Friday, July 15, 2011

More Incense holders

I had a lot of stuff come out of bisque firing this week. From the left is my medium sized rectangle vase (Red stone clay), top is the small pie pan and two teapots.(Nabe clay) Far top right is a small pitcher, (red stone clay) and the rest are the 14 incense holders. (Red shigaraki) I didn't manage to glaze all of these last night but I got to the holders and vase.

Here are the three colors I chose for the vase. I decided to do each level of the vase a different color. The far right is the base, B glaze. Middle is J and top is K. I also did a light mist of L at the very top. I have not used this color combo before on red stone clay so I hope it'll turn out well. RF firing. (The samples are red shigaraki which is kind of similar to red stone) I used the air gun to glaze.

After the vase I got around to the incense holders. By that time it was dark outside so I took a big lamp outside and arranged the holders on a board.

This is the glaze air gun. Pretty easy to use, cup on the top for the glaze and the standard handle and spout. I used 6 different glazes last night between my vase and incense holders so it was a pain having to clean this thing between every color.

Here they are after glazing. If you're going to do several things the same color and pattern it's easiest to line them up to get the same effect.

Here are a few up close. I did a combo of three glazes. Top is E glaze, middle K and bottom L.

Here are the sample colors. Left to right, E, K and L. I'll OF fire the holders.

I also prepared my napkin rings for firing. To get an even glaze they have to be glazed like this. The rods are a special metal with a specific coating so they won't stick. I've never done this before so I have no idea how they will turn out, but Arai Sensei said they should be fine but may turn out slightly oval.

Here is an up close picture, you can see the coating on the rod.

Last but not least is my giant vase! It's finally been bisque fired. It turned out perfect, but the tough part will from now. Choosing the right color and hoping it turns out wonderful will be nerve racking. All the time and energy spent on this vase could be ruined if the glaze isn't done right or doesn't turn out well...I'll be choosing a color soon...Here's hoping it turns out great!!!

Until next time!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Incense holders

20 of my black stone clay incense holders have been bisque fired so I sanded and glazed them last night.

I decided to use the air gun to apply the glaze since I wanted a gradual color change.

Here are my two color choices. Left is R a nice white glaze with purple/blue undertones. To the right is K glaze which will turn into a nice mild blue. The left is where the incense sticks will go through a hole and burn over the board. I actually wanted L glaze but in a heat daze I somehow picked the K glaze bucket instead and didn't realize it until I was done air glazing. Oops...but I think this color combo should turn out well either way :) They will be RF fired

I also air glazed some napkin rings and chopstick holders I made at home last month. The rings will be difficult to glaze but they should turn out fine. I did R glaze for all of them.

I made 9 napkin rings

2 fish chopstick holders

2 simple chopstick holders

2 braided chopstick holders.

I also glazed a few leftover cups and a bowl.

This cup is red shigaraki with R and B glaze combo, RF firing

Another cup, outside U, inside K glaze, RF firing

Last is a small bowl, red stone clay. U glaze with R glaze accent on the rim, RF firing

Only 2 more weeks! Until next time!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coffee Cups

I got back 4 cups and 2 plates from glazing last night. All the pieces are red shigaraki with various glaze combos. They all turned out very well. All were OF fired.

Left is B glaze with X on the inside. Right is S glaze on the outside dipped in R on the rim.

Left: glaze K with R glaze dip (Handle)
Right: inside R, outside B glaze (My fav cup of the four)

Two small plates, inside glaze X

Outside B glaze

I also got around to glazing this shallow vase I made awhile back

It's red shigaraki clay. I decided to do X glaze on the inside, E glaze on the outside (red metallic color) and A glaze accent (blue) on the inside.

Here is a shot of the colors before I glazing.

Outside shot

Inside shot: The gray splatters are A glaze, this is a new combo for me so we'll see how it turns out...can't wait! This will be OF fired.

Since I won't be around this weekend I also carved my bizen vase I made on Tues. It was a little too soft but I managed to get it done. It's hard to tell but I did a stair like design on the bottom. This will dry for awhile and go into the noborigama in Fall.

I also made 14 more incense holders with left over red stone, red shigaraki and bizen clay. I was running late so I didn't have time to take pictures but they look exactly the same as my previous 20 incense holders, just a different color. Those will dry for about three days and get fired.

See you next week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Vase

I made another small pie pan with my leftover nabe clay. It was much harder this time around since the clay only had a few days to "rest" (ideally 2 weeks is best) so it was lumpy and inconsistent. I managed to make the pan, but it had thick spots. After carving it looked much better and it's hard to tell but it isn't a perfect circle like my first.

Here is a pic of it with the handles attached. For now it will dry in a box for a few days and then wait for bisque firing. My nabe clay is officially gone now but I sure got a lot out of 10kg.

1 large pie pan
1 small pie pan
2 s/m tea pots
1 small hot pot with lid

I also carved this small pitcher I made on Sunday. It's a mix of leftover clays, mostly red and black stone. I'll most likely use it as a sauce holder for dressings and such. I love the shape, very classic. One of the other students thought it was an American sized coffee cup until they saw the spout haha.

I still had 20kg of bizen clay left...and what's the best way to use it up quick? Making big vases!
Here is a bizen clay 5kg vase.

I originally was going for tall and lean but alas my vases never quite turn out how I want them to in the beginning. So of course I went with the flow and made a wide shorter style instead.

I made the top too thin so it started to flop, but before it turned for the worse I stopped and made it apart of the design instead. I actually really like how it turned out in the end and it was good wheel practice. The hard part is going to be carving this thing. It's a strange shape and will need a special long bucket or wood block to hold it up while I carve the bottom. I'll have to make a trip to the hardware and dollar store to find something.

This vase will skip bisque firing and go directly into the noborigama in October. Since I only have a month left until I leave the country this will not dry in time. Bizen also looks amazing without any glazing in the noborigama. So it seems I'll make a visit to Sarayama again when I return to Japan in Fall :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hot Pot and Incense Holders

I've been super busy at pottery so I haven't been very good at taking pictures lately, and the ones that I do remember to take are somewhat blurry...oops ><

Everything is starting to pile up with pieces ready for glazing. Soon my giant vase will be bisque fired and all the small projects I've been working on will also be ready for glazing.
First are the five handled cups from a few weeks back and two plates. These are all red shigaraki clay (the high iron content clay) I did several combinations of R, B, S and L glazes. More pictures to come once they're fired. 6 of the pieces will be OF fired and one RF fired.

My low vase has also been fired. It turned out well, I'm still deciding on the color...Maybe something metallic?

I had leftover nabe clay again so I used about 4 kilos and made a 1 person hot pot. I was originally going to make a soup stock pot but it didn't turn out well so I went with it and made it into a nabe pot instead.

I made the body first and of course the hardest part was the lid resting spot. But I manged to get it right this time without messing up. After carving and drying a bit I attached the handles on the side.

I always like decorative and functional pieces so I made the handles look like flower petals and put a cherry blossom stamp in the middle.

Here is the lid, basically an upside down bowl with a hole in it for steam ventilation. Japanese hot pots usually have a cut handle in one spot, but I decided two would look better.

I'm calling this the "kappa" nabe. Since the shape resembles a Japanese Kappa, which is a legendary turtle like animal that lurks in rivers. It is basically an animal scare story used to keep children from playing in dangerous water. The modern image of the kappa is cute and this nabe reminds me of the kappa's head haha.

Here is a cuter version of the infamous Kappa.

I also made 20 incense holders as presents for when I leave in a few weeks. They're easy to make and will dry fast and be ready in about a week for glazing.

I had about 4 Kg of black stone clay so I shaped the mass into a long rectangular shape and cut each holder with my wire cutter. I used measured wooden planks that were 5mm thick as a guide. It's hard to see in this picture but the black has been cut evenly.

I prepared some dry wall and left the planks of clay to harden up a bit.

I then used these stamps* and made designs imprinted on the front. I then curled them up slightly and used a hair dryer to dry them in place.

These stamps were made by other students over the years, they're great so a quick and fun imprint.

Last I used this metal tool to make holes for the incense sticks to be placed in.

It took about 45 min to make all 20 holders. It's my first time so I hope they turn out ok, otherwise I'll have no presents for some people >< I'll be back again next Tuesday so I'll probably make some more with my other remaining clay.

Until Next Time!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pie Pan and Tea Pot

The pie pan has been finished. I carved and attached handles to it last night.

Here is a view from above. I didn't want just plain handles so i made a flower petal type design to make it more fun.

I cut a paper guide first before cutting the clay and attaching it to the pan. I love how it turned out and can't wait to glaze it :)

Next were my two two pots. I've carved the bodies and lids and attached the handles at the top. Both turned out well after carving, nice and light and a fun shape.

But before you can call it a teapot you must attach the spout. Originally I made three spouts so I could choose which ones I liked best. In the end I went with the left and middle spouts.

I'll go over the spout quickly since I have given a detailed explanation on this post.

First I have to decide where and at what angle I want the spout at, so I put it on a pedestal.

Next it's time to eye ball it. Arai Sensei helped me out here since I forgot the exact way. Basically you want the spout's mouth up so water won't drip out. After you find a good spot you use a marker to draw a line on the spout. This is the guideline for where to carve.

Carving is a pain and can't be rushed. Slowly bit by bit at a time I scrapped away at it to get the best fit. You can see the guidelines and where I've carved in this photo.

After its carved it went into water to soften up for a few minutes.

before placing the spout in the water I outlined its shape and cut a hole according to it's shape. I scored the edges and applied liquid clay to ensure a strong bond with the spout.

After the spouts were firmly attached I made 4 small handle holders.

I attached them to the front and back.

Here they are after being finished!

They turned out well, now time to dry and get bisque fired.

These are all made from nabe clay so they must be fired at a lower temperature. It will be awhile until they are finished.

Until Next Time!