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Showing posts from April, 2014

A view inside my workshop

Well it's been a while since I've had time to make some of  my sculptures, but I am slowly building up a new body of work.  Pictured here  are some "Pisces" and "Neptune" pieces. It's slow going and a bit of a methodical process. I can only really make about 2 pots a  day, so it's not like throwing where you can reel off a whole batch in an afternoon. (If you're  lucky!)

 Despite the time it takes- I do enjoy hand-building, and especially slab work- as it allows me to mentally "switch off". I suppose really it becomes almost a  subliminal process in itself. In large parts it's a waiting game. You have to let the clay dry to exactly the right  "leather hard" condition before you can  even start building. Then it's joining-sculpting angles- cutting edges- adding details-  refining- and  refining again. It's enough  to drive you  beserk! :)

Below: Greenware "pots" waiting to be "fettled" and bisqu…

A Pot Postcard from Nevada....

Just arrived in Nevada, USA - at Charles Blim Jnr's new ceramics' gallery -post unwrapping! My well travelled "Pisces" pot in it's new home.

Making and firing Raku tiles

I have just had in one or two orders and enquiries concerning Raku tiles.

Making them  can drive you to despair- what with their tendancy to warp, crack and shrink! It's amazing how something so simple is in actual fact so hard to make.  It's also very difficult to  lift a flat object out of the kiln with tongs from a red hot kiln. Well, with some prior experience,  I've developed a firing system for tiles now which is now working pretty well. Quite simply, I lay each tile on a flat bed of ceramic fibre. That way each tile is raised slightly off the kiln shelf- and it's then easy to grasp the tile with tongs and drop into your reduction chamber/smoking bin.

I stack  two or three kiln shelves and can pack in  about 20 tiles in one batch - depending on size. I do let the kiln cool slightly before carefully removing each shelf of tiles. I back off the gas- get each shelf of tiles out- then power back up to temperature and repeat till they're all safely out of the k…