Open Studio Report, April 26th & 27th

Time-sensitive projects meant two studio sessions this week. The weather is very cold in British Columbia, so clay projects win out over gardening. It actually hailed today when I was out walking with my friend, Gail, so tonight I wore my winter boots. It’s almost May! Well, I guess if Easter was late this year, so is warmer weather. Here’s a run-down on what’s up:

26th: I charged into the studio breathing industry and, therefore, accomplished much. Molded two dishes out of  white clay, one round and shallow, about 14″ wide and, the other, rectangular with sloping walls, about 12″ x 8″. I would like to use white underglaze and Shino on this one…simple, yet glowing with the warmth of that beautiful glaze. I am keeping in mind the decor of the homes of the people I’m giving them to as gifts: warm and cool. Maybe a majolica combo on the bowl… After I set those in the damp room to dry, I switched gears. My bird house was ready for the decorative elements I’d made the week before. It was drying quite nicely, too, knock on wood, as the patches seem to have worked. Reglazed the olive oil lamp bottoms…I sound like a broken record and just want to finish and light them. Brought home the brown sugar medallions. If I could only be this productive each day I’m in the studio!

27th: The main reason I went in tonight was to do finish work on the bird house before it gets any dryer. Time to cut the holes for the hangers. I bored one hole through the centre of the lid and was going to move to the house portion, but noticed a crack wasn’t patched successfully, so I temporarily turned my attention away from cutting holes in the lower cone. I cut away, scored, then filled the crack…fixed it as best I could, but I really need to turn it upside down and work on the underside. I did what work I could by easing my hand under it and working on the crack from that side, but I can’t see what I’m doing well enough. Also, I’d better bring the whole thing home and work on it further. I’m worried about it. Time investment; lots of clay. Can I carefully turn it upside down in a box of foam peanuts? Bubble wrap? Hmm, will sleep on it. Besides working on this project, I did a few other things. Organized my supplies and projects in the damp room. Added a mold of my “Sunrise” tile I made tonight. Molded a thinner “Trees” tile, my first thin one. It looks good! Placed it between plaster to dry. Pauline, my friend/artist-in-residence, and I were the only people in the hand-building area for most of the evening, so we chatted and enjoyed each other’s company. I told her I wanted to get some Frost porcelain. I’ve never used it but want to see what it’s like. I’m home now, have rested, written, snacked, and have definitely decided to bring my bird house home. I will work on it here and take it back to the studio next Tuesday. One week will make or break the project. I know what my mistakes were. One I cannot rectify, the other I can. I didn’t use paper clay, the first mistake. I haven’t dried it slowly enough, second. Me, the gal who is so careful, I can dry things 6 months before firing…just to make sure…I can work with this, though and will patch it up and dry it right.


About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
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