Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pottery at last

Finally some pottery for 2008. Had a long day as one burner decided not to start so the firing choked around 1200 and I spent a long time trying to get things to move with constant rain falling. Fortunately the annoying leak took up and no water came down my chimney but not having anything to close off my unlit burner port seemed to create all sorts of problems and reduction was minimal. At least the porcelain sitting high in the kiln with its bauxite additions looks magical under sunlight, the variations in brush marks and etched designs highlighted with the clay's wonderful translucence.
This pair acknowledge my concern for the local environment under threat of mining. I haunt Google Earth distressed at the proximity of the survey lines and encroaching machinery forever altering the landscape so now the straight line takes on a sinister meaning.
This low plate bears that hard line contrasting with the soft raised shino full of bauxte flows. I am still not sure it worked as I wanted - the underside shadowing the freeform decoration hinting at its ultimate fate. At 25cm wide I was worried it may slump but it held its form. This is new ground for me - testing the limits of this new clay addition to my practice - so far I love the results.
Dugongs, those gentle sea cows, feed along our coast on the seagrass beds and rough weather washes long pieces of this ribbon-like grass ashore so naturally it finds its way back to my little cache of found materials. Weaving it through these holes gave an interesting touch so the Dugong bowl is born!
I have been a bit neglectful of my glazes - have to sieve my kaolin as I use the local material but prefer not to sieve the glaze after slaking down. Unfortunately bauxite often creeps into the favourites and this particular dark green glaze probably needs a clean up. This was a bit of a test with shino and bauxite on porcelain and I will definitely try the combination again in the next firing, being a bit more mindful of my glaze mixing.
Finally a stoneware piece - the elegant blue black always a favourite addition to the load.

Now we have Nicholas collecting his wonderful pottery from the kiln. He has been patiently waiting for his masterpieces reminding us each day that his bowl is in the kiln! Things are getting exciting for Nicholas especially Nona's pottery and cups of tea............and the new baby in the tummy!!!

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