Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lithium/bauxite disc and yunomi

This is the little glass disc I used on a previously glazed pressed plate and it produced beautiful swirls in a myriad of colours. I was hoping I could be the lazy potter and not have to crush them up but I now know it has to be used sparingly to produce a good result with other glazes. Didn't have enough time to do a line blend and I doubt it will happen before the next glaze but I think I will get some surprises. I did find out it eats shelves when it seeps through a cracked tray! That little tray in the previous post didn't quite like another firing!
A big part of my two days glazing was spent on these yunomis mixing the glazes with the shino in all sorts of thicknesses over the bauxite and mixed clay body. The two outer yunomis are from local clay, not sieved so there were iron particles which created interesting fractures. I haven't tried firing this clay as is before and didn't expect the wonderful results. I will be using this a lot more now and still in its natural state, impurities and all. One thing I will be more diligent with is compressing the bottoms as the right yunomi has a crack on its base and it does leak - testament to my throwing on the hump and not paying attention to its base.

This dilly is made with the unprocessed Weipa kaolin and an addition of potash. It threw beautifully and although a fairly white body the firing process certainly bought out the iron in the natural kaolin. I am still happy that I can use it and get a really thin form - I lost a couple of pieces just moving them around as they are very fragile in the dry state. The varying thickness of the clear glaze gives interesting responses from the clay.

I had a bit of a run with the pressed plates - an easy task while watching a little two year old paint and play in clay - means I can stop and run when I am called!!! and it requires little creative thinking. I think I perhaps could have been a bit more adventurous in my glazing of this little set - there are six of these - but they are growing on me the more I look at them. This size plate is prefect for a snack and ideal for the fridge - I have one in my cupboard and its use proves its versatility. We are rice wrap junkies and these are perfect for finger food and the accompanying sauce.
I am always tired after glazing and firing and marvel at all those wonderful woodfirers who labour through long nights of firing. I love the results of the fire and ash but wonder how long it must take to recover from those labour intensive hours spent stoking. The woodfire community seems to be growing worldwide and I am glad there is such appreciation for the work produced.

I have to neglect clay for a little while as we are getting chickens - they are spending a whole day flying to live in our remote climes so hope they survive the trip - we are assured they will be ok. At least our Winter nights only go down to 23C+ and the days are still hitting low 30's. Nona and Mum have to try their hand at converting a steel frame canopy into a snake proof chook house - we have lots of pythons around so I'm sure chickens would make a tasty morsel. The things we do for little ones.......


Sandra McHarg said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only working potter trying to juggle things around family life. I like your local clay examples.

Linda Starr said...

Lots to explore in the beautiful surfaces you have achieved.

Peter said...

That glass disc looks to have fascinating possibilities, never seen anything like it before, is it something from the mining industry?

I really must start digging and processing clay, it is wonderful that your local kaolin throws so well.

I got a laugh out of your chickens "flying for a whole day" to your remote climes, I really did picture them doing flapping along at 8 thousand feet under their own steam!

Our weather is about 5 degrees at night, and 6 or 7 in the day at the moment, so I am envious of your night time temperatures.