Friday, December 4, 2009

Winners and losers

Good firing today! Lots of pots for the show tomorrow. If you are out and about in Durham come by and see me. I will be at "Christmas in the Big House" in the building with Sid Luck here:

Located in Durham, Historic Stagville comprises the remnants of one of the largest plantations of the pre-Civil War South. The plantations belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron family, whose combined holdings totalled approximately 900 slaves and almost 30,000 acres of land by 1860. Stagville offers a view of the past, especially that of its African American community, by allowing visitors to guide themselves around its extensive grounds. In addition, Stagville offers the public many learning opportunities.

So back to my firing- I usually figure on losing about 1/3rd of my work on Raku day, but today I only lost 3 good pieces and three test pieces. Everything else was good. The gargoyle pots survived. If you score, slip and smoosh the clay in very good, you can easily fire sculptural work, it just needs to be sort of thin for the glazes to look best. I think the jars turned out pretty nice, the glazes are amazing in the sun. photos suck here :) This glaze was a glaze we developed in the Steven Forbes deSoule workshop at Penland this summer. I call it Penland Copper Red, because I can't remember what we called it. If you reduce it heavily it will go way copper, but I'm not that fond of copper.
I am starting to get the feeling that I am going to be a Raku potter. I have the most success with Raku of anything that I try and I always like almost everything I make. I very rarely like any reduction work I make, never like ^6 stuff, I loved my wood fired pieces I did with Susan but haven't done any more of that. I do like temmoku, and that is very complementary, so I think I am sticking with that for now. Easy peasy for awhile. Lots less stress that way!

The little jar in the right corner is one of the temmoku survivors.

I was complaing about these little trays while glazing and saying I wasn't making any more, and of course they turned out beautifully, probably my favorite things in the firing. They are so tiny though, I always sell them, but never get back the time I put into them.
This tray was a hand building demo for my class, trying out a terra cotta dish that we had in the studio, you know, the dishes you put under your flower pots. It makes a great mold and they are really cheap. I'll be making more of these, I like the way it turned out.
another little temmoku survivor
This is the first squared jar I have tried to make on the wheel. It has been on my list of things to try and the other day I was in the mood, so there it is. Needs more work, but not bad for a first try. I need to come up with a different foot treatment, I don't like this one.
should have made more of these, but I'm not really into the votive making thing, betcha they sell though.
My mess is bigger than Ron's mess! Packing and pricing.......

I hate I lost these baskets. I had a time with them, they were destined to fail. I glazed them last night while I was freezing outside, the glaze was too thin, I rushed it because I was miserable, they sat outside last night, mistake. Fired them this morning and the glaze would absolutely not melt. I fire these to 1750 usually, I went to 1950 today and then had to re fire because some of the glaze still did not melt. It was weird. The handles stressed in the second firing and all cracked in the same place. Too bad, I sell these every time I make them. Would have been nice for the show tomorrow. They are really pretty. Of course they broke because I needed them tomorrow, if I didn't care, I would have three nice baskets right now!
This was a big fat mess. My class, take note! Remember when all of you were having such luck with Pipenburg and I said it was beginner's luck? Well, here is pipenburg after you have had it do the very best it will ever do. It comes back and bites you in the ass with this ugliness. And to add to the challenge of Pipenburg, I put glass on top, which did not melt. Should have known better, but it was a good test.
and here is the ugliest thing of all. I did a demo that Amy Sanders did in her workshop for some of the girls in my class that wanted to see it. I used it for a test tile for some crackle glazes I found recipes for. They sounded a bit sketchy when I was reading them, but I am looking for some fun crackles for my class. Well, these ain't them! They are really bad!!!!!
So here are the losses, not bad for a days work. Much better than the cone 10.


Dirt-Kicker Pottery said...

Wow. Love the Raku. Total bummer that you lost those sweet baskets. I hope your sale goes great. I'm having an open studio sale on Sunday. It's supposed to be a snow storm, so it's probably going to be a lonely day in the studio.

Trish said...

Tracey...great job! even with the losses, you keep the spirit! You ARE a raku-er (is there such a word?lol)! Good luck with the sale.
Snow storm in Alberta today and right now the wind is howling!
It was a good day, though, to set up my blogsite:-simple as it is at the moment, it is:
Have a great evening.

Kitty Shepherd said...

Absolutely fabulous inspirational firing and a real pity about the buckets, I can see why you would always sell them they are adorable. I also love the one above the little trays with the head.
The ugliest thing of all (your words) looks like a tray of iced cake slabs, so not ugly at all in fact the top right slab looks like chocolate icing!

ang said...

your gargoyles came out great...woohooo... said...

WOW! Snow for everybody! We are supposed to get a flurry today. I'm heading out in the pouring rain for this show, hope some folks like shopping in the rain! Trish I'll have to visit your blog when I get home, and Kitty you are kind to say that about the tile but really, it is UGLY! and it got a few cracks. Does look a bit like cake icing, if you want to look on the bright side. It was just a quick demo in class so I wasn't expecting too much. Lesson here, always do test tiles for new glazes!! Food luck with the sale Sunday!!!!

cindy shake said...

The small trays and the Gargoyl's are so FAB that they more than make up for the "losses." Your true talent shines thru the peices that made it!! beautiful.

Linda Starr said...

Lots of beautiful work there, not so bad to have loosers when you have so many winners. good luck at the sale. said...

Thanks Ang, Cindy and Linda! Ang, you gave me the idea for the glaze, good suggestion. I would have liked a little more copper luster but I wasn't going to risk it.

Laura said...

Good work, Tracey. The jars are fabulous. xo said...

Thanks Laura, how was the Chatham tour? I should have come with you instead of that show I did!

Susan said...

So many GREAT pots Tracey! I like your little trays too. That sucks about the shelves and posts. I have seen posts crack but only after much duress and age. Wierd