Thursday, April 22, 2010

Glaze Tests

These are the glaze tests I have been working on in the glaze development class that I have been taking. We have all been getting some really interresting results, and these are mine. I will post the recipes once I get all my notes together.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New job???

Well, it's been about 3 weeks since I went on an interview for a position at a big construction company. The interview was arranged by a placement agency and after the 2nd week with no word, I assumed that I had not gotten the position. Then yesterday, out of the blue, I got a call from the agency letting m know that the company still had not made a decision but that I was one of their top two. We decided to put it on the back burner as we did not know when a decision would be made and I didn't want to not be considered for any other positions. THEN I got a call this morning asking if I would be willing to temp for them until they made a decision one way or the other. As I am quickly coming to the end of my financial rope, I said yes. So... I start on Monday, and have all my digits crossed that they will decide to keep me once they get to know me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What to teach?

I have been teaching at Fairview Studios for approximately 6 months and the one thing that I always struggle with is coming up with new ideas to teach. The only time I never have this problem is when there are new students. I always demo a bowl to the newbies. I am endlessly searching the web for new and exciting ideas. So, if anyone out there can suggest anything that they think would be a good demo for a pottery class, please let me know. I am always willing to try something new in either the basic form, the function, or in the decoration. I'm thinking of covering some new types of lids and incorporate them into various lidded objects like casceroles, teapots, cannisters etc.
I better make my mind up soon, class is tomorrow....whoops, I guess I should say today, I'm posting this after midnight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Mad Potters Sale

These are just some pictures of my tables at the Mad Potters Sale that was held this past Saturday at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Centre.
I think it went "OK", I don't have a reference point as this was my first time selling with this group. It should be interresting to see how the Fairview sale compares. The Fairview sale is May 1st. The only thing that might cause problems is that the community association is also having their neighborhood clean up day on the 1st as well, and there will be lots of people dropping off their junk. Maybe this will improve the foot traffic to our show.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

new pots

I just picked up the latest pots. They are currently wrapped up and ready to go to the show on Saturday. They are also pinging away in the background.

Big Bowls

I went down to Galleria a few days ago to pick up a cheque for last month's pottery sales, and they mentioned that they were in need of more large bowls and platters. I was in the studio this past weekend and decided to throw some really large bowls. Once I started, I couldn't stop. Each one is half a bag of reclaimed studio clay. I used the reclaim because even though it is soft and easy to throw, it has lots of grog and stands up well. I am guessing on the weight, but I think each bowl would be about 11 or 12 pounds each and they are probably 2 feet in diameter. I don't think I can do too many of these marathon giant bowl throwing sessions, my arms and shoulders ate killing me.
I will take some pictures once I get them all trimmed up. I managed to trim the ones I threw on the weekend, but the last couple that I made yesterday and today are just too wet.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2 upcoming sales - gotta get cracking

Well, it is that time of year again, and I find myself faced with 2 spring sales this year, and am running out of time to get ready for them (nothing new there).
My first spring sale is the Mad Potters Sale, and is at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Centre on April 17th. The 2nd sale is the Fairview Studio Spring Sale, and is at the Canyon Meadows Community Centre on May 1st. I have never participated in the Mad Potters Sale, but they have been in operation for a while, so hopefully the turnout will be good. Fairview is always a good sale. The students get together twice a year and offer up their work for sale to help off set the cost of classes and firing. You can usually get a good deal on all kinds of pottery.
Oh ya, I have glazed the new "mountain" pots I was working a couple of weeks ago, and as of Tuesday, they were waiting to get fired. I will be in the studo tomorrow, and hopefully they were fired, but I am not sure there will have been a full load ready. Chances are they will still be in the kiln (if at all) tomorrow, and I wont be able to get at them until Saturday. If they are ready, I will take some pictures and post asap. I am eager to see how they turned out. I am worried that the rims will be too fragile (they were very delicate in the bisque state), but my hope is that the porcelain will yeild some strength. I have had a lot of comments on them. Some people were confused by the delicate nature of the pots rims, but others were very enthusiastic about them and thought they exuded a certain "Zenness". I glazed them with a commercial glaze on the lower half of each pot (Mayco "stoned denim"), and then the entire piece is glazed in the studio clear glaze. The commercial glaze turns a smokey blue under the clear, and I am hoping will accent these pots nicely. I wish I could afford to do some lusters on these pots. I think they would look very nice with a little platinum around the rims.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

New glaze? Probably not.

I am working on a new glaze. I preformed a quadratic blend of four ingredients and picked one of the tests that looked the best. With that base glaze I preformed a series of line blends with 4 different oxides. The results have come out of the kiln and I have to say that it was a complete failure. I am doing these tests as part of a glaze class and there were some really nice results in other groups. I new that my ingredients were going to yeild some interresting results, even if they didn't form a good glaze. The ingredients were neph sey, borax, a local clay, and bone ash. The glaze that seemed to work nicely as a clear base was just 75% borax and 25% bone ash. Very clear and felt very slick and glossy. Once we added the oxides however, the "glaze" went all crusty and then the clear gloss ran down the test tiles. Not very successful, but informative none the less.