Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Works

One piece cracked and one disintegrated completely into small pieces when cooling down in the kiln. I'm in such unbelievable bad mood that I better keep to myself. So I won't yell at any innocent bystanders. And an earlier work I stored in a box got crushed and broken. :(

Here are what came out of the kiln this week.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Itching to try out

The thing I like to do the most is to watch others making pots. Pottery videos save me on weekdays as I only get my hands on clay on weekend when I'm not working.

These 2 video are quite beautifully done.  Itching to try them out especially the crackle one. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Making a plate

Ha.....the thing that I spend the most time thinking about has got to be more than just a thing. I am being bold. But I think the word for this is "calling".  Wow! It is big but it is a calling.

I have been playing around in my mind the idea of slip casting a plate. Of course I'm talking about the slip casting I have just shown you in last post.

Here are some pictures of my first attempt. I did 2 plates differently and one didn't survive. It is quite shallow.  An idea just came to me. With the force of gravity, I think we may have a winner. Let me try that out next week.

Slip Casting with a Twist - the details

I wanted to talk to you about Slip Casting last week but I just didn't feel right without the pictures on hand. Now that I have taken a few in the "second stage' we are ready to talk. Let me walk you through.

First off, you need to be warned that I am totally in love with this technique (and a lot more.....but that's a different story for another time).  I learnt this technique from the most generous soul.  His name is Ray. He doesn't hold back and keeps pouring his knowledge out.

Here are the steps......

1. Form - find an object (could be a wine bottle, a bowl, a rock, etc). And that will be the form and shape of your work.

2. Texture - decide on the texture you would like to replicate.  It does have limitation.  It could be some napkin, kitchen paper, a washcloth with various texture / pattern, a rope, anything that can absorb moisture.  I use my worn out lace-pattern undershirt as well.

3. Let's say I'm using kitchen paper and a huge wine bottle. First warp the wine bottle with all these kitchen paper. You would need a bunch of kitchen paper to warp around the bottle. I forgot to take a picture of this step to show you.  Then use lots and lots of newspaper to warp around the kitchen paper-covered wine bottle tightly.  They serve 2 purposes. A. to hold the form and B. to absorb all the liquid / moisture from the slip.

4. Then pull the wine bottle out and you are left with the shape of the bottle (your mold)

5. Apply slip (this slip is a bit thicker than what we usually use for normal slip casting) with a brush and  get them on gently on the inside of your mold.  Try not to lose your form too much.

6. Here is a short-cut. Instead of waiting for the slip to dry, you can put it in your microwave say for 2 minutes. It will be a bit streamy when it comes out.  Let it dry and cool down a bit.  You may see cracks but that's perfectly fine.  I always do a second coating. So repeat steps 5 & 6.

7.  The above picture shows you what it looks like after 2 coatings in the microwave.  That beautiful texture and natural folds of the cloth will be captured as well.  Again you may see cracks after the second coating cool down. Don't panic.  You are doing great so far.  When it is not streamy and hot, pour in the slip like we always do.  Then do what we usually do, tap slightly to let air or tiny bubbles out.  See picture below.

8. Depends on how thick or thin you want the wall to be.  You can also see the thickness of the wall. I wait around 10 to 15 minutes, sometimes close to 20 minutes, then pour out the slip. Now this is a real tricky step because when you pour out, the wall and bottom may fall out as well.  The whole thing is still very fragile.  So you need to adjust to the speed, "listen" to your work and go with the flow. It's ok that it takes on a different shape. It may be more interesting.

9. Let it sits for a day or 2 to dry. You really need to make your own judgement on this.  The next step is to tear away the newspaper warping and very gently tear away the kitchen paper.

This is what it looks like when it is dried and ready for un-molding. I have taken away the newspaper layer but you can still see the kitchen paper attaching.

I'm half-way done. See all the torn-out paper in the back. The texture and winkles come through beautifully.

Little pieces that I tore off which are great for ear rings. I love the naturalness in them.

There you have it. A kitchen paper bowl.

A little silly video

A little silly video I have made for this plant / flower pot that I am making for my Mom from mud I have dug up.  Next step is glazing.  Not sure how I want it glazed yet. I do love the pale yellow from the clay itself.  But I need to lay the glaze on thick as this clay may leak. It contains too much sand.
My test piece is leaking subtly and quietly.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

So little Time

There are so many ideas but never enough time. Oh! I want to somehow capture that beautiful curviness you see in the below pictures in my work. One day, I'm gonna have my own studio and probably will never come out ( you know that's a joke right?). Haha.......

Mud Colony

Check out what everyone is doing at Mud Colony. I'm a true believer in potters influencing each other.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beauty of Decay - Inspiration from Instagram

I am at a very strange phase of my life right now.  My sense of beauty has taken on some new definitions. I like polished, sophisticated but unpretentious beauty.  But I am now more drawn to unintentional beauty or finding beauty in things that most or some people may hold a totally different opinion.

Here is a picture I snatched from Instagram awhile back simply because I like how flaky the peelings are.
And I want to replicate that flakiness in my work. They look so pretty to me.

It will come to me....the idea, I mean.

P.S. Check out my friends on Mud Colony

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Colour of the Rainbow

Loaded up with all sort of colors. I'm dying to try them out.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hand-building with almost leather-hard clay

Learnt something new today and I was at the studio for a good 6 hours. This is not so much a new technique but I guess a different way of making work. Cutting almost leather hard pre-rolled clay into pieces randomly and stacking or gluing them together with slip to form a sculptural like shape.

I have a thing against sharp edges and pointy things. With the use of the circular plastic top of a paint can which you can see in the below pictures, I cut circles and irregular small pieces along the way. I guess that's what creation is all about. There is no pre-planning. Just what feel right at the moment.

This is what I quickly put together.

Below is my friend's work with a circle from me.  Told you, they all did pointy things.

Slip casting with a twist

There are nothing else I like to do more.  I lied......there is in fact. I love throwing on wheel. Haha.

But this unconventional slip casting is so out of this world and letting me do all sort of things.

I didnt invent this technique but a great guy did. Will tell you the steps later. Let me just post a few pictures about what I did in the studio today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Red Tree Print Transfer on Clay

I saw this picture on my friend's facebook and did this plate for her.

My Green Tree

I painted this by hand with a gust of sudden inspiration. Wanted it to be green because the day before I made a tree image with print transfer and with red stains.

The plate is glazed with a pearl green color.  Purposely sprayed on very thinly in the center so it would not block my hand painting. 


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Clay painting done

When I do painting like this, the experience is very satisfying, intensive and yet exhausting. Especially with this new underglaze, I need to paint everything 3 times. Here it is....I think I must have put in more than 6 hrs of super concentrated work (painting alone) into this. Hope you like it.

Filling every space - painting on clay

First time doing work at home. I knew I would love it except the little mess. 

After 2 hours, I have to stop. Time to get ready for bed.

Hang on my Little Pot

Made this pot with clay I created upon my Mom's request for plants.