Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What I did for the Canada Day Long Weekend...

Ok, so I'm a little behind with this
On Friday, I met a new customer who is looking for a custom made bowl. He had, and I quote, “a very vivid dream” about the bowl and was looking for someone to create it for him. Apparently it is a “ceremonial fire bowl”. There will be a bowl that will go inside this bowl that will contain the fire, so I don’t have to worry about direct contact with the flame, but I decided to use a really groggy body to help prevent any issues with thermal shock. The bowl itself is fairly simple, ~10” in diameter and ~5-6” tall. There are some specific design elements that he is looking for. He wants 6, equally spaced “people” around the outside. At least I think they are people. Essentially, a “Y” with a circle in the upturned arms of the “Y”. He wants the “people” to be turquoise, and the rest of the bowl to be a medium brown, easy peasy. I threw the bowl on Saturday, trimmed it on Monday and then cut out the “people” from a thin slab of clay and then attached them. I rounded all the harsh corners and I think it looks pretty darned good. I figure it will take about 1 month to finish, as I want to dry it really slowly to avoid inadvertent peeling up or cracking off of the appliqués.

Friday was also the day that I completed the additional 2 mugs for the custom mug order that I delivered last week. They wanted 2 more, but with a raised appliqué with the initials and year. I did everything I could to get them done in one day, as this customer wants them by this Friday (if possible). I really doubt the completion time, but I may be able to squeak it through if I can access a small test kiln to do both the bisque and the glaze. I might be able to sneak them into a student kiln load when Dave isn’t looking.

The customer who wants the custom bowl was more than OK with the 1 month timeline. He was just really happy that I took this project on. I guess he had looked into this a little bit and found it really difficult to find anybody that would do it. Are all the potters out there just so overloaded with work that they are turning it away? I doubt it.

Aside from these 2 custom orders, I threw several large casseroles and cannisters, , and one complete rip off of a “pumpkin” casserole. I had been reading some past blog entries from John Bauman and was inspired to “copy” his method. I have made lots of pumkiny pots before (mostly teapots), but I have always carved out the “lobes” of the pumpkin. I was particularly keen to try out his method of attaching the “knob” which is a pulled handle in the shape of a pumpkin stem. I have always either used a different coloured clay, or glazed the clay a different colour for the handle. John paints on an iron rich slip midway through the pulling process and then continues pulling to incorporate the iron into the clay. Of course he did this without getting any iron on his nice white stoneware pot. Mine looks like it was in the middle of a bloodbath.

Sorry for the blurry pics, they were taken with my iphone and not the new camera.

This is the Fire Bowl (now under wraps for a while to dry)

Here is one of the casseroles (the other ones not pictured were thrown from BMix)

And lastly, a cannister and a pumpkin pot. I wiped it clean for the photograph. . Also, I don't believe John puts the handles on the sides of his pots. His pumpkins are more true to life.

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