Saturday, October 31, 2009

Me and Phoenix

Well. I have thrown a bunch of bowls and mugs with my new Phoenix clay and I have to say this is the strangest clay I have ever used. I don't know yet whether I like it or not. I will say that it is the most forgiving clay I have ever used. You can do most anything to this clay and then correct it. I had a huge ripple in one of my mugs and just made a couple of pulls through it and the thing went away. I had a teapot slump and get a fat bottom, just cupped my hands around it and pulled it right up. It's kinda nice once you get used to how plastic it is. Way different from my groggy clays though and I feel sort of like a traitor to them :) I guess the true test will be when I see how the glazes I have in mind turn out with this clay.
I made a bunch of bowls with slightly different interior shapes to see which I like best and with which glaze. Also, I will throw one bowl then go to make one like it and think of something else I would like to try. I have plenty of stuff made for the next two shows I am doing so I can play a little with the cone 10 and get it right.
This feels so much more "right" to me. I was not feeling the earthenware once I got started. I'm not into decorating and dipping in slips. I just want to make some beautiful straightforward bowls and mugs. That's all. I will enjoy the drawing and slip trailing from those that do it right!

8 comments:

cookingwithgas said...

THe pots look great- you seem to being getting along just fine with the clay!
Happy Halloween!

Peter said...

Hi Tracey, Thanks for your comment on my site. It was nice to think of you making bowls and mugs also, and helpful to read of your similar struggles with unfamiliar clay. Funny how similar things can be going on at the same time at opposite ends of the world! (Does a round object have ends I wonder? I'll leave that to clever people to work out!). I like what you say about making mugs and bowls, and making them straightforward without the need for slip decoration and other adornment. Decoration can be great and I love seeing it, but I also love good form. Sadly many people seem to feel obligated to obscure what is simple, pure, and beautiful, with an incrustation of stuff!

Blaine M. Avery said...

Nice mugs!

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Thanks you guys. I like these pots a lot. Now to find a happy glaze for them. Peter, I appreciate your comment. My main focus has been developing good form. I load and unload kilns at Claymakers every week and get really tired of the poor form I see. I know that beginners are just trying to get a bowl, any bowl, and I was one of them not so long ago, but I think people lose focus trying so hard to decorate mediocre forms. On the other hand, some people's glaze application is the thing that makes their work so wonderful. But truly underneath a wonderful glaze is usually a well made form.Just look at the simple beauty of the wood fired pots some of the bloggers are creating. They start with a really great pot!!

ang said...

looking good trace, nice batch..

Patricia Griffin said...

How nice to have plenty of stuff made for upcoming shows! Your work is looking good. Glad the clay is working out!

Susan said...

Doode, I had some reclaim Phoenix in a bucket for 4 years outside. When I finally used it the pots basically made themselves. I loved to work with it. I'd like to do the same thing with Trina though. Trina gets so toasty in the wood kiln. Oh yeah and I'd take a muscular artslave too to wedge it up for me.
I'm off to bustle around the studio & kiln for the weekend firing!!!
ox -s

Susan said...

Oh The original reason for me commenting was to say NICE! Pots that is! You going to fire them here? My next firing will be Jan:)