As you can see, I have a very obsessive personality. This was two different firings of bisque, but I got it all together to motivate myself to get to decorating! If I was just glazing each piece it would go a lot faster, but of course I want to draw and paint on it all!
I love making Halloween decorations, but did not like the “felt tip” underglaze pens I used to outline the bowls. First of all they come in a bottle with a tiny tip. But it’s really akward to draw with because your holding a bottle, so I didn’t feel like I had a lot of control. The lines came out very thick and seemed to bleed a lot during firing. I think I’ll save them for things like dot like accents.
I’ve been making more pendants for decorating, and small coffee spoons. I first tried to make a coffee spoon mold. Last Christmas I carved tom a tiny coffee spoon from wood and he has used it to stir his cream into his coffee all year long. I thought I’d make a mold of it, but it got a little annoying to get the freshly pressed spoon out of the mold, so instead I started hand building spoons. Nothing quite as relaxing as listening to some music and building a bunch of different little spoons out of clay. I did end up breaking two when I moved them to be fired (greenware can be so delicate!) One I set down a little too roughly, and the second broke just from my bumping the batt it was resting on. Hopefully over time I get a little bit gentler when I handle things.
As you might be able to tell drawing with underglaze pencils are one of my favorite things to do. I use the Amaco Underglaze Pencil
which I find is the best price on Amazon Prime when you compare it to other website (and adding in other places shipping charges).
The yarn bowl and stitch marker bowl are both things I made a few weeks after I started throwing. I carved knit stitches into my greenware, and actually handled my yarn bowl a little too roughly and broke off that swirl area before it was even fired. A lady at the studio said I should try this glue they had for broken greenware instead of throwing away all that time spent carving, and I think in the end you can’t really tell so much that it was ever broken. That is the funny thing about working with clay vs. plush. There are so many steps and even if everything goes perfectly you could take your new finished piece home, drop and break it.
I’ve also experimented with underglaze paints (and have ordered some experimental glazes to try out) but mostly the pencil is my favorite thing to use.
I’ve been trying to experiment with mug shapes, as I think these will make nice gifts this Christmas, but I have also started playing with the porcelain clay to make some pendants and pins. I love the way the black underglaze pencil takes on this blueish hue after its fired.
On week days I have been spending a few hours each morning working at the ceramics studio. It has really become one of my favorite ways to start the day. So far I always have the studio to myself too, and so I just play music and putter around trimming pieces I threw the day before, glazing stuff, throwing. It’s been really lovely. The bowl at the top is a newer piece, and I’ll have to get photos of the outside of the bowl soon.
One of the first things I wanted to try after I joined the guild was experimenting with paper resist. I made a quick slab plate and tray because I was so eager to try it out. I cut my shapes from an Ikea catalog, and then went over them with colored slip. I chose the blue and yellow because they were the only colored slip the studio had that I could use right away. Everything else seemed dried out.
After the bisque firing I went back in with an underglaze pencil and drew in my witch, raindrops, and scallops. I love how the pencil turns out. Then I glazed it in clear and you can see it after the final firing below. I still haven’t glazed and fired the skeleton plate yet, but hope to do that soon.