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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Slide Silde Slippedy Slide...

Last week I worked my heart out making pots to fill up a test kiln firing. I thought I would apply some of my newly formulated coloured slips to see how they turn out once fired and glazed.

As promised, here is one set of mugs that I resolved the whole "how do you handle a slipped mug" thing. While I was pulling the handles, I was thinking about all the horror stories I have read on about semi-porcelain cracking issus with all sorts of appendages. Man, I was dreaming that that would be the only issue! This clay is a right pain trying to attach to itself. My Lord! After the trauma of attaching the stump to the mug, pulling the handle wasn't too difficult - the clay wasn't short like I thought it would be - Thank God!

Here are two examples of top handle attachments... I think the green one is much more stable and nicer looking! The pink one looks a bit weak.

However, attaching the bottom onto the slipped surface turned into a real problem. Again, I keep approaching things like my old stoneware so I didn't bother scoring the surface of the mug to get the handle securely attached. Well, that didn't work too well, it kept sliding off. And, me being the usual slow Jami, it didn't dawn on me to score! Doah! I just kept doing it the same way with the same bad result! It wasn't until I walked into the pottery a few days later when the wares were completely dried did I see a few of the bottom of the handles popped completely off!

Mugs before they dried and handles popped!

I never had this problem before! Goes to show how important it is to be aware and willing to adapt your tried and tested ways to new materials. Harsh lesson to learn.

Overall, the whole idea of pulling a handle off a partially slipped pot seemed to work. I think it really limits the form of the mug, a design consideration that is born entirely out of ease of handling rather than ease of use once finished. And this is somewhat backward thinking that I am not too certain about right now.

I did another set of mugs that I thought I would apply slip to the entire surface. As a result, I wouldn't be able to pull any handles off the pot, as the slip would be destroyed. I plan to research and make my own plaster mould for a handle that can be cast and attached quickly and mess free onto the slipped pot. I think it will be some time before I can get that sorted and tested.

In any case, here are the prototypes ready and wrapped now, awaiting that elusive cast handle:

Other items I slipped were a big shallow bowl which I threw to test the throwing, turning and drying behaviour of the new clay. I sure do love those chunky swirls. I DO hope they come through nicely under the clear glaze once fired.

Let me hear a shout out to all those potters who like their pots better leatherhard than fired!!!

A final exercise for the day was attaching my spout to my cylindrical body to make a big ole bottle. I had taken photos of that work in progress but wouldn't you know it, I managed to delete the darn things.

Anyway, this is the finished form before slip applied and after; it's a height of about 17 inches min:

Okay - off to get some more pots made!

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