Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Various Things

Lately I've been experimenting with many forms of clay and small plates and tea/coffee cups. Here are nine new pieces I've made in the last few weeks. The forms are nothing new or exciting but the clays I used are new and some of the colors came out great!

Here are two "matching" cups I made. Both have carved lines in the side, and similar handles. The green/blue cup on the left is red stone clay with Shinsha, OF firing. As with my usual mistakes it's a tad small, and the handle isn't quite where I want it to be, but it does look nice, and could be used for espresso or small amounts of tea. The handle is too thin though. Overall I give it a 68/100.
The cup on the right turned out much better. It is a good size, holds about 170cc. The handle is bigger and easy to hold and I love the texture of the clay. The color is interesting but I was hoping for a slightly more metallic outcome. So far I only have the smooth red clay color samples, not stone red clay so it was a guessing game to see how the glaze would turn out on this piece. It's a dark brown color with metallic specs. For some reason this cup seems manly, dark color and rustic feeling to it. Like something you'd find in a cabin in the woods. It was Oribe glaze with RF firing. 88/100

This is a newer clay I've been using. White clay with dark stones. It's very grainy but when given the right glaze (usually lighter colors to let the stones come through) it has a vintage feel to it. This color especially reminds me of the 50's and 60's kitchen color themes, sea foam green. This cup also has carved lines on the side, which is another aspect I've been toying around with. The lines add interest and also lighten the piece weight wise, but it is extremely tricky getting straight lines without the carving tool straying away, especially with stony clay. I'd like to try vertical lines soon but those are even more time consuming since they cannot be done on the wheel. They must be measured and done off the wheel.

I actually made this piece for use as a single scoop ice cream cup. It turned out to be a great size for a single scoop, I just can't pile on too many toppings. Here is a close up of the inside, I used Shikou and OF firing. 87/100

Here is another cup I made with the white clay with dark stones. This was also supposed to be an ice cream cup, but it is too small. It could be a sake cup, but seeing that I rarely drink Japanese sake at home it will most likely turn into a present or spare change holder. Besides the small size the color turned out great! A nice cool gray with great brown spots. I'll definitely use this clay and color combo again on other pieces. I used Mokuhaitoumei and RF firing. 85/100

Another white clay with stones pieces. A small h'orderves plate with Kirabo, RF firing. This plate is a little wobbly due to a neighbors glaze oozing all the way to the base of mine. I ground down the glaze stuck to the bottom but the evenness was destroyed. The plate is too small and mediocre to spend too much time fixing the base. 60/100

Out of all nine pieces these two are my favorite. I didn't plan on making a set when I started but after these two ended up the same color they looked great together as a tea set. The shape of is great, easy to hold and the size is perfect for serving tea in Japan. I like the lines on the side and the unique color of this set. I have never seen a tea set like this in Japan yet. White stone clay with Kirabo glaze, RF firing. 92/100
***Note*** In Japan it is customary for hosts to serve guests tea at stores, companies, schools, business meetings, at home etc. So these handle-less tea sets are a staple in every Japanese home and office.

Here is another small plate I made, about 18cm wide. White stone clay, Kohagi and Kirabo, RF firing.

The underside of the plate. See how the base ring is small? That's not good, it makes the plate unstable, so if you pick a piece of food off it with a fork or any sort of force the plate will wobble...When ever making a plate you want the base to be as wide as possible to prevent wobbling or tipping over. Wider equals more stable. 63/100

My last piece of the nine. Red stone clay with Shikou OF firing. This plate is ok, the base ring is too small, the color is cool but the shape isn't as good as it could be, somewhere it got slightly warped, so the edge ring isn't even. 65/100

That's all for now~ more to come soon!

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