Tag Archives: raku

First, make your terra sigillata

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1-all-day

Still in denial about the date, especially as we have scarcely seen daylight.  However:  no resolutions, but one can make an action of intent.

2-inlays

First try.  Inlaid with beach clay medallion, bought animal bead, glass beads.  The white candles came slick from the moulds, the smooth finish making them look more incompetent (I thought) than the woggly hand-dipped layer I subsequently added.  Don’t like the maroon (hand did literally slip) and it was also full of tiny bubbles, due to maker ignorance, I presume.  That left me fooling about with the white beads, so as not to quarrel with the bubbles.

3-sf

Has a claim to be the earliest SF story going, as an imagination of gravity and Copernicus’ theory form part of the story.  Also has in a slightly immature form the classic SF twist:  the lunar civilisation seems utopian, with food, shelter, ordered society without friction, no need for legislation or punishment, until you find out that the newborn are inspected for signs of incipient deviancy and, if dodgy, are deported briskly to planet Earth.  This neatly places a query over utopia, while marrying new science with the mediaeval world view in which change and imperfection reside in the sublunary world.

4-verso

Also a particularly enjoyable title page, especially the verso.

5-vaulting-ambition

And then there is this one, which is rather like being given a cordon bleu cookery book, though much more interesting.  Instructions about how to modify your propane burner or construct a flue with your angle grinder place most of this beyond my skills, and I didn’t much care for the casual references to vaporised hydrochloric acid.  I have used a top hat raku kiln, though, (supervised!), and have done naughty raku from my electric kiln, and made bonfire clamps to fire beach clay pots, so a good deal of it spoke to me.

6-experiment

So start where you can:  make some terra sigillata.  In theory it is a perfectly simple levigation process, requiring only water and patience.  If emulating the ancients, I won’t even need a rubber tube to siphon, as it should be possible to decant the layers.  Luckily beach clay is free and plentiful for experiments where you don’t know what you are doing.  As I, of course, do not.

A case of travelling hopefully?   Happy *** ****, fellow bloggers.

Clay day

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Stacking the kiln is an art requiring an excellent sense of three-dimensional geometry, which in this case we do not have.  I did remember to put the shallow things at the top in an attempt to use all the volume of the kiln.  Let’s hope there is enough headroom.

A guest came and wanted to make porcelain dangly things.  Most people to whom I’ve given pottery ‘tasters’ go away and are no more seen.  It’s not for everyone.  There are two exceptions:  a lady of a certain age who potched along happily for several years, and a young lad who is a much better potter  than me but (sadly) doesn’t have time now in a busy career.

I occasionally do a raku firing in a deeply inappropriate but entertaining way.  Last year’s glazes need a bit of work to be usable…

They may have gone off completely, but I am too mean to throw them away without testing first.