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!


Tammie Lee said...

oh my, these are GORGEOUS!

sandy said...

OMG, even photos of your pots are art!
i didn't know you could put pottery over a flame, or other heat.

John Brisson said...

Nice to see you back at it again. Hey...love you kitchen cabinet doors!!

Randy said...

Beautiful as always. Your love for the work really show. Class is going ok. I am having a hard time getting it to sink it. We've already lost half of the class. I hope your week is going well.

clairz said...

Your kitchen looks marvelous with all those wonderful pots in it. I can't tell which I love best - the "pinto" pots or the blackened ones. Perhaps someday you can do a post showing your pots over time, from your first ones to your most current ones.

And, last of all - how lucky you are to know Randy, who I've only met in the blogosphere.

Lori Buff said...

These pots are beautiful, I also love that you test them over the flame on the stove. So much pottery is not flameware it's great to find something that is and has been tested.

Barb said...

Actually, I never realized you could cook over an open flame with the pots - have any of yours ever failed the water test? The markings on them are so interesting. I like seeing them all lined up after firing. It must be so satisfying to create such beauty from a lump of clay.

Kate said...

Shalom! Today is the International Day of Peace (9/21/12) May you and all countries know and enjoy peace.

May you have a peaceful week-end!

Ms. Becky said...

your work blows me away - I love these pots. you've become very skilled at your art and each pot has a character all its own. initially I thought the orange were my faves, but scrolling through the blackened pots I changed my mind. they have a wonderful elegance to them. I really like the orange one with the curvy edge too.
happy weekend to you.

Rick said...

What can I say - these pots are amazing ! And not just in your humble opinion ! What a journey you've been on the past few years in your clay world - thanks for taking us along and sharing.

And I just loved your Sierra photos (said he, full of envy ! ;>)