It feels like a life time ago when I last sat down to make pots properly. I had, a small problem shall we politely call it, with my glaze. ie it had decided that with my latest batch of clay it would no longer fit. Did I say it? Well actually what I mean is all four that I have been using recently, one of which I have been using since time began. It has driven me up the wall, round the bend, and many other things that I can’t possible write in this company. I quite got to the point where by I thought what is the point in making anything, why put the time and energy and thought into it when it’s going to fail anyway. I tried lots of things that I could test fairly easily, bisque temperature, glaze temperature, slipping wetter, wiping slip off the rims, etc etc etc. All to no avail. Joy joy joy. It appears that the particle sizes in my new batch are different to the last, I know it’s a natural material so I know things over time will change with it but you just don’t imagine that that sort of thing will make such a difference. Anyhow I have learnt more about free silica (bad!) and chemically combined silica (absolutly fine) than I ever thought I would. It has hurt my head a lot.
So, along with a little help from some friends I have these four tests above which, after a million other tests, are I think, fingers crossed, touch wood etc etc are a large step in the right direction.
You may all breathe a collective sigh of relief on my part. Good bit more testing to do but I am feeling more positive about it now thankfully.
I’ve lost so much work as a result of this that all the plans I had formed for the work I was sending out since August through to Christmas have had to be radically rethunked. I hate that, I hate that after telling someone that I was going to send x,y,z to their gallery that I have to ring them and say erm, actually it won’t be like that. Makes me feel incompetent.
So I am now finally thinking that it’s ok to make pots as there is a light at the end of this long dark wet miserable dank tunnel.
The pressed dish above is the first I have made off a new mold that I have made recently. Well I say recently, I made the mold a couple of months ago but in my Eeyore / Pootle (remember?) moments I haven’t fired because it was bound to blow up / crack / be ugly shaped. As it happens it didn’t blow up / crack / or be ugly. That one though is niggling at me as the decoration looks like a pot I have seen recently but I just can’t place it.
This here plate decoration was aiming at being a fat bush but looks more like a pineapple than was intended. However I don’t dislike it for it’s pineapple-ness. It was lovely lovely having wet slip about in the place again. It’s been too long my friend.
Speaking of bushes, I have a lovely holly in a pot at work, I want to keep it in a pot but it’s getting kind of tall and the wind keeps blowing it over, when would one prune a holly tree? Should I contact Gardeners’ Question Time? Answers on a postcard / comment / email. Thank you.