Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grinding Away

Real heat has finally come to Sara Yama Studio! A brand new GIANT kerosene heater was bought :) This baby is no joke! After 10 minutes the entire place was toasty and warm :D I'm so happy! It's so much easier to work on things now that my hands won't be half numb.
I hear next AC will be coming, but not for a new more years, sadly I won't be around for that. Maybe next is heated water? Here's hoping...

Anyways, a few things have come out of the kiln. I apologize for the terrible photos! I give up on my smart phone camera, the color and focusing is just terrible...

First is this large coffee cup. Mixed clay with a few swirls of U underneath and L glaze on top. Turned out well, a very mild green blue.

Here is an close up of the two glazes. U is the darker accent color and L is the base.

Next was the lamp I've been waiting forever for. This is pretty small, maybe softball size with holes allowing light to shine through. Eventually I'll head to the hardware store and find a small lightbulb and cord to put inside.
Bizen clay with M glaze. It turned out exactly how I thought it would :)

Last was another coffee cup. (This pic is terrible!) The color turned out magnificently on it! Mixed clay, base of E glaze (nice red) and dipped the rim in U glaze. The combo was great! And the flow of U onto E looks great :)

But there was one problem, both E and U run very easily so....

I had a lot of glaze stuck to the bottom. Luckily Arai Sensei could chip it off the stone plate inside the kiln. (More so than not, the pieces end up cracking if they're too difficult to pry off) I've seen worse cases then mine, but this is slightly a lot of glaze on the bottom.

But not to worry, if done the right way, this piece is salvageable.

First I picked off as much of the glaze as I could with my fingers, but it wasn't much. So the next step is to grind it off.
There are two grinders at the studio, one is a hand held grinder (pictured left) and the other is a wall mounted circle grinder. The hand grinder is more so for small amounts of glaze, it's easy to handle and there is a less chance of messing up.

But of course safety first! Always wear goggles and try to wear a dust mask while using any sort of grinder. They give off a lot of dust and occasionally large pieces of glaze will come flying up into your face. Sara Yama Studio has really cool safety glasses too! OOhhh Yeaaah. Thumbs up :D

I started out with the hand grinder but soon realized I'd be grinding away all night if I continued using it. So I switched to the mounted grinder outside, which is much faster and stronger, making it easier to grind away too much and leave the base uneven. (Def. not good for a cup)
After about 15min of grinding, I finally got most of the glaze off. (Sorry no pictures of the mounted grinder, it was too dark) I had a few scuffs but all in all the base came out very well and the cup is even.
Here is the finished product.
I was either lucky with how this turned out or my grinder skills have gotten better. It looks like there was never any glaze melted there in the first place :) I'll be more careful next time and make sure I leave some leeway for the glazes to melt so I won't have to waste time doing this again.

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