Thursday, July 14, 2011

More painted plates

I got tired of painting small plates, so I decided to mix it up a bit and make bigger plates (around 9 inches wide) and paint bigger scenes. Originally, the Catwoman above (no, I do not own the rights to the character. She belongs to DC... just had to say that) did not have the tiger stripes around it. But, she really needed something. And, if I'm going to charge a certain amount of money for the plate, it really needs to have the detail worth the price. So, I painted tiger stripes and it really worked well.

Next up is the SpiderWoman. No, not the Marvel character, but one of my own. She's kind of like one of the Three Fates. This was a fun drawing that I did years ago and finally am putting it to use. I shall have to make more plates to paint this character on. I am also thinking of slabbing out some porcelain and carving her onto that slab. Then, I'll add the underglaze.

Both of these plates have underglazes that make it to cone 10. They don't burn out. The color will shift (like the purple on the Catwoman will turn bluish), but the reds, purple/blue, and black show up fine. This way, I can use the regular cone 10 glaze instead of the cone 5 glaze I plan to use on all my other plates. It's easier this way... though, I am tempted to just go cone 5 with this. (Cone 5 is a lower temperature than cone 10).
Finally, we have Kergie, based on Kerrigan from Starcraft. No, I haven't played that game. At any rate, I decided that since I had a fantasy/metaphysical character and a superhero/villain, I really needed an alien. So, here you go. After I drew her, I realized that Kergie needed a good background and something more. So, I added an alien 'puppy' along with some other background bits. We'll see how I paint this one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

of ashtrays and vases

The friend who ordered an ashtray showed the last photo I took to his friends. Now, another friend wants one. Sigh... the only consolation is that these can be squared off bowls/plates as well as ashtrays.

I've been trying to push myself to throw taller and lighter with larger amounts of clay. The vases above were thrown from around 6.75 - 7lbs of clay. By the time they are done, they should be about 11-11.75 inches tall. Not bad. And they're not too heavy either. Happy!

Below are the two vases from last week. The shorter one is not bad. It's slightly off center at the top, but I can handle that. The one in the back had 'lumps', so I decided to start carving random streaks in it to help smooth those lumps out. I'm happy with the result, even if I did give another potter a 'heart attack' when I was madly carving. Sometimes, it's fun to just carve into these vases with no plan and no control (well, control enough not to break through the walls, but you get what I mean).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One plate, two vases and an ashtray

It's on to vases for me right now. I'm kind of tired of making little plates and painting them. I have a few weeks, and I need to keep the motivation up, so it's vase making time. The one above should be about 9.5 inches tall when it's done. Made from about 4lbs of clay. It's nice and light! Though, I'm not sure how good that is for a vase. It shouldn't tip over and all once you have it full of water. And to tell the truth, I had no idea I was going to make a vase when I was throwing this one. I thought I was going to throw a bowl, but as I was pulling the walls up, it ended up being a vase instead. Happy about that.

This vase is made from a platter whose rim flopped over when I was taking the bat off of the wheel. I started out with about 9.5 lbs of clay. I think that 9.5 lbs of clay is a bit more than I can really center right now. I'm going to have to build up to it. After taking the flopped platter off of the bat, I then re-wedged it (air bubbles galore!). Somehow I managed to take off about 2.5 lbs of clay when I made the platter, because this vase was made from about 7 lbs of clay. Now, usually, you can't throw tall items from clay that was just thrown and rewedged. It's too wet. However, because of the weather and because I am stubborn, I got this nice piece. Yes, there are air bubbles in it, but if it dries enough, no worries.

Between the vases, I made this plate. I really wasn't in the bowl-making frame of mind, but I thought it might be nice to have at least one more platter made that I can paint on. There's an annual fundraiser for the East Bay Humane Society in the autumn, so this might be a good one. I just need to figure out what sort of design to paint on it.

Finally, an ashtray. In all my years of pottery (12 years!), I have never once made an ashtray or have been asked to make one. And then... last week, I was asked. Sigh... And now, my friend who asked me to make one has shown this photo to his friends who might want one too. On the one hand, I'm happy to get my work promoted. On the other hand, IT'S AN ASHTRAY! This is almost as bad as the ginormous nose shaped egg separator... Ah well, the things you do to keep yourself busy and out of trouble.