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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pot Firing Extravaganza & Finished Pots!

 It seems I am the worst blogger ever these days! Well, what can I say... life has been busy! Today is the first day I've had off in what seems like forever... (even though I had a few days off when my family was here.) I began my "day off celebration" by sleeping for 11 hours, which has been followed by some blissfully "unproductive" time... something I can only dream about when at the J.O.B.
Anyhow, just wanted to share a few pics from the end of my Micaceous Class & show you my finished pots. Below, pics from the Pot Firing Extravaganza! 

Our pots~ placed on racks/pallets & surrounded with bark from the Ponderosa Pine ~ the Pit fire begins.

As the fire burns down, our pots arise from the ashes.

Out of the fire~ our cooling Pots.

Though I didn't get many pots made this semester as it seems I was busy moving my things around Santa Fe... I was pretty happy with the ones I did get finished. 
Below is bean pot # 1.

Same pot, different view~

Bean Pot # 2

Bean Pot # 3

Same Pot, different view~

(Bean pot # 4 did not get finished- had some issues in the sanding phase, sooooo...)
Bean Pot # 5~

# 5 is one of my favorites, though I had quite a bit of help from my instructor on the shaping of this pot, so I don't feel I can take full credit. The squiggly lines are made by throwing horse hair on the pot when it's just out of the fire & still hot. It's the first time I've tried this technique, and I quite like it.
Though I was taking the "Bean Pot Challenge" this semester, I did veer from that assignment to make a casserole, which is pictured below. I had made one last semester that I really wasn't crazy about, so I really needed to do another.

Same casserole, another view. This casserole was the bane of my existence in many ways. It took forever to finish it... many repairs were made & the endless sanding/lid fitting about drove me crazy. That said, it is one of my favorite pieces, so it was well worth the effort!

What am I going to do with all these pots, you might ask? I'm keeping the casserole & bean pot # 5... (yes, as soon as I get some more time I will be cooking in them!) the rest will likely become Christmas gifts this year to some very lucky recipient!

I wanted to give thanks to Felipe Ortega for hosting our firing and providing us hungry potters with a delicious meal...
and especially to Brian Grossnickle for so openly sharing his knowledge about all things Micaceous, for all his hard work in firing our pots, and for the continual encouragement, instruction & feedback he provides his students.
Now~ click on the links above to see some really gorgeous pots!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Raku Results & other Clay Stuff... it's a Potzapalooza!

Just wanted to share the results of the finished pots I started while back home this summer & catch y'all up on what I've been up to claywise. We Raku fired these pots in class a couple of weeks ago, but I just got around to photographing them today~ so, without further ado...
The Bear Pot!

Bear Pot~ Aerial View :)

My other pot~ really digging the round form, but the rim... not super crazy about it.

Mom's Pot, taking in the Fall Colors! (yes, amazingly... after the snow & wind we received last week- we've still got a fair amount of color on the hill... I was pleasantly surprised.)

Another view of Mom's Pot. I find the effect of the Raku firing interesting... it reflects the shadows & highlights & the finish can actually look quite different depending on how the light hits it and/or how it is photographed.

Raku'd Black Polar Bear in the Snow

In other clay news- I have taken the "Bean Pot Challenge" this semester... no cups, no bowls~ just pots! The pots below I started the first week of September when I was staying at the Sublet.

Wet Clay Bean Pots

Dry Pot- needs Scraping & Sanding

Sanded Pot, needs Slip & Burnishing

Polished Pots~ Ready to Bisque

Closer view of the pot on the left/ above. I really like this one.

Above a bunch of my classmates Pots, getting ready to go into the kiln. Below, various classmate's PIPs (pots in progress.) It's right about now that I am thinking, (o.k, really I am saying it out loud,) "It's a potzapalooza!!" Well it really is, dontcha think?

Below is the 2nd to the last pot I made. I was having some trouble w/ the rim (for me, it's one of the harder parts of making the Bean Pot) and I had to cut it down & build it back up several times.

Finally, I just had to leave it at that~

 There it is below on the left in it's drier state, next to my last pot on the right.
(It seems to have shrunk quite a bit & looks kinda squatted down... but so it goes.) Perhaps after sanding & polishing it'll be a decent pot.

"Raw Pots." Still need waterscraping, sanding, slip, burnishing!

Oh, and for those of you that have asked, Yes, I am getting settled into my new place, thank you. And nope, I did not find the perfect little inexpensive Casita I was looking for... and thus I am an ... I hate to say it... an Apartment Dweller. It was the best I could do given I was running out of time on my sublet. I try not to dwell on the lack of privacy (people walk by my front window,) or the fact that I can hear my neighbors when they take a shower, or cook, or shut doors. Whatever~ it is quieter than my last place, which says a lot. On a positive note, I can see the mountains & the sunrise, AND it does have a little more space... here you can see I set up a little space in my kitchen to water scrape my pots yesterday.

I also had a bit of good fortune come my way after pot scraping as I scored a few more items to complete my kitchen "clay station." Being the helpful person I am, :) I responded to an S.O.S for cleaning help for one of my friends that is moving out of town. It was a lot of work... cleaning fridges & stoves & so forth... and without expecting anything in return, he gave me that little blue work bench & baker's rack! Cool.

Kitchen Clay Station

So that's about it for now... my "weekend" is over & it's back to work tamale. I'll also be trying to get 3 more pots sanded & polished by the end of class on friday for the Final Pit Firing on Saturday, followed by too much work, and then a family visit! So, please do not hold your breath, anxiously awaiting the final results... I will get around to posting them once they're finished, but I honestly could not tell you when that will be!