Sunday, June 21, 2009

Colored porcelain tests

So, I've been spending the last few weeks making these clay tests. None have been fired yet (I'm planning of once-firing the first batch in a couple of weeks), but I've still learned a few things in making them:
  • Grolleg porcelain is *very* non-plastic
  • Grolleg porcelain with 1-15% mason stain is even *less* plasitc
  • Soft porcelain is easier to throw than stiff porcelain
  • Not so sure I want to work with porcelain anymore!
  • wedging tiny 100g pieces of clay gives you "Nintendo thumb"
  • Practice makes perfect (or at least adequate); After 100 or so of these I've more or less got the hang of throwing tiny cylinders
  • Really be sure you want to do it before you commit to a 2-month project!
Anyhow, I'm kind of settling into the process and finding making multiples of the same shape a bit mantra-like. Even if I end up moving in some other direction with the work, I think I'd like keep the repetitive aspect of it, maybe making a batch of the same piece before moving on to another. Fun as design is, I'm finding it very engaging to work repetitively. Paradoxically, it seems like the shape is resolving itself a bit more thoroughly when I work this way than it does when I design on paper/computer. Highly recommend working this way, even if only for a month or two.

Here's a particularly nice yellow-orange (Mason #4685); 1.5% on the left, then 3%, then 6%, finally 12% on the right:

As you can see, the color goes straight through:

Only 36 more colors to go!

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