Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's been too Long!!!

Spring at the studio! Cherry blossoms are blooming along with other flowers.

It has officially been way too long since I have last posted. My graduate school essays and applications are all done with so I can finally focus on pottery again. I have skipped out on lots of time slots so not much has been done in March. But there are still a few new things I'd like to share.

Title "Blue Moon"
First and foremost, I entered this vase in the Imari International Amateur Ceramics Contest and won honorable mention! (4th place) I was so surprised and happy about the award! I wasn't expecting it at all. It is my first official award of any sorts pertaining to my pottery. Feels great to have achieved something :) It will be on display from April 1st to 10th at the Nabeshima Pottery center in Imari City. Awards ceremony will be on the 10th at 2pm. I'm so excited!

On to regular business

Remember these? Well they turned out awful! So I re-glazed them all one color and am hoping for a better outcome. The handles are the finished product, but there is a base of a white glaze under the red and light green so I hope they won't turn out worse. I'll do OF firing, but there's not many pieces to fire right now so probably another few weeks until I know how they'll look. These were a lot of work so I'm hoping my effort pays off.

The wavy cup I made awhile back, it turned out pretty lovely actually. I gave it as a gift to one of my teachers at work who transferred. Joshigaraki clay with kohagi glaze RF firing.

Next are a few simple pieces I made awhile back. I tried a new technique (new for me at least) and they turned out pretty well.

An indented design, very Japanese. I've seen it on many pottery pieces here in Japan and thought it was difficult to do, which is actually not so.

The key is this simple tool; a long curved metal ruler shaped thing. There's two type, rounded edge (left) and flat edge (right)

The rounded one is used for round surfaces like cups, and the flat is used for flat surfaces like straight bowls or plates.

Holding it at a certain angle while the wheel moves is the key to creating a vibration. The mild vibration causes the tool to bounce up and down creating the design.

This picture is a demo, as you can see I'm not at the wheel but it looks something like this. Getting the angle right is tricky at first (looked terrible when I first did it) but after some practice it turned out quite well. (Sorry don't know why this photo is crooked, tried turning it around many times on blogger...)

When done correctly it should look something like this. Mine is still a little off, but this looks so much better from my first try.

These two have since been bisque fired and glazed. I choose a nice green shiny glaze. My teacher recommended shiny glazes (ones that look like glass) since the glaze will settle into the indents and show off the design better. Other matte or thick glazes won't show the design as well since they'll just end up covering it up.

Here are two other bowls from this month too, plain and jo shigaraki clay. U glaze on the left and B glaze on the right.

These four glazed pieces will go into the next noborigama which is April 9th. So soon! It kinda crept up on me this time so I only have these four pieces going in this time.

Well that's it for now! Until next time!

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