Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Playing with clay

This past Christmas, I wanted to make a lot of the gifts I was going to give to people. I went to a pottery studio in Guelph and made a lot of different things. Here are some of the dishes I made. I hadn't done pottery since I was in elementary school and I forgot how much fun it is to get messy and play with mud!
This is my favourite bowl. I really like the curled edges and the blue highlighting on the curls.
This plate matches my favourite bowl. I gave it to my parents and now it is on display in my living room :)

 Pottery is pretty time consuming. You have to make the pieces out of wet clay. Then ALL of the water has to evaporate before it can go into the kiln for the first firing. After the first firing, the pieces are now at their bisque stage.
My boyfriend picked this one out for himself. It reminds me of honeycomb.
I like things to be instant so the long waiting process of all the dryings and firings made me really curious to see my pieces.  I also had to guess what sort of techniques I would prefer the finished look of. I didn't know what some of the patterns would end up looking like, nor did I know what colour some of the glazes would take on.
This was one of my favourites made by pressing lace into the wet clay.  I also really liked the flat but uneven look on the top. 

Next is the glazing stage. The glaze looks like really ugly paint at first. It's thick and pretty much all dull shades of gray. The final colours end up being sort of a surprise as the glaze takes on different colours depending on where it is in the kiln, how thick the coat was and whether it is in a raised or sunken in part of the design.  Sometimes I even mixed glazes for a more interesting look.
The design on this bowl is actually a rubber stamp that I repeated until I covered the whole area.

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