My first set of porcelain cups came out of the kiln today. They’re 3 1/2″ high, 3 1/2″ in diameter, and hold 12 ounces of liquid. Like the “prototype” I wrote about in my last post, they’re glazed on the inside and lip but the exterior surface has been left unglazed. I’ve been using the prototype every morning for my coffee and I love the way it feels in my hand – I definitely won’t put handles on theses!
Since building the slab roller, I bought a book titled 500 Cups. It’s inspired me to try a variety of shapes, textures, and glazes. This simple porcelain cup is my favorite so far. It’s about 4 inches tall and glazed with clear on the inside only. I think the stamped pieces express the softness of clay especially when left unglazed.
I’ve been pondering the idea of buying a slab roller. The problem is they seem really overpriced. So, today I came up with a simple design and built one. It’s essentially a wooden “track” with a removable canvas-covered board, a large rolling pin, and several pairs of sticks. It allows me to roll out consistent, smooth slabs in a range of thicknesses, very quickly.
Lately I’ve been tying up loose ends on a few projects but I’ve had a little time to play around with this mold I made from a glass bowl. I’m excited about the form on the right. Thin strands of clay were extruded and then draped into the mold to create this light airy nest. It’s extremely fragile so I’m not sure it will hold up through the glazing process. I’ll try other extrusion shapes to find the right balance of lightness and strength.
On an earlier post I tried to describe how I make a planter. Since I’m working on a new one, I thought it would be helpful to document the process in photos. The final steps are to add the lip, touch up details that were lost during the assembly phase, and articulate the seams. Hopefully these images explain the process better than words. This is the first time I’ve used different tiles in each row. The layering of animals reminds me of totem poles.
Today I’m getting ready to glaze a group of vessels I’ve been working on using stamped slabs. Like the tiles, the stamps are tessellations. I began by designing animal tessellation stamps like the penguin vase shown but lately I’ve become more interested in smaller, non-representational designs and the variety of textures that they create.
This is my first planter built with tessellation tiles. I came up with the planter idea because I enjoyed making the interlocking tiles but didn’t have a particular installation in mind. They’re built in rings, starting at the “floor” of the planter and working up. The lip is made by coiling a long strip around the top edge.