Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Society

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Jug O Lantern Family

The "Jug-O-Lantern" family of jugs. 

I wanted to get the feel of the old paper mache Jack-O-Lanterns without copying them directly.

They are done with underglazes and a crackle slip while wet, then rubbed with oxides and more underglazes after bisque. Then they are sprayed with a wash of Gerstley Borate before being fired to cone 6. This gives them a soft sheen instead of a real glossy glaze.The crackle slip on the skulls came out especially nice.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Forked Tongue Devil

Title: "Forked Tongue Devil, (The Politician)"
You'll be seeing and hearing from a lot of these demons in the next year. They hide behind a mask so you can't see what they are really like. They turn a blind eye to reality and lie eloquently with their gold-leafed, forked tongue. Actually, it is brass leaf (appropriate).
This jug was sculpted mostly by pushing the clay out from the inside.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jug-O-Lanterns In Progress

 My favorite holiday is Halloween. I threw these small jugs  distorted them to look like pumpkins, and sculpted faces on the them. The faces were pushed out from the inside. No clay was added (all but the tips of the noses, horns and teeth.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Faucet Frog

Tree Frog on the garden faucet. The garden has become a haven for frogs and birds in this terrible drought year. He bathes under the drip when I turn the faucet on.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Cuteanator, Terminally Cute

I dropped a small jug while it was wet but decided to make something of it anyway. It was a cute shape so I decided to make the ultimate cute jug. He is a cute monster with angel wings (made in a shell press mold), a cute kitten and an Oreo cookie. he even has a belly button (how cute is that?) It's so sweet that if you look at it too long you'll get Diabetes of the eyeballs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gone Postal

In Progress:
"Gone Postal"
I have been thinking about doing a "Going Postal" jug for sometime.
The news this week finds our postal service is in deep financial trouble. It will be closing many post offices around the country. Up to 120, 000 jobs could be lost. Soon, the postal service, we have enjoyed in this country, will be changed drastically.

This guy is not at all happy about the turn of events. He is irate and out of control. He's chewing his way through the morning mail. His red flag is up (It's probably been up for a while).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sleeps With The Fishes

In Progress

I didn't know what this was "about" when I made it. I now believe it has to do with our severe drought and  record hot summer. The dying fish, killed by lack of oxygen and shrinking water levels and the suffocating blue-green algae that has made lakes and rivers death traps. I think a times like these must have been very hard on the ancestors.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Clay Dig Update

A few weeks back I posted three videos (see them below) showing how I process and test hand dug local clay. Here is an update of the results.
Here is a pint sized mug that was thrown from clay that I dug from a trench just a mile from my house. This was straight dug clay without any additives. It threw well (see video) and fired pretty well too. I fired it to cone 04 (earthenware temps) first.  At that temp. it was underfired and quite porous. I believe that was because of the abundant fine silica  sand in the clay. I fired it again to cone 6 with good results. It fired to a dark red-brown with 3% absorption and 10% shrinkage. It is glazed with  a slip and ash glaze that consists of 50% local slip clay and 50% wood ash from the woodstove. The inside has a pebbly, almost salt glazed look. I think this is because the soils around the Red River are high in salts and are quite alkaline. I think the salts in the clay interacted with the ash glaze.

 I have been using the mug in the shop daily for the past two months. It has been through the dishwasher many times with no ill effect and has been used for everything from rootbeer to cider. This clay should work well with a bit of flux (PV clay), a little ball clay and some grog.


The test bar was 5" long when we started and is now 4 1/2" . That is a 10% shrinkage. It was fired with  each end resting on a piece of broken kiln shelf. It did not sag at all. After firing it was weighed then soaked in water overnight then weighed again. It had absorbed 3% water. This is acceptable to me as a mid-fired pot. With a a bit of flux this absorption will be even less.

Clay Processing Videos