Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back to Some Fun

Our first assignment in Ceramics II was to make a teacup and saucer out of anything BUT clay. This is what I did. I crocheted a lot in my 20s and still enjoy getting out the yarn on long trips and such, so this was fun to put together. I decided to make an apple cozy out of it (because I do consider myself mostly a functional potter).

I brought it to class and was amazed at what some of the others did. One lady made a wonderful paper mache teacup and saucer, and she made the bottom of the teacup rounded and added a foot. It was wonderful. Another lady made her project out of paper and glued real leaves. It was colorful and funky. I loved it! Another lady is a welder and she welded triangular shapes to a circle opening and it too was terrific! Still another used the type of wire that fences are made from. It was awesome! I could go on and on, but the neat things was that every person's project was radically different and you know of course that the next assignment was to recreate it all in clay!

So I took out some Laguna Miller 550 porcelain and threw the cup and saucer and next time I go to class I'll attach a handle. I'll have to glaze it black with some color around the rims and handles. Not sure how to handle the glazing yet, but the throwing, yah, that's okay so far.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Handmade Textured Porcelain Wrapped Beads (and a couple of other techniques too)

I've taken a few days off blogging to rejuvenate and that's been worthwhile. I have been wanting to do some radically different (for me) beads lately and taking quiet time to just play around with small bits of clay has helped me to do that (I think).

I went looking online for some texture ideas and one of the best places for me to find inspiration is antique buttons. I found some that I liked that looked kinda like, but not exactly, like this one near the bottom. I took the reverse image of it to come up with the press mold (the two near the top).

So here are a few that are now drying. I will try to glaze these with the types of glazes which will bring out the texture.

I would like to make more textures for beads like these. It was an interesting and fun process to bring these together.

I've been having fun sprigging clay onto bead forms and these were my latest experiments (photo to the right). With the first set beads I got to thinking about rivets and how copper metal rivets in sterling silver bead is just SO beautiful. I got to wondering how I could imitate such a look in clay. So that's the thought process that went behind these stoneware beads with the turquoise blue 'rivets'.

With these next beads (the bottom photo), I got to thinking how wonderful wire wrapped beads are and thought, "I wonder what would happen if I made an irregular shaped porcelain bead and textured it and then wrapped a coil of colored porcelain clay around it?"

I'm hoping these styles will look terrific with a simple clear gloss glaze.