Monday, June 25, 2012

More slab building

Character studies

Something I've done during the year on the side of the "real" studies. Part of them are  tests for my project to illustrate a book. Will update on it when it will be done.

Raku -fire, water, snow

We done Raku firing twise and on the second time we already had snow. The pieces were pre-warmed and then brought outside to the gas kiln. The kiln is brought up to 1000 celsius and then the pieces were taken with tongs to a metal barrel with straw and sawdust. After covering the barrel the pieces got smoked black on the unglaced surfaces and sometimes the glazes changed color due the oxidation reduction. Then the pieces were taken out with tongs and were given another temperature shock by putting them to a bucket of water or giving them a shower. Snow did the trick too! After the pieces have cooled down they are washed for admiring.

The assignment was in three parts.  One of them was to make a mask, which I took as an opportunity to test different things once again -which manifested as lots of little ones (lenght about 10cm).

Other task was to play with the black and white for what came the stars. And the Snowqueen that cracked.

Third mission was to go to the roots of Raku, Japan and zen. This I enjoyed the most for the unexpected unique results with combining different glazes on my bowls. Before the christmass vacation we had a small tea ceremony where everyody drank from the cups we made even Raku-ware is not foodsafe.

I got a bit carried away with testing different glazes. The result was lots of hearts to give away for christmass.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oil lamps

First I wanted to do something very simple for this assignment. So I did hollow clay balls from two pieces and shaped them irregulary by rolling them against the table. My goal was to have a feeling of naturally shaped rocks. Then I cut a hole for the metal heart and continue to shape the ball and fix then the hole. The glazing was problematic -I didn't get enough  on the first time so I done some more rounds to fix things.

Last thing was to make a water proof test. I filled them and placed on a piece of paper for overnight. Luckily the paper stayed dry and the lumps are safe to use.

After I finnished the balls I got the real idea for the oil lamp -Tulitintti (Firebird)! The technigue for them was to draw with a dark glaze on a light glaze that have a same base receipt -kind of the same idea of Majolica. For that I done lots of test pieces to practise with the hand and brush -there is no place for mistakes with this technigue. If you mess it up you must wash away everything. For the birdies I had also two glazing rounds to fix some small beauty spots.