Monday, 20 January 2014


Hello Potters and Friends,

I sat at the wheel after the Christmas break with the intention of throwing a couple more teapots and tea bowls. The clay was a tad cold in the workshop but with the help of a little warm water the throwing was going well and to plan. I started with the tea bowls just to get me into a nice rhythm.

This was my intention.....

But this was what transpired.........

And not just one........

Thrown as a cup, then squashed, pinched on one side, and then adorned with mini birds, teapots etc.
Before the bisque firing I painted them with underglaze colours. 

I find these small pots of underglaze colour quite difficult to judge because what is painted on the pot completely changes once a clear glaze is added.
This is one that changed dramatically after being glazed.

Before... quite fun.

After....not what I imagined!

But I did manage to throw one teapot.

But I mistakenly picked up Lava clay instead of speckled clay which is why it's doubly speckled!!
Good job my white glaze is very adaptable.
And I cut the spout a bit too low, so a full pot of tea will result in a little bit of spillage from the spout. As I've said before, the tip of the spout should be on a line with the rim of the pot to prevent this. So why didn't I heed my own advice? This is a question I often ask myself.
So from that week's work I found that the only thing I really liked was the outline of two apples that I painted with manganese on the teapot. 
Ah well, you can't win 'em all.

But here are a couple of little tricks I played around with.

Roll a ball of clay in your hand and then, in a circular movement, roll a piece of flat plastic over it.

I used the base of a take-away tub.

And this is the result..

Just like that.
And as you saw, I stuck it on the nose of my bird vase.

And here is a great aid to any hand-builder.

It is very flexible, but at the same time it will not move from the shape you finally put it in. I believe most art shops sell them. I created these two perfect curves by cutting round it. 

And finally, here is my little Russian angel that I made for Christmas. But she'll probably stay out on the shelf for the rest of the year.