at the bottom of a dirty bucket.
Further to yesterday: the only recipe for which I had flux available was one using alkaline frit. So I weighed and slopped and began to sieve and belatedly discovered that the lumps of frit were not dispersible conglomerations but solid as concrete. After bashing with half a brick they still looked like this:
A sealed pack of frit was also trying to turn itself into lumps, though not yet fully gone off. I have dolloped some of that into the mix (and it did more or less sieve through) but have no idea how much to add. The lumps I removed can’t be weighed accurately as they are now wet, and will also have bits of the other ingredients stuck to them.
Oh well – everything about the next batch of ware will be experimental, so what’s another experiment …?
36 hours, and being Dickens there is a lot of redundancy, so it doesn’t matter if your attention wanders for a minute or two. This came in handy for a number of very dull jobs, and in fact is well read. I find Boz quite annoying, but every now and then I can’t help bursting into laughter,
One of the dull jobs: skipped it last year, but now it’s back to stirring and reconstituting neglected glazes, dried to solid discs at the bottom of pots. Also hunting for a low temperature glaze recipe which – and this is the key thing – uses up those bags of ingredients already sitting dustily on the shelf. Gerstley borate? No. Lead bisilicate? No. EPK? No. Ummm…
it’s a seasonal thing at any time, but after a long … long … sabbatical it was odd to sit to the wheel again. In fact, so long that I am impressed that it still goes at all. Best £50 I ever spent.
And after what seems like weeks sorting out the workshop, it’s good to have some new ware to put in it. Miniatures, so I can fool around with some new techniques. Don’t know what they will be yet, but one might work.
Mixed feelings about returning to former occupations after the experiment.
The first batch of beach clay is drying off; the weather still chilly, so it is slow waiting,
while the next batch is slopping down:
Tackling the garden under the buds and catkins of the geriatric birch (surviving another season of gales)
The first grass cut is always wearing. It’s long and saturated and intractable, but there are consolations …
… their dancing presents a challenge to the amateur photographer.
The hammering gales have dropped back. (Click thumbnail for gallery)
(and also rather pretty). Click a thumbnail for the gallery.
This time we looked at the glazes on pots. Tricky to get a focus and no reflections on curved surfaces.
(Don’t say you weren’t warned.)
I have turned my Christmas present on a few (fired) clay bodies. Click a thumbnail for the gallery.
Out back to the garage in the dark and cold, playing a kind of loathsome hopscotch over grey slugs which slime about even in December. As always I was longing for the heat in my face, the clean smell, and the sense of relief or exasperation, as it might happen to be.
Rather less like milk chocolate, and luckily the local clay hasn’t cracked. I’ve rushed these little plaques and the edges are rougher than they should be. Must check them over and use a carborundum to take down anything notably savage.
These are a dull idea, redeemed because they retain the chaste quality of the parent porcelain, while a judicious quantity of toilet roll (infra dig!) added to the body makes them lighter and warmer to the touch. They take a crisp impression, which may be useful for a more sophisticated future project.
I’m unsure what to do with the small pieces, though there are a few experiments ready to go. But the pierced hearts have arrived just in time to save my bacon; it’s the Christmas tree festival this week, and until this hour had no idea what to do for the family tree.
These mass productions are beach clay with added paper; they looked rather like milk chocolate in the morning light
which was unfortunate as it isn’t time to have chocolate for breakfast yet.
I am stocking up with beaches while the weather lasts. This one is usually visited when heavy surf is running in; it felt odd that waves existed only as almost imperceptible blue streaks refracted round the lighter blue of the bay.
Out in the garage I loaded the kiln. The temperature was plunging, and I could scarcely feel the small icy items as I lifted them in with equally icy hands.