June 4, 2008

Crack Pots and Other Observations

Tuesday was a rough day at the wheel. I'm still having issues with clay. Torch or no torch, the clay is opening up and I'm beginning to think that it needs more plastic material. At first I went through the usual paranoia that I go through, even after all these years, that I can't throw worth a damn. Then I got over those dark thoughts and I added some Tennessee #10 ball clay to experiment.

The round jar on the right has an addition of about 10% ball clay. It seemed to help a little. It's frustrating to get to a certain point here in the session and find that the claybody that works fine on smaller pots, can't stand up to a larger scale pot. I'll have to mix a test batch for the upcoming firing to see what the addition of ball clay does to glaze color.

I then realized that I had been weighing my clay wrong all evening. Usually I weigh out 1/3 for the 'cap' and 2/3 of total weight for the 'bottom'. For the two pots on the left I weighed out 6lbsfor the 'caps' and 8lbs for the 'bottoms'. The cap should have been 4 1/2 lbs and the bottom 9 1/2 lbs. Oh well.

In an ongoing survey of patterns in the studio.....I was sitting in my chair looking at my cracked jars and noticed this print on a box. The lower part of the 2 looked like a little leaf and when I flipped the 2 over it looked like a 7.

This will be my 27th firing . [Ominous organ music in background]