Wednesday, October 27, 2010

clay surgery


Made this lid to fit this little jar
And went to get the little  jar and hit this large jar
it had to get plastic surgery

and the small jar's lid

the end

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

putting a clay lid on it

the beginning
the set up

looks like a mini flying saucer landed

little ball of clay added and a knob shaped

all done for now

cupcake stands ready for a dip in slip
but not before they pose as pear pedestals

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shelling black-eyed peas until the cows come home


Fresh black-eyed peas (sometimes called cow peas) are the best.  The farmer's market is full of these beautiful green, purplish, reddish spotted pods.  Stacked high and just lovely.  I would buy them just for their looks alone. I knew that Mister Reinhart was setting up a photo shoot for the new work heading out to Cabrillo Gallery next week.  It is quite an ordeal.  Backdrop, lamps, blackout drapes, stands, tripod and the big camera were all set up yesterday. I thought he deserved a special treat.  He loves legumes. As he works for food (free) I thought black-eyed peas were perfect payment.  Black-eyed peas symbolize coins. Put them together with some kale or collards-greens, ah heavenly treasure!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

porcelain persimmons

Three thousand haiku
I have read through, and now---
two persimmons!

---Shiki


Two porcelain persimmons
white on a kiln shelf
yet hours ago---orange hot!

---momo





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

with gray eyes






What a day.  This piece has only a layer of terra sigillata and lots of layers of oxide stains and beeswax.  It took some time to do this piece and finish it.  In fact, it was bisque fired back in July.  It sat in the studio staring at me, following me with its gray eyes.  Now I have a question---with or without the pear and bowl?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

rainy day playing

as the summer's gone
we are not surprised to see
autumn rain at night
-Eiki 


Surprised by the rain this morning, it was necessary to go out and play in it.  It seems as if we didn't have a summer.  We had glimpse of it. More like taking a peek at summer through a keyhole.

the wild summer peeked hotly
through a small keyhole
seeing only autumn rains

-momo



ginkgo leaves covering a suburban sidewalk
I love seeing leaves on the ground.  Especially when they form a beautiful patterned carpet across concrete.  This area doesn't see much fall colors.  Not too many maple forests around here.  One just have to find beauty and solace in what is here.  In small measures.
  










out of the shadows

before bisque fire
after second firing


In the same firing with Behind Blue Eyes, I loaded the already bisqued Shadow for its second firing.  I needed to deepen the red art sigillata with some red iron oxide stain.  The gray sigillata fired lighter and I wanted it to look scratchy.  I removed all the stumps (these had stainless steel wires so I could remove them for ease.)  I used some black engobe and let it dry.  I then used a scrubbie (made with nylon netting) and gently rubbed off what I didn't want.  I buffed it lightly with a t-shirt.  All the stumps had details added using underglazes.  

In the same firing there were some greenware jars with sgraffito work.  They came out nice.  So I will glaze them for a cone 6 firing next week.  I have some bowls, plates and porcelain hands for that firing.  After next week I will start doing more functional work and put aside the sculptural work for a while.  


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Behind blue eyes

There are days that I just loaf and just sketch and just think (together with more loafing.)  I had to do a long candling with the two wall heads.  They were drying out in the studio very slowly.  Too slowly.  I airbrushed some gray terra sigillata on Behind Blue Eyes.  That was fun.  Our 30 year old Black and Decker air compressor gave up so off to hardware store and Sears to see what we could find.  Our old one was LOUD, but just right as I only airbrush a little.  It was small and portable.  It sure had a big voice and it sure did a good job.  Anyway, no one had a nice, portable air compressor.  I'm not sure I like the new set-up.  Herr Reinhart likes it fine.  It's more an air pump. 

airbrushed with pale gray terra sigillata

The eyes were taped.  I wanted some of the bisqued clay tones to show through.  When this clay is fired to cone 06 it has a pinkish tone.  Even though the terra sigilata is very fine I thinned it down.  I sprayed on several layers and let it dry for a day.  I sprayed all total 10 thin layers.  I tried buffing in an area behind the ears.  If it didn't shine up I added two more layers.  Terra sigillata can flake off if too thick.  This terra sigillata shines up beautiful.  Just a light buffing with a plastic bag, usually Target bags or even Saran Wrap.  Even an old t-shirt works. 

fresh out of the kiln and buffed with a damp cloth

I fired this piece in a slow kiln to cone 06.  I had some functional work stacked in the bottom of the kiln that were not quite bone dry.  So not to blow up anything I played it safe and candled on low for 6 hours with all plugs out and lid propped open. Then I closed up the kiln and fired regular schedule for bisque fire.  I was only worried about the head.  Jars I can make quickly.  Somehow figurative piece takes on an expression or an appearance of personality that can not be replicated.  So I need to be careful.  Each piece is truly unique.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

coffee break

hoodoos at Mono Lake


a silent moon hangs in the sky

sonic boom rattles a cup

naval fleet week reads the headlines
a four day old newspaper 

stained with coffee rings

thoughts drift

seagulls fly inland

to a singular lake

leaving vapor streams
behind a moonless sky













Monday, October 4, 2010

wipe on wipe off

I have the first application of underglaze and oxide stains on Porcelain Hands.  The terra sigillata makes a polished surface that allows a subtle wash of stains.  It is put on quickly and sponged off leaving darker areas in the any areas the terra sigillata did not cover.  I didn't layer as much terra sigillata on this piece resulting in a tan color.  With a red iron oxide stain it deepens the color so it isn't so flat.  The stain is 1 tablespoon of red iron oxide, 1 teaspoon of Frit 3134 and 1/2 cup-1cup of water.  I brush it on then wipe off with a sponge. It stains the terra sigillata a pale pink. As I multi-fire pieces until I like the colors, I sometimes have to reapply the stains.  Wipe on, wipe off. 

autumn seeds





drying zinnia blossoms for seeds in a ceramic bowl and terracotta block


I have a new Nikon Coolpix.  This time I will use the strap.  I will try not to drop it.  I promise, Monsieur Reinhart.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

ceramics 1 camera 0

Fragile as ceramics may seem....Yesterday while trying to take a photo of Sock Puppet's head it rolled off the table....instinctively I put my Nikon Coolpix on the table and tried to grab the head.  The head fell to the floor, first bouncing off the pottery wheel then landing on the rubber mat.  I thought for sure the head would at least have a chip.  It didn't.  Not a crack nor chip.  Not even a dink.  With a great sigh I placed the head onto the table.  I picked up my little camera.  The lens error flashed on the screen. I had dinked the lens just a bit and it bit the dust. Oh! The irony!  This litttle camera has been on hikes throughout the Sierra, to the Mohave desert, even Death Valley.  Carried in backpacks, purses, pockets, glove boxes and handled by little boys.  It has taken pictures of the oldest of trees, the sweetest of faces, places of history and sad lore.  A clay head survived that should have shattered.  Without a shutter my camera's shutter jammed.

 after sunset at Westport-Union Landing State Beach using Nikon Coolpic



Friday, October 1, 2010

in the midnight hour

 


It is very late and I decided to take a quick photo of Shadow.  It is fuzzy.  Kind of like my brain at the moment. I made some red clay slip for the top half using some throwing slurry.  The new batch of terra sigillata shines up with little buffing.  I added some Duncan Cobalt Jet Black underglaze to make a charcoal gray.  It doesn't take much, but it settles down quickly.  So stirring is very important.  I use this commercial underglaze because it is very fine.  If I use a stain then I would need to ball mill the terra sigillata to keep the shine.  I do not own a ball mill (like a rock tumbler.)  This works for me.  It is fast and quiet.


Clanking sounds at midnight
tumbling porcelain balls
a yawn slips in

-momo



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