Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Ceramic Experience in 2012: Part 3

First of all, I want to admit that I lied. Initially, this was going to be the last post regarding last year's ceramic work but after realizing that I had a lot of pictures to show, I decided it would be best to present the November and December pictures in two different posts. I know that I'm way behind with these, but I'll try to get the December post out as soon as possible.

Anyway, in this third installment of the 2012 ceramic experience, I'm going to talk about what happened in November of 2012. By this time, the coil projects had started. They took much longer to do than the slab construction pieces. One of them wouldn't make it. In November, I took my greenware home to work on because of how little time I had left to get my wet work done. Because of the difficulties of transporting greenware as well as not having the proper workplace at home, I never want to do that again. In the future, I'm going to try and do all my ceramic work as close to a kiln shed as possible.

November 2012

As I mentioned earlier, this was the last month for wet work. Everything had to be ready for the bisque firings by the end of the month. Building the coil pieces wasn't too difficult, although it was time consuming. This was partly because I was doing things that normally aren't meant to be done with coils. Also, I started work on what would be my raku pieces. Those three pieces were a combination of of pinching, slab construction and coils. Despite their simplicity, they were not easy to build at all.

11/1/12: An unusual day. I'm not usually in the studio on Thursdays. I progressed more on the first coil piece that I started in late October and started work on the second and third pieces.

11/6/12: At this point I was nearing the end of the first piece (the one on the left) while the other two were coming along rather quickly. I wanted to have these pieces ready to be bisque fired by the following week. As far as glazes were concerned, I wouldn't have to worry about for some time, but I had already decided what I would be using. I ended up using the same glaze combinations I used for the first three pieces I made in the semester (see part 2). This time however,  they were gas fired instead of electric.

11/13/12: The soft slab piece I had put in the gas kiln finished firing. It used the same glazes the hard slab piece used (see part 2). However, whereas that one ended up with shades of blue (it was fired in the electric kiln), this one has shades of purple. At this point, the two remaining coil pieces are coming along nicely and quickly. Sadly, they would not turn out as well as I had hoped.
11/16/12: These are the bottoms of what would become my raku pieces. The centers are meant to be used for name labels.

11/16/12: These are the raku pieces flipped right side up. Each of them has a different shape with the one on the left being made first while the one on the right was made last. These pieces are meant to serve as a base for another form.
11/18/12: My three coil projects. Unfortunately, by the time everything got done, only one piece was left entirely intact (the left one), while one was damaged and usable (the right one), and then there's one that never made it back to the college in it's final form and eventually became nothing more than a test piece (the center one).
11/18/12: These future raku pieces were starting to come along quite well by this point. It was challenging to create these forms since I was using very thin slabs of clay. I had to build everything by sections and then leave it to dry in front of a fan, usually by holding the upper pieces as they were drying. The piece on the right is smaller than the other pieces because it's original design fell apart and had to be modified. Ironically, despite being my least favorite of the three in terms of it's form, it ended up having the best glaze work and texturing.
11/19/12: By this point these pieces were almost ready to be fired. The problem was getting them back to the college in one piece. Luckily they made it.

11/19/12: All that needed to be done was the texture work. Sadly, I waited too long and that's one of the reasons this piece never made it. Because greenware is so easily breakable, this one ended up breaking before I could get it to the college to be fired. I was quite upset by this. I would eventually get used to failures though.