Best of summer!
When given lemons . . .
. . .make lemonade!
This year’s throwing season seems to be going well! Very minimal mistakes plus,thanks to learning about an alternative way to take large pots off the bat, I have been able to throw larger pieces: plates, serving bowls, platters and pet bowls! To date, I have thrown over 35 pieces since Memorial Day! 😀
Unfortunately, I’m having trouble with grog ruining my pieces. Oh Grog!
What is grog, you ask?
Well, in the pottery world, it is not an alcoholic beverage although after seeing this grog ruin my several of my pieces, a stiff drink of grog may help ease my disappointment. It is also not a fictional character found in graphic novels, role playing games or computer games. Nope. The grog that pains me can be a combination of fired clay, silica, sand and feldspar all of which are ground to various sizes and added to clay. The propose of grog added to clay is to improve “ drying performance, reduce drying shrinkage, improve fired abrasion resistance, reduce thermal expansion, reduce fired shrinkage, reduce density, impart visual character, etc.”
In years past, the particle size has been fine enough for me not to notice. This year, however, this particle size is causing a problem.
I plan to call my clay supplier to ask if anyone else is having the same issue with this clay – the same clay I have been using for years and never had a problem with grog until now.
In the meantime, I decided to mix my groggy clay with a lighter non-groggy clay in the hopes of adding more plasticity and minimizing the effect of the large particle grog.
Now, off to enjoy a glass of grog!
One reoccurring problem I have had was making large pet dishes (7+ inches or larger in diameter). In almost every single instance, I would ruin the pet dish when taking it off the bat.
I had some extra time over the winter to research alternative ways of taking large pots off of the bat. I came across a discussion thread on potters.org: “How to get it off the bat?” . In short, the brilliant solution was to use a piece of canvas or heavy denim on the bat. Throw the pot on top of the canvas then . . .
‘Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try, try again
~ William Edward Hickson
Well, this is a first! Apparently one of our cats took refuge in my drying box . . .on a bowl! LOL
Okay, yes. The title of this post is a little dramatic but are not snakes dramatic when you are not expecting them.
So, I’m blissfully throwing pots on my back porch today when I notice our cat following something through the yard. I didn’t think anything of it after all it is bug and butterfly season both of which she likes to chase. A few seconds later, I saw something YUGE slither in and out of the raised garden bed with our cat right on its tail. It was then I grabbed my camera and snapped! (To be honest, I wanted to take a picture for identification purposes…to make sure it was only a garter snake. And it is…or was…just hope I don’t find it on our back porch welcome mat compliments of our cat – the snake chaser).
Feeling a little