Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Going Under the Knife

When I decided to make some more functional work last week, I zeroed in on bowls and bottles. The bowls have proven a bit problematic. I've lost 4 to cracking so far, even though the dehumidifier is off and I've kept them covered.

The bottles are small, but a decent start. I like making little wine carafes. I tried cutting the tops of some at an angle and quickly decided that I hated them.

Rather than try to salvage them, I decided to just experiment, using some texture and paddling some, and yes, a little cutting. Most of my attempts fall short of anything worthwhile, however, some of the more daring cuts resulted in something exciting. So I threw another set of bottles/cylinders, this time with no bottom. I'm really digging some of these.

Then yesterday, I threw these 3-5 lb cylinders, which is a lot of clay for me. I'll see if I can pull the same idea off a little larger in scale.
You'll have to excuse my awkward segue here to another almost related topic. I ran across an old article entitled "Is Glaze Dead?", and although I haven't had time to reread it, just the title has me rethinking my surfaces. I've said it before. I LOVE glaze. And certain glazes really love my baskets, but will these new vases be engaging enough with glaze alone? How else can I treat the surfaces? Some of them have an interesting enough shape that almost begs for some sort of deliberate decoration, but I've never decorated my pots before.

I guess some trial and error experimenting is in order.


  1. isn't it just the way when something doesn't turn out and you decide you don't care, you'll just experiment that something great comes from it.

  2. this could lead to something interesting.
    I think there will always be glaze people- I think nothing is dead it is all wide open!

  3. I sure wish I loved glazing because I LOVE glaze on other people's pots. I'm just no good at it, tried everything, no luck, don't know why.... try some sprigs or carving where the glaze can pool and run and do fun things.....

  4. Did you cut and reassemble that last piece? OR did you use a tool on the inside to get the shapes to pop out like that?? I haven't done anything with altered forms.
    Oh, when you reply to my students, could you Cc me so I know who's actually doing the work? Thanks

  5. I cut a curved dart from the lower part of the pot and attached the bottom afterwards.

    I've already answered the email from your student, but I'll go back and copy you. I hope the project is going well.