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

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Belated Mica Clay Class Results :)

I know... Finally!!
Though my class ended in July...  I'm just getting around to posting my pots from the Micaceous Clay class I took this Spring/Summer at my instructor's studio. (What can I say... it's been a busy summer!)
There were only a couple of us in class, so I really feel I learned a lot this time around & I was really pleased with the way this group of pots turned out. I'm not going to post all the pics of process & production (though I am all about process... it would just make for too many photographs... you'll just have to trust my words... these hand coiled pots are extremely labor intensive!) I am settling instead for showing you some of the pots as they are coming out of the fire, during testing & a few "studio' shots at the end.

Pots being fired above, and fresh out of the fire below.

Above, most of the fired pots, though a couple were still in reduction. (To reduce the pot, you take it out of the fire & place in a closed receptacle like a metal trash can, along with sawdust & newspaper. It ignites immediately & when the lid is closed it starves the air of oxygen, and the result is a blackened pot.)

Once my pots are home, I test them all to make sure they all hold & boil water. I have to admit, I am kind of in love with these pots! First off, in my humble opinion, they are just gorgeous! Secondly they are a highly functional piece of fine art. And thirdly, cooking in a pot you made yourself is just, well... cool, let's face it.
As you know I like to document, so I wanted to "professionally" photograph each pot, as it helps me keep a visual log from where I started in clay, to where I'm at skill wise, as well as to identify areas in which I need improvement. Problem is, I don't have the proper lighting set up, so this can be a challenge. 

The traditional orangish pots w/ the smoke clouds photographed alright, but I had trouble getting the color & focus right on the blackened pots. They do look much more beautiful in person, and my photographs don't do them justice, but at least you get the gist of them.

 I was unable to get them all photographed in this fashion, as I left for California soon after these pots were fired, and I took several with me to be given as gifts to friends & family.
On a side note, yes, I am enrolled in another Micaceous Class this fall. This will be my 4th class in Micaceous... so I think it is fair to say that I am in love with this clay. While the labor intensity is beyond what I've experienced using other types of clays & other methods... I'm telling you, it all becomes worth it when you see the pots come out of the fire.
I also wanted to give another special thanks to my Micaceous Clay Instructor/Mentor Brian Grossnickle, who won't be teaching at SFCC this time around. Thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge & expertise so openly with your students... and for firing our pots so beautifully. I always will keep in mind that "Symmetry is overrated," (though I am sure I will still strive for it!) and will try my best not to be a limp wristed potter :)
You will be missed!