Monday, January 12, 2009
Rare low-fired slipware at Hatchville
My work is usually stoneware, fired in the Olympic gas kiln here, decorated in any combination of ten glazes that live in a pile of buckets under the cluttered bisque shelves. But I ran out of stoneware clay just after the holidays and found two 25-lb. bags of red earthenware that have been sitting on the floor for the past few years. Still soft enough to throw, though, so I spent a couple of sessions making bowls and then decorating them with a white slip I had on hand.
I dug out a cone 04 clear amber iron glaze recipe, mixed up a bucket and went to work with what is a much more straightforward glazing process than I use with reduction-fired pots. Dip the pot, set it down, pick up another, dip that one, clean the feet on all pots, put them in the electric kiln, fire it on "slow." I took the pots out this morning. And they look pretty good, and very serviceable. I brought the teabowl to the coffee shop this morning for a tryout, and it seemed to work well. And friends noticed that it's not the same kind of thing I usually have at the coffee table.
My decoration is really, really simple. Ridiculously simple. Kindergartenish, even. The Hannah McAndrews, Paul Jessops and Doug Fitches of the UK and Ron Geering here in Falmouth (geeringpottery.com) should expect no competition from me. Drop dots from a slip trailer, brush slip in various direction (hakeme works great on the teabowls), spatter slip all over the place, do a little elementary sgraffito through it when it's dried a bit.
This is part of my plan to spend the winter productively, turning out pots every day in preparation for spring and summer shows. Anyway, here are a couple of photos of the work. Onward ...