Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's All About the Slip!

Well, it's also about the building of the pot, the scraping, the sanding, the burnishing, the bisque & finally the pit fire! But the application of micaceous slip (mica rich clay + water)
is what gives the pot that earthy sparkling glow. (Yes, that's right- I'm slathering my mud pots with.... mud!) Looks delicious, doesn't it?

I've had a very busy week of scraping & sanding pots, now that the winds have been cooperating a bit & I've had some extra time to get in the studio. No pics of sanding this time... so just picture Pig Pen with a cloud of dust swirling around his head & you'll get the idea! I had quite a backlog of work to get done, since I've done the various assignments for class, but have also managed to squeeze in a few extra pieces here & there. So here's what I've been up to!
The pic below shows the slip applied to the outer portion of the pot. Once it is stone burnished & dry, the inside will be done.

Yesterday, I slipped & burnished the 3 wolf pups, 2 small dishes, a large salad bowl, a mug & a bean pot! Whew! You can see the difference in color once the slip is applied. Those went into the kiln yesterday afternoon.

This morning I went in to unload the bisqued pots~ it was pretty fun to see the change in color to deep orange. They will change again once they are pit-fired... the bright orange will tone down, and smoke clouds will be fired in (see pots in sidebar.) The pit fire was scheduled for 2 weeks from now, but has been cancelled. Due to our lack of precipitation this winter, and fire hazards due to said lack of precip + winds, it has been postponed until we don't know when. (I am thinking of other options... perhaps transporting them with me to San Diego this summer & having a big pot-firing beach bonfire?)

You may have guessed the one in the center is mine if you saw the pot on the sidebar. While they are a bit of a pain to slip & burnish, I do like the fluted rim.

One of my favorites was this little "mini bean pot."  It's about the size of a softball & I think it is quite cute.

And of course, the 3 little wolf pups. I love them & have titled them "Good Things Come in Threes."  There is a chance that we may be able to smoke fire a few pieces of our work in the Raku kiln (it's apparently out for repairs or something) and if we do, it will turn the pieces a very cool shimmery black. I hope to do the wolf pups this way.

Here are all my pieces that came out of the kiln today. Overall I was quite happy with them, though I have to admit, I am my own worst critic & upon close inspection, I could find a few flaws... but no matter, I am learning!

 I also finished a couple bowls today, as well as the Bear Pot~

Maintaining a good fit on the lid from wet to dry to sanding is tough! It's not perfect, but I think I quite like it anyhow! It'll go in the kiln next week.

I've included this pic as it really shows the transformation that occurs during the process. To the right- unfinished "rough" pots, in the back- the sanded, slipped & burnished bear pot, and of course the bisqued pots on the left. Unfortunately, I won't be able to show you the actual finished pieces until I don't know when, but rest assured I will post them at some point! :) Until then, I've gotten some work out of the kiln from my other class that I have not gotten around to photographing & posting yet... so coming soon~
"The Good, The Bad & The Ugly..."
stay tuned!


Randy said...

Becky, those are amazing! I really love your little wolf cubs and that pot with the lid is so beautiful. I can't wait for your next post. Today was beautiful. I only spent 3 hours in the lab today, I am so behind but I also feel like the walking dead so I needed to get some rest. It's going to be a long week but the end is in sight. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Wind said...

Wonderful story of great creative days!
My compliments!


Wanda..... said...

Your pieces have such smooth and graceful lines, Becky. My son-in-law once made an image of our little Westie, Gena for me after her passing. Your little wolf pups remind me of it.

Ms. Becky said...

your pieces are amazing. I am in love with the tiny bean pot. I enjoy reading about and seeing the process of what you're doing. when I was in college I took a pottery class and one of my favorite things we did was Raku. I still have the piece that I made. this is all just the cat's meow here!

marianne said...

they're beautiful! thanks for showing the process- i know nothing about making pottery and enjoy learning. can't wait to see the final product!

jo©o said...

Just adore that bear handle.
Such a humorous thing.

Tammie Lee said...

Becky, they are all gorgeous as can be! do you sell your art/wares?

Barb said...

Oh - I'm in love with the bear pot! It has such graceful lines... I like knowing something about the process, Becky. Now when I see a piece of beautiful pottery, I appreciate all the work that went into it! I'm in Breck, and the sun is melting the snow on my decks. We leave in the van (with our bikes) early Thurs. for CA. (Yippee!)

Barb said...

PS I meant to say that the slip reminded me of milk chocolate - you see where my mind is...

Annie said...

Becky, Thses are impressive, they look perfect to me! You get so much more done then I do! And mine are far from perfect, I don't know how you do it :-). Wonderful, and my favorite is the mini bean pot. xoxo

Randy said...

Oh I hear you. There is some nice work in the art department that have peaked my interest. Have you seen the woven one made out of the tree?

snowwhite said...

All of your works are amazing!! Especially I love three wolf cubs and bear pot. They make me smile. The decent luster given by mica is so beautiful! Oh, I can't wait to see your finished ones.
Becky, Have a nice week!

Pat said...

I can't believe the difference in color once the pots are finished.I love the three wolf pups! And that little bean pot is adorable!

Dad said...

I was just catching up on your blog postings.
Your experimentation is turning out some interesting pieces.
I like the white vases with flowers and
as always the micaceous work is outstanding.