaze for the liner as for the bowls. Size 12″ tall, 3.5 rim diameter.
I’ve put one tile in this next salt load, but decided just to put what I had not yet glazed into a regular high-fire load. I had two develop a strange crack on one edge (the tenmoku developed it on the bottom, the dunham blue along the left side)..no glaze movement, nothing there before I glazed. I don’t know where they were in the kiln. I suspect the temp was brought up too quickly, but that’s just guessing.They are sturdy and functional … can’t sell them, but I imagine they’ll find homes and behave in appropriate trivet or wall-decorative form with just a little more personality than the others. Aneebodee need a tile?
These next two I experimented with staining (two different tones of green) under a very transluscent celedon.
All tiles are 8.5″ X 8.5″. And, clearly, I continue to be vexed by shooting shots of these tiles with their shiny glaze picking up the light in strange ways and all. But you get the gist of their appearance, at least. You do need to see the knotwork in person to appreciate it, I simply can’t get these photos to show the detail.