Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Perfect Bowl

I just threw another noodle bowl today withthe cone 5 buff clay I got at the Ceramics Store to make Laszlo's Asian sets out of.  He wants a noodle bowl, a tea bowl, a wasabi dip dish, and a chopstick holder -- two sets red, two sets yellow, two sets blue, two sets black.

I've been testing glazes to see which glaze will come out with the best color. Red is particularly difficult.  In the firing I just completed, I tested several different ways of making red.   The best solution is the candy apple red I made, substituting dark red mason stain for the deep crimson mason stain in the original recipe.  The color came out a nice, even red.  I need to mix some more of it up and do a large bowl with it, glazed inside and out.

I need to let Laszlo know how things are coming with his order.  I need to photograph the firing and post pictures of it in the previous post so there will be a clear documentation of the various glazes I tested.

I need to mix up enough of the glossy blue glaze to glaze the interior of Mari's monster mug.  I'd like to do another midrange firing this week, or maybe another bisque. I want to keep things moving forward with the glazings I need to get done.  There will be a cone 10 firing coming up soon.  I need to get a bunch of things glazed for it.  I think the cone 10 firing may be October 5 -- I've got to check to be sure. That would give me more time to get some other things done.

At any rate, back to the perfect bowl.  I guess I'll have to photograph it tomorrow.  I threw it this morning.  I used 3 lb. 4 oz. of clay to throw a bowl 9 inches across.  I left a lot of clay on the base so I would not trim a hole through it when making the foot.  The shape of the bowl was very nice to begin with.  I let it sit all day while I did different things, including taking a loooong nap in the afternoon due to some acid reflux medicine I took that messed with my blood sugar and wiped me out completely.

Then we all went out to eat at Fuddruckers with Geordon and Chung Hwa.  George and I, Truemy, Madison and Will went.

When I got back, I helped Madison edit his paper on the Puritans for his honors class.  Then I went back out to the studio and checked the bowl that had been sitting on the shelf drying all day.  I broke the fishing line tool with the fine line trying to run it under the bowl.  Then I used a metal rib to slowly work under the bowl all the way around.  Then I got the other fishing line tool and tried it but that was no good. So I worked with the metal rib a bit more.  Then I got the wire tool and carefully inserted it under the bowl where I'd already made a gap with the metal rib.  Then I began to carefully carefully pull.  Because I have a Bailey wheel whose rim is above the wheelhead, I could not put the wire tool over the splashpan rim and pull down, since the height would make it pull up and slice up with the wiretool.  I carefully pulled, then turned the wheel, then pulled again.  Somehow, I got the wiretool successfully smoothly under the base of the bowl all the way across and it came free. I set it on the board in front of me, then  I drew a couple of circles with a sharpie marker on the bat as it spun. I then carefully centered the bowl and secured it with more buff clay from the container where I keep it.  Then I began to trim.

I used both my Kemper tools and Dolan tools to trim.  I got it trimmed perfectly, to a beautiful shape.  It is so round and smooth and Asian looking -- very very nice.  Its now sitting on a shelf beside the wheel drying.  I will try to throw one or two more noodle bowls tomorrow.  I will try to make them as nice as this one.  It really is the perfect bowl.

much love

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