Saturday, September 11, 2010

the Failed Jug

I'll have to take a picture of it.  I can't throw jugs.  I want to throw bottles with long, graceful necks, and I pull the cylinder nicely, and leave it thick at the top, and narrow it the way Simon Leach says to with fingers held just so -- and invariably, at some point -- it torques.  Something will start to twist awry, so then I reverse the wheel and "unwind" my mistake, and sometimes it kind of works.  More often than not, I continue, the clay is too weak, thin and wet, and it rips.  Damn it.  Just about always.  I just have not figured it out yet.  Maybe I need to use a blowdryer on it.

So, I did it again today.  I had a cute, very well formed small bottle with a bit of a neck.  I could have let it dry three hours and then trimmed the lard off the neck -- it was fat and uneven at the top, but well formed and straight.

But after one hour, it just looked like it could use a little pull, so I got my fingertips wet and began my work.  It came along nicely, but then I noticed the shoulders crinkling and about to tear, so I stopped.  And then I saw the neck was a bit tilted, so I reversed the wheel, like I always do, and attempted to "straighten it out."  That's when the first hole appeared. So I got a bit of clay -- because it was just a tiny hole -- and I patched it, and continued just a bit to smooth it.  Then the second rip appeared.  At that point, I knew it was all over.  But I did not care.  I got pieces of clay and patched the tear.  Another one appeared. And I patched it.  And another.  And I patched it.  Then I carefully smoothed it all out.  It will make a very nice, drunken looking moonshine jug.  I am happy with it.  Kind of.  But it is a Failed Jug for sure.  I'll post a picture later.

The saltillo in the den is coming along quite nicely.  Half of the den will be laid down today, and the grout will go on  tomorrow.  They will then move the furniture from one half of the room to the finished half, and then do the work on the front half of the room, plus build a little platform extending the den floor a bit more into an useless area of the kitchen that is too small to do anything with, and easy to fall into (the lady who owned the house before us fell off the den level into the kitchen level and broke her leg).  There is no railing.

My mother will come over soon, and I just realized there is no way for her to get to the back patio.  All the stairs are blocked.  And its in the hot afternoon sun anyway.  So we will go to Jose's restaurant to eat, but we will bring her over here to see the saltillo as the project is underway.

So that is the second half of September 11, 2010.

much love

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