Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Some pots and stuff.

Some time ago, I made seven jugs.  As ever, some time ago I handled six jugs and slipped six jugs.  I have two jugs to fire tonight and three jugs out of the kiln - that's five jugs.  One that I fired last night had pinging slip again.  The slip was very thick though.  In the end, I went with the 50/50 china clay/hyplas mix, as I liked the effect it gave the best.  I added to this some of the body clay - about 10% probably, in the end, as I used 'dirty' water to mix the clays.  Here's three jugs:

My favourite is the one on the right - I like that bold pattern on that straight jug.  I'm sure, you know, this isn't the shape of jug I threw - on the wheel they felt more bulbous at the bases, but never mind.  The one on the left has cobalt blown on to it.  I like it, but look:

It's very rough to the touch - not one to use for your water, or small beer.  Anyway, i await to see if any more slip pings off (I'm sure it's the body absorbing water from the air that does it.)

Here are two dark tankards - two of four.

I couldn't work out why some of my pots were coming out so dark.  The glaze is the same batch as that above.  Why would it do this?  Then I remembered that I'd put a load of black slip on everything, as the pots were drying out and I didn't have the slip test results.  So that's why.

These two three pound bowls are ok:

Unfortunately, they're a bit rough on the outside, because like the beakers I made, they have some exposed black slip at their base.  I like them though.  One of them, unfortunately, has a small burst bubble on the inside, so I might have to re-fire that one.

Well, I hope you've all ordered and received your copy of Nic's book:

It's an excellent read and some of it is quite funny, although that might be because I'm reading it with Nic's voice in my head.  I can't think of/find any book that describes in so much detail these methods of making big pots, which makes the book pretty unique really.  As Nic says, it isn't about strength or muscles, and he seems to use, in general, lumps of clay of about 7 lbs.  Also, I think in this context, 'Large' is a relative term.  Even if you normally only make pots that are six inches high, you could use the methods described to make pots of twelve inches high, or so (in fact, Nic makes that point.)  So it's well worth buying, in my opinion.  Plus it has tons of fantastic pictures in it.

Anyway, I've tried all the methods in the book at least once (well, the ones that Nic describes in detail - I haven't tried the Korean onggi method yet.)  I haven't really succeeded with any of them, although I did make some bigs pots in two halves last year.  From looking at the book, I think I know where I've been going wrong, now, so I'm going to have another go at them at some point.

Today, I tried Doug's method of making big jugs:

Essentially the neck is thrown first, upside down and with a flange.  Then a round body is thrown with no neck (no neck being an important detail.)  The neck section is then added and the whole thing is finished.  This is the first time I've managed to make the body and neck join together well enough for them not to tear apart.

However, I haven't really managed to blend the neck and the body together very well.  In fact, it's a pretty awful pot, and it's funny, but large awful pots look more awful than small awful pots!  I know how to fix it though.  I'll keep it and slip it, before scrapping it, but I think I might leave the big jugs to Doug. 

But one of the things I like is that the pot has no weight to it.  Concentrating on the body only allows you to stretch the clay a bit more, I found.  Anyway, I might do this again but next time, add a doughnut of clay to make a bottle.

Ho hum.  Well, I made some mugs and beakers today and the parts for a couple of tea pots.  That's all for now.

[I've just heard a big PING from downstairs.  That's more slip gone, I'm sure of it.  Bugger!]


  1. Hmmm, I can't help but say in response to the comment about leaving the big jugs to Doug that well, you know how he does like big jugs.
    I should get a hold of Nic's book. I had a flick through it at Doug's and it does look great.
    see you soon!

  2. Indeed, don't we all...

    Well worth grabbing a copy of Nics book - I'll bring mine along if you want to take another peek.

    Oh, and that noise was more slip pinging off :( But off the beer tankards! They've been out of the kiln for days now. Very unnerving.

  3. I have to see if Nic's book is available here now. If so I'm getting it. I wish I'd gotten a couple of his pots when I was at Hatfield, oh well, next time I suppose.
    The bottom of that jug looks good. It's just the top bit that isn't working. Give it another go. You're mostly there!
    I like those first jugs too. Esp the two on the right. Nicely done.

  4. Ron, if you can't get the book and you want a copy - just shout and i'll get one for you and stick it in the post. RE pots, I thought he had some pots in a show in the US but I don't know what happened to it or where it went. oh well. You'll just have to come over again sometime :)

    I flipped that jug to allow the base to dry a bit, and almost crushed it, it's that thin. Defo not a keeper. I know it's close though. I'll try again at some point.

  5. Looks like I can order the book via Amazon. It will come from the UK but shipping isn't expensive so I will go that route. Thanks for the offer.

    Yes, make a few more of those jugs. They'll only get better and better.

  6. You're making some great pots Andy - you just need to make a few more big jugs like that and you'll soon sus it. Have a great weekend with H and the SPA, they're a good bunch of folk

  7. really like the deco on those smaller jugs Andy very bold move.....nice!!