Thursday, November 24, 2011

pots from one bisque load

work, work, work!  the sale approaches!!!!
I've unloaded the bisque kiln and am about to wax the bottoms of all the pots (and the lidded areas), so that I can glaze everything.  Here's the procedure:  before I glaze, I wax, then wait for the wax to dry, (the longer, the better), then dip everything into a bucket of cool water (don't want to re-soften the wax), then wait til the pots dry a little and can accept the glaze, and then I glaze.  If the pots are too dry when they're glazed, they absorb too much of the glaze water, too quickly, and the glaze builds up unevenly on the surface of the piece, sometimes pinhole-ing and leaving areas that are too thick. In addition, I single-dip, so I can't re-dip where I think there might be a problem. On the other hand, if there is a little moisture in the pot (just cool when held up to your cheek--as you would a bone-dry piece, to see if it's dry enough to go into the bisque), then the water from the glaze enters the porous, bisqued walls a little more slowly, and the air exits less precipitously, and I don't have little pinholes all over the glaze (which have to be fixed before firing, so they won't show up, later.)  hmmmmm.  If you have questions about this  (better as a demo, I think) just ask.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the tiled chair circle

Here's the final look of the round piece of durock used in the chair seat---tile was set onto the durock using thinset, and then, when the tiles had dried, they were grouted.  It's one of those 'ice cream parlor' chairs.  P.s:  there are two entries for the "my father's T-square because I don't yet know how to move a previously started draft (started in October) to the current head of the list, so I simply copied and pasted it--thus, it appears twice....(and everything I do the the first's title automatically appears in the second one---conjoined twins......Oh, well....back to the studio where I am decorating many pots, in my usual frantic effort to have enough work for the studio sale in December.  Is everybody as behind as I am?  HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

my father's T-square (cutting more cement board for tiles)

marking the durock for the first cut (with my father's T-square)
This is a lot of visual reference for a fairly simple procedure, but since the earlier post about cutting cement board (durock, and other trade names) has had a number of views, I'm repeating the process, here.  I also wanted to say a few things about my father's tools.  Before he died, one month shy of 94, he had passed on to me his tools--he was a heating and cooling engineer, and also made beautiful wooden furniture and smaller wall pieces (out of orange crate).  He had memory loss which began to affect his everyday work for about 10 years before he died; still, he was able to physically do a lot of different things, and was the main person helping me paint the old tables that I was tiling and taking to fairs to sell.  Here, I'm using his T-square to cut up a thin sheet of handyboard or durock (a cement board with fiberglass thread reinforcement).  I want to cut a circle, so I begin by cutting out a square, and then cutting off the 4 corners, and then nipping the extra with the old pair of pliers he gave to me.  I think the yellow cutting knife was his, too.  The cuts are made by scoring the surface of the board with the blade of the knife (fresh blades are good!)--pressing the blade against the metal ruler edge while dragging it across the surface of the board. Then I break open the cut by laying the cut along the edge of the table and whacking down on the part which hangs over the edge.  It won't be cut all the way through, so you need to score the back side, as well-----along the inside of the now folded line.  Once the cuts have made the circle round enough, able to fit into the chair circle, the circle of durock can then be glued down/or in to the chair form with some Liquid Nails.  It's also held there by bolts that come in from the outside of the round metal form.  I will post the final 'look' of the tiled chair on the next post. 
Breaking the board open after scoring the top side

marking for the second cut

cutting away the edges of the circle

nipping off the curved area between the straight cuts

fitting the circle into the chair base

Monday, November 21, 2011


gifts from friends!

attaching the clay for the knob
throwing the knob

I was just noticing the similarities between all the squash I've been given, of late (from Rickeye Heffner, Fritz Gehring, and Indigo Fleming-Powers) and the look of the handles I'm attaching, and then throwing, for the lids of all the honey pots......