Wednesday, 12 September 2012

21. Miniature Pots and Oh, la, la !

Hello Potters and Friends,

.....and Bonjour from Honfleur in Normandy.

Alan and I have left the summer sun in France and have been greeted by the long, shadowy, autumn days of Leamington Spa. Leaves are yellowing now and will soon be turning red before they fall. The tomatoes in my greenhouse are ripening quicker than I can eat them. Alan's tomato soup will soon be on the menu again. I'll be giving you his recipe for this, 'oh so easy but oh so delicious ' soup in my next post.
But let's crack on with the potting news.

Before going to France I started working with porcelain again, and although, as I've said before, it's quite tricky at first, constant practice is the answer.
Here are some of the results after unloading the kiln from their first bisque firing.

As you can see I've been making, not just small, but miniature pots.

These dinky little pots are very attractive and were very popular at my open studio exhibition in July. They're also great fun to make.

Some will be dipped in a clear glaze which will give the porcelain that translucent look, but some I'll leave unglazed in order to retain the pure whiteness that only porcelain can achieve. 
The unglazed pots I have burnished while still on the wheel as part of the turning stage.

This method takes the hard work out of the constant rubbing with the spoon and the clay takes on a silky, soft feel that makes you want to pick it up and just hold it.

So now on to glazing.
I dip pots more than any other glazing method. If the piece is a bowl, plate, cup or any wide topped pot I use these special tongues which makes glazing easy.

But I can't use them on small pieces, or on the moon pots I love making that have tiny openings, so this is how I do it.

Where my thumb has covered the rim I touch it with a finger dipped in glaze. When it dries out you'll find a lump of glaze on the rim and maybe even drips where the glaze ran off. 

 Don't leave them. I wait 24 hours so that the glaze is bone dry and very powdery, then a gentle rub with a finger will take them away.

These cups were worked on in exactly this way.

But look what I brought back from a brocante (a sort of car boot sale) in Lisieux.

A Delft plate, milk churn and a completely over-the-top soup tureen. Who could resist it??

What splendour. Chateau de St. Germain de Livet. Over-the-top residence? 
Not at all.

Vive la diffĂ©rence 

Happy Potting Folks.

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