I think I've been heavily influenced recently by all the autumnal colours that have suddenly appeared across our lovely rural town. As I swept up bright red and yellow leaves from our path the other day I had the urge to save some, and dry them out for Christmas decoration. But I resisted this urge because I do this every year and have bowlfuls in my workshop that I never use at Christmas or at any time!
But as I opened my kiln this week I really surprised myself. I had aimed at being bolder with colour and experimenting with ornamentation, and considering my favourite glaze is white satin, I'm quite pleased with myself for taking a few risks. So here are some of my favourites;
This clay was an experiment. It's a new clay produced in Northern Ireland at SCARVA. It has the pure white appearance and the feel of porcelain but is actually stoneware. They say it should be easier than porcelain to handle but I found the two clays very similar to throw on the wheel.
The colours are underglazes with a bit of sgraffito with only the inside glazed.
Out next came some jugs.
I love this colour. Talk about vivid!! I only have a small amount of it so when I dipped it in, it didn't quite go to the top, but I think the yellow flower balances it up nicely.
Now....why put a boat on the handle is a mystery to even me. Sometimes I make little flowers, boats or birds from off-cuts of clay and put them in a sealed plastic container then forget about them. Well, this is what happens when I remember! But, when pouring, my thumb sits comfortably against it and it is as if it was meant to be.
In case it's not clear there is an oak leaf on the rim and an acorn at the base of the handle. A real autumn jug. And I must photograph it better.
One of the ever popular Grab Jugs. I made two in my usual white satin glaze, but I went crazy with this one. Some underglazes fire glossy and some fire matt. I quite like the resulting mixture.
Painting very fine lines on greenware or bisque is very difficult because the clay in both cases is porous so it absorbs a whole brush load on first contact, leaving you with nothing on the brush. What is needed is the finest of brushes but with the greatest absorbency. Here was my solution.....
........My daughter's hair.
Find someone with lovely fine hair and go at them with some scissors. Then make your brush with sticky tape and a wooden skewer.
I then wrapped it with wool in order to have something substantial to hold. And look at that fine point. I paint effortlessly with this.
Great hair Rosie......and you too Hector.
Then lastly, this little pot.
New sort of handle for me. And there's a little porcelain bird added....from the plastic pot, of course.
Now finally a hand-building tip....
When cutting through leather-hard clay, cut through cling film. It gives the cut a nice rounded edge. I also cover the clay with cling film when smoothing it out with a rib.
HAPPY POTTING FOLKS