Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shift happens

Going back in time, here are a couple of examples of some of the cone 10 Reduction pots I was making in the mid 70's and 80's. The reason I'm putting these up here, is that I held on to those stamps, which I made when recuperating from a hysterectomy. I really enjoyed that form of on glaze decorating and I have an idea of trying to use them with the new earthenware under glazes. These stamps also worked well stamping slip, or using the stamp to remove slip.

There was so much seedling and garden work yesterday morning that I didn't get to the studio till after lunch. Almost everything I planned to do in the studio yesterday was shifted because a package of new stains arrived from U.S. Pigments. So, instead of cleaning up (sanding, scraping the slip applied the day before), I wound up only slipping the interiors instead; and after cleanup, I weighed a test batch of slip, using the vanadium yellow stain. By the time that was on a test tile and cleanup was done, it was time to think about dinner, and leave the other tests for today.

I had also shifted the dinner plans. Jim wanted to give me a break and get Chinese take out; but I had made us a nice lunch of quesadillas and guacamole, so I suggested that I just fry up some frozen pot stickers, and save the Chinese takeout for Thursday night.

After dinner I dug out my glaze notes sketchbook - the one I used to keep track of how I decorated pots for my soda/salt firings.  I sketched all the current group of earthenware pots and will be making extensive notes on the under glaze and glaze decorations.

The idea of decorating these pots gets me into a mild state of panic, because I'm clueless about what I'm going to do, and  have no idea how these under glazes will be to work with, etc.. One of the ideas I'm going to try is using my old foam stamps with the under glazes, like I did in the photos above. I used these over thirty years ago, stamping oxide washes over my cone 10 reduction glazes. The washes  worked great over rutile, celadon and saturated iron glazes; but how it will work or not with these low fire under glazes remains to be seen.

 I've done some sketches of decorating ideas,  but transferring those designs to actually working with new materials is going to be another learning curve. Fortunately I have another week or so till I have to face that decorating starting gate, because the larger Skutt kiln needs some brick repairs and the repair guy can't come for another week.

 Right now it's time for vitamins, and seedling care (they all spent their first night outdoors covered with remay). Once I've removed the remay and watered them, I'll be heading to the studio for most of the day, then quitting at 4 to start dinner. It feels like it's going to shift into a good very good day.


  1. Hi June
    I recently returned to pottery after a 25 year lapse. Making the forms was no problem, but it has taken me almost 2 years to begin to get a finished result that pleases the potter I am now. I think starting with your stamps is a great idea--starting is sometimes the biggest hurdle. I'm sure your results will lead you on to making the wonderful pots lurking in your sub-conscious.
    Best Wishes,

  2. Thanks Chris. I think the stamps are a good place to start. I don't know how well the under glaze will work; but I think that if the slip worked, it might just be a case of playing around with the thickness. All will be revealed.