I’ve been tasked with creating 10 mugs and have managed to produce a single worthy piece. I most likely could have skated by with the 3 I trashed, but I’d like to produce 10 great mugs. That’s 10 less Christmas gifts I have to purchase. I’ve been throwing so far, but I’m going to attempt a few hand built forms. If they don’t go my way then I’ll get back on the wheel. I’m interested in making a variety of designs for different purposes. I’d like to create bottom heavy and narrow opening mugs for travel. I also want to explore making decorative mugs with a narrow foot. I figure that those will be my extremes and I’ll try to bridge the gap with hybrids. The 1st I’m satisfied with is a mean.
I had planned on sharing sketches for the 30” stack project but sadly that has been cancelled thanx to this looming coronavirus. I was able to enjoy the Southern Crossings Pottery Festival over the weekend and even managed to score a free cup. I did make a small $15 purchase of what could be considered a very small, handless teacup. My previously described teapot with infuser is in need of re-firing and I managed to get it glazed and into the kiln room. However, I failed to take photos before I covered it in said glaze. I do however have photos of the piece in the finished green ware state.
While I haven’t made much progress on my candle powered heater, I was able to see the result of a project I previously completed with a classmate. We were to collaborate on a single piece that would incorporate both of our artistic abilities. We settled on a pot that would display the round organic forms that I enjoy as well as the hand built and geometric forms that my classmate enjoys. I threw the pot and the lid on the wheel. She hand built a knob for the lid, a spout, a side handle and also a bit of extra exterior decoration to accompany the spout.
Though this blog is far overdue, I decided it was worth posting anyway. During week 5 I nearly finished my observer to participant project. It was definitely beyond what I have attempted in the past. The teapot size was the largest that I have completed. I was also encouraged to incorporate an infuser which I believe I was successful at doing so. The pot includes loops for an overhead bamboo handle and also a casserole style handle for supporting the back of the pot. The infuser also has eyelets for a handle. Finally the lid fits into both the infuser and the pot.
This week I’ve chosen to create a tool for the apocalypse for my most recent assignment. In the past I’ve seen and recreated a small space heater created from terra-cotta pots and tea-light candles. The idea is that candles in open air lose the majority of their heat by dehumidifying the air. So, the air becomes dryer but not warmer. This terra-cotta arrangement allows the candles to heat air without losing heat to water vapor. I’m not sure if I’ll need to use tea lights or votives but I hope to create an arrangement that will heat a small space with only candles.
I’m fairly satisfied with my progress this week. I’m glad this current project assignment has afforded me the wiggle room to make teapots. I’ve watched many video tutorials on creating the components needed to assemble a functional teapot. I’ve learned that galleries become more difficult to create as the height and width of the vessel becomes larger. Taller and wider means more fragile and less stable. So, I’ve managed a small, Japanese style, teapot. I need to throw 4 small and simple tea cups to complete the set, and I’m confident that it will be a successful build. The pot has all the aesthetics needed for a table piece. If I can produce at least 4 small cups to compliment the pot, I’ll be very satisfied with my first attempt.
This week has been both challenging and rewarding. My challenge is to throw and assemble 10 chalices, or goblets if you like. I’ve only managed 3 thus far, however they are yet to be assembled. I’ve decided to postpone making more until after I’ve assembled these 3, as I’m sure I will fuck something up and learn from such mistakes. The rewarding part of week 4, apart from Brian’s amazing and stimulating instruction, stems from the joy I’m given by making gifts for my friends. One is for the mother of my childhood friend. She reached out to me wanting a yarn bowl. She told me she could buy one from a local craft shop, but, after seeing my work, insisted that she wanted one from me. Also, I’m proud to have made gifts for my friends departing for their home countries in the very near future. 2 of which are forms I’m familiar with, bowl and mug. The third is a form I’ve never attempted which is a mate. As in, Yerba mate. A very small vessel for drinking intermittent amounts of Yerba is a very challenging form for gorilla hands. I’d like to believe that I managed well. I’ll report their reactions next week.
I’m satisfied with my progress this week. I managed to create 10 unique mugs. There is a great variety in size and shape displayed in the collection. I’m worried the teacup may have too thin a handle to withstand glaze firing, but we’ll see. I’m very satisfied with the largest mug. It has already received offers from those who drink far too much coffee. I’ve learned that I need to pay more attention to the size relationship between mug and handle. Also, I need to better gauge the area within the handle needed for fingers. I have very large hands and I’d do better to remember that the average person does not. Furthermore, I need to leave myself a thicker clay body at the bottom end of my handles. A few of them became very thin at the base connection. Otherwise, I think I’m looking at a promising batch of vessels made for hot beverages.
I’ve managed to create 3 more completed forms that are currently in the green state. I feel that my handle connection sites are gaining a smooth transition from handle to pot. I plan on attaching a few handles without a smooth transition and allow for a more separated appearance the form. I’d also like to make a large shallow mug that could be used for soups or cereal, possible even with 2 handles. I recognize that I need to pay closer attention the the foot width as one of my mugs may end up being a bit top heavy probably needed a wider base for stability. Overall I think I’m off to a good start and I’m excited to have 10 new mugs.