15th July: I picked up my fired pots from Morley – they look very special and especially the plate which I am pleased with. However the slip I bought online did not work out well and almost disappeared, what a pity and what a waste of money.
Week 4: Our final week – glazing all evening. There are different types and colours, so many. I decided to just dive in and started to wax the bases of my pots. I used various combinations as well as doing some wax resist. I can pick up my fired pots in two weeks time.
My plate uses monoprinted colours with slip brushed onto newspaper and laid onto the surface, then I also used some of the red slip I bought to make some shapes but they started to leak so I had to work over them to cover up the leaks. I used a transparent glaze on this as I want the colours to come through.
Week 3: We decorated our moulds. I did mine with strips of paper and slip in layers and then tried to do a pattern on top but it leaked a bit. Our pinch pots are going to be fired this week; next week we are glazing them and that is it…
Week 2: Rolling out slabs, molds and carving
This week we learned how to roll out a slab, rolling in all directions, turning the clay, turning it edge on, and then placing the clay onto a board with newspaper to dry out for a while, especially if it is wet, or too soft to use.
We chose our moulds, I chose a nice large shallow dinner plate. We cleaned the mould with a sponge and laid the clay into the mold, carefully sliding the clay into the depth of the mould without stretching the clay. Then we used a sponge to push the clay into the mould and to deal with the edges. We then used the sponge to smooth the surface and to smooth the edges of the plate, although this stage can be done at the leather hard stage next week.
The edges of the mould are cut with a wire or wooden knife. Be careful to pick out any plaster from the torn off clay as it explodes in the kiln.
Clay has silica in it which is why you must not breathe in dry clay dust and you must wipe down all surfaces after work.
Carving: I used my tools to carve some patterns into my pinch pots. I made a plate, nice and thick and large ready for next week’s slip painting. We are only glazing our pots with different coloured glazes.
Week 1: Morley College: 11th June: I started a short course in Ceramics yesterday. It’s my third attempt to learn Ceramics. We did pinch pots (yes again!) in three different types of clay: terracotta, stoneware, and crank. But at least I am learning how to do things properly now rather than the slap dash method we were taught at Shadwell…. the less said about that the better.
Crank has bisque fired pottery in the clay and does not need to be wedged. We wrapped our pots in plastic bags to dry out for next week. We will be decorating them and also making soft slab plates in molds. I’m looking forward to it.