Black & White

I was happy to accept the Life in Black and White challenge.  At first, I thought it would be hard but I found that taking a picture of the simplest things made the biggest impact in black and white.

 

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Before and After

Before.  I was heart broken to discover  a piece of grog caused a big chip in this cute mug. Rather than pitch it, I tried to salvage it.   I picked out the piece of grog with my needle tool then sanded and sanded and sanded the chip to smooth it out in the hopes that the glaze would “hide” the huge crater.

After a lot of hard work dealing with unusual grog particles in my clay over the summer, I am happy to report not all was a loss! Tickled with the glaze results in these two turquoise & brown mugs! Just listed in my shop, back porch studio, on Etsy!

After.

 

New Clay! Great Things!

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel early this month due to groggy clay , I decided to talk to the folks at my local pottery supply store to see if they could recommend a new clay body similar to what I had been using for over ten years.

I am SO happy I did!  Not only did they recommend an excellent replacement, they said that I was not the only one to experience devastating results from this particular clay body. Now, I just wish I would have talked to them sooner; never the less, I have had excellent results with my new clay!

I made four test bowls to see how the clay reacted with the glazes I am currently using. The results are spectacular! The new clay body is so light and maintains the speckled effect that I and my customers really like.

This is my second set of dinner plates I made but with the NEW clay! The first set was with the grog laden clay which lead to catastrophic and heartbreaking results.

And, ta-dah! The final result with the NEW clay!

Thanks to the new clay, great things will happen!

Thank you Erin & Lynn!

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A Little Bit About Glazing

Glazing is not my favorite part of the pottery process but when my pieces come out of the kiln, glazing is well worth the effort!

Most of my pieces have two different glazes applied giving the pottery one color on the inside and another color on the outside. This process involves a combination of pouring and brushing.

First, I wax my bottoms. The wax prevents the glazes from adhering to the bottom of the pot and prevents glazes from sticking the kiln shelf potentially ruining the piece of pottery and making a big mess to clean up on the kiln shelf.

I hand stamp a paw print inside each of my pet dishes with an ebony wash.

 

I brush a clear glaze inside of my pet dishes. I used to pour the clear glaze but it had a tendency to go on too thick which caused crazing. . . a crackled look. Though some like the crazing look, I simply prefer to apply this particular glaze thinly with a good brush to prevent crazing. (Side note: I have learned the crazing is not detrimental to my pieces. It simply gives the clear glaze a crackled look).

To glaze the outside of each dual color piece, I pour the second glaze over the outside of the pot. Because the bottom is waxed, the glaze simply moves off the waxed part of the pot.

 

Blue and cream pet dishes glazed (blue on the outside, clear on the inside) and ready to be fired in the electric kiln.

 

 

Tah-dah! 8 to 10 hours later!!!!

Though glazing is not my favorite part of pottery, I am thrilled with the results!

 

You can find pet dishes like these pictured in this post in my shop on Etsy!

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Summer Not Yet Over!

Though the calendar says it is autumn, Mother Nature says otherwise!  I am thrilled by the warm dry autumn days because  I can continue to throw pots on my back porch!

Most recently, I have been working on plates.

Bisque ware plates, hand thrown by me, waiting for their bottoms to be waxed!

 

I have been using a certain mid-fire cone 6 clay for over 10 years and never had a problem with it until this summer. Unusually large particle size causing pits, chips, holes and heartache.

Piece after piece damaged.

 

The combination of a new clay and extended summer has motivated me to keep throwing!

Back in business with a new clay! Made test bowls today to 👀 how this clay reacts with my glazes! So far, I LOVE this clay!

 

I’m not the only one enjoying the warmer weather and pottery!

Every fall it is the invasion of the stink bugs! “Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996. The stink bug earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed. Stink bugs search for overwintering sites in late fall to find shelter from the winter weather” and they do so en masse!

 

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Change of Season

As the temperature cools, my throwing season is coming to an end.

My pottery studio is literally on my back porch -wide open to all the elements.

But, that doesn’t mean I’m done with pottery!

I have more work to do 🙂

Green ware and bisque ware waiting to be fired and glazed.

New inventory waiting to be photographed and listed in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram for some  behind-the-scenes shots!