|Terracotta cakestand (still greenware at this stage)|
I'm a bit nervous about a vase I made .... it really isn't the most stable of pieces, although I like the shape! Again, another direction that may have to be rethought if I make another one of these ... perhaps a flat bottom!
And then there's the lattice pieces I made which are extremely fragile in their greenware state. I've taken a risk with these pieces - any moving of them has been done with great care and I'm worried they are too fragile. I also don't know if I've used the right clay - for this kind of fine work I probably should of used porcelain ... however this is all really a learning process and about creating, so I should take the mistakes as lessons learned!
|Lattice piece with terracota coil pot in the background.|
So today I finally, carefully packed up my various pieces of greenware pottery and transported them over to Spotswood for firing, and I have to admit I'm nervous and excited. I can't wait to see what works - and of course what doesn't work. Unfortunately it was not without disaster. The first mishap was while I tried to pack the vase pictured above. I knocked the table and in saving the vase from toppling and smashing I put my hand down on the table in the quick save action right on top of one of my lattice pieces ... now not really worth firing. Then a couple of the porcelain pendants snapped in half. Wow this greenware stuff needs kid gloves!
|The unfortunate fall out.|
Naturally I wasn't that happy about the lattice piece. Even though it really is an experiment I wanted it to work - back to the drawing board with this one. I'll try it again but with slightly thicker lattices and in porcelain which being a finer clay can cope better with being thinner.
I drive to Spotswood was done very carefully with Zette our careful driver, Geoff (our firing master) and myself (me in the back in back nursing the pieces as best I could). The unpacking at the other end was going to be telling as well. I was beginning to wish I done a big solid piece like Zette had! Luckily I only lost one or two more pendants (I've done quick a few), but alas I also lost the other lattice piece - the bowl pictured up above. So I never will know how that clay in that kind of fine work will fire ... so on to the porcelain version as it seems less risky.
Next will be learning about glazes, that is if all the remaining pieces survive the firing - there could be some more lessons there as well! I'm particularly curious about decals and also about using house paint to decorate pieces. Yes house paint! I read somewhere that you can use it on greenware. I find this a little hard to believe as I would of thought it would burn off, but apparently some artists used to do it in the 50s. If that's the case I'm imagining lead based paints, which some glazes used to be, or enamel paint rather than acrylic. I've tried research this on-line, and although I've come across the odd comments on pottery forums where someone suggests you experiment with house paint they don't go into any details. Like at what stage? On Greenware, a second firing, no firing - but after all the process? And what type of house paint? I guess I'll just have to do what the pottery forums said ... and experiment!!
So tomorrow it all gets stacked up into the kiln .... fired for three days making sure the kiln has plenty of time to cool afterwards (opening too soon can also crack pieces). I can't wait to see the end results and start my next lot of experiments!