Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2016 Progress Report: July

By this point, I had been in the summer ceramics class for about a month. Since the work that I was doing was strictly for stuff that I'm putting up for sale, these pieces had less of an experimental aspect to them which meant that the work was minimal and could be done more quickly. That part wasn't the problem. The restrictive schedule of the summer class was a problem. Time itself was the hardest part of all this. Nonetheless, I was never that far behind schedule.

7/5/16: The glazing is done for the newest pieces. If these turn out alright, they will go on sale in the fall.

7/12/16: There was limited room in the kiln for all the pieces, so only the small ones were fired. The first three were based on glazes that I had used towards the end of the spring whereas the other three used combinations of four glazes that I used late last year.

7/12/16: These are in the process of drying. The coils I used to make these were thicker than what I used on the saggar piece that these pieces are based on. This was because it allowed me to build them more quickly. Despite my attempts to trim some of the excess clay, these are still thick pieces and they're taking longer to dry than I wanted them to.

7/19/16: Finally, they're all fired. I now have to get around to labeling these and adding felt as well as any necessary acrylic paint. Since each series is based on a combination of glazes that I had used for other projects, each series will be named after the first project to use the selected glaze combinations.

7/26/16: The bisque firing is done.

7/28/16: When doing saggar work, I apply the chemical known as ferric chloride. Since saggar work is not glazed, the ferric chloride helps give the pieces their unique colors. Even though these pieces are part of the same series, for experimental purposes, each of them use different coats of the ferric chloride. From left to right, each piece uses on, two, and three coats. Although I did not mark each piece as to know which one is one, they have a enough of a physical difference for me to know which is which.

7/28/16: I had wanted to get a picture of this since I don't think I ever got this kind of picture before. I almost forgot about it which is why one of the pieces is wrapped up already. On all three of these, I tried to keep the decorations as minimal is as possible. Also, I wanted all three to be as similar as possible so I could get a better judgement of the experiment. On each of them, I used one strand of copper wire, one strand of horse hair, and a little bit of sugar, which is applied by spraying water on the piece. A minimal amount of tape was used to keep the hair and wire in place as much as possible.

7/28/16: These are ready to go but since they were fired late, I would have to wait until the folloing week to know how they turned out. I should mention that the texture of the foil will have an effect of these pieces as much as the copper wire, horse hair, and sugar.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2016 Progress Report: June

First of all, I want to apologize for not having this up much sooner. I had to take my computer in for repair back in July and not having a computer to use for a week held me up a little bit. The July update will hopefully be coming in a few days. Anyway, June was mostly a quiet month. I was doing a lot of leftover work from May. Embarrassingly enough, some of that work still needs to get done. The most interesting this about June is that I started the next generation of work that I plan to have up for sale later this year. Expect to see a lot more on that in the July update.

6/7/16: I am almost finished with this. It just needs felt. This is probably going to be the only ceramic piece I make that will have no felt around the name label. This is because of the unique location of the name label. I don't want to felt to be visible.

6/7/16: One issue that I'm always trying to get around is keeping the molding paste and paint far enough away from the name label. I did okay here but I feel like it could be better.

6/7/16: This was one of the easiest labels to work with because of the small size. Not much molding paste was needed so it didn't take long to dry.

6/7/16: Even though this label was difficult to work with, the moling paste wrk wasn't as bad and the painting was even easier. Spacing between the lettering and molding paste was still an issue though.

6/7/16: This was one of the better labels.

6/7/16: This still needs to be cleaned up some more. Since my labels are laminated now, getting paint on them isn't much of an issue.

6/7/16: Laminating labels has another advantage. I'm able to make text really small because when I eventually apply polymer gloss to give the label and molding paste a little more shine, it will not cause small lettering to fade away.

6/7/16: I'm glad this worked out. This piece almost fell apart becausme of the label placement.

6/7/16: Creating the name label for this one was tricky because of the shape of the piece and how much space I had to work with.

6/21/16: Here are some new decorative pieces that I started that I plan to sell later in the year.

6/28/16: These pieces are based on the saggar piece I made last year titled Self-Realization. That piece was very popular at my show back in May, so I decided to make a series of pices based on it to sell.