November 17, 2009

Boo Hoo and The Effects of Pottery on Hamsters Guinea Pigs

Briefly, Monday wasn't that great, nothing to report except a bunch of "poor. poor, pitiful me". I continued to correct my clay mixing that began it's ill fate on Saturday. The red dirt that I had blunged and screened, turned out to be more wartery than needed to add to the dry mix. My calculations were a little off. I guess I never thought about how much liquid I actually had. After drawing as much water off of the red dirt slip, I still had a twenty gallon garbage can and a 15 gallon tub. That's quite a lot of liquid for 350 lbs. of dry clay. So I threw up my racks and poured the red dirt slip in the racks to drip overnight. This morning I added the slightly thicker slip to the dry mix and ran the mixer most of the day trying to get the right dryness. Finally I put half of the bungs in the sun to dry out before I pugged. This firmed up the blend quite a bit in the breeze and sun. There's got to be a better way. The mixer is very slow when the clay is so wet. I think it was designed for much stiffer clay. With my very soft mix, the tines just "spun" and didn't really "push" the clay through...oh, well.

I did manage to trim the bowls from the other day, although, woe is me, I trimmed through several. Some real rookie moves. It wasn't my trimming that I was having trouble with, but the bottoms of the bowls were really too thin to cut a foot. It was a case of design not matching the circumstances. I left a couple with flat bottoms, but they just didn't seem right. [sorry, no pictures to illustrate this point] In the end, the bowls seemed too light and will probably become potatoes in the firing, if I keep them at all.

I finished up the day with some more bowls. I made a few of this style of bowl aprés Rock Creek Pottery. I used to have several of Douglass and Will's cereal bowls, but they all eventually met their Waterloo. I made a handful of these last firing and got one or two right while the others missed their mark. It's a tricky pot made particularly tricky when made from memory. But the memories of those bowls is maybe better for the hands in the making. After all, I hand washed those bowls for years and must retain some memory in the way they felt in weight and shape!

I'll end this sob story with a couple of funny pictures. I'm sure you can guess who's pot this is?! Ron probably doesn't know the effect his pottery has on hamsters guinea pigs!!

one hamster guinea pig

two hamsters guinea pigs