Sunday, May 31, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Pit firing is placing several clay pieces together in a pit, and lighting a large fire in that pit. The heat from the fire mixed with the gasses produced color the clay so it is an interesting mix of oranges, reds, and browns.
What is a Foil Saggar?
A foil saggar is created by wrapping a piece of ceramic in aluminum foil in order to keep stuff inside with the pottery to change the finish on the piece.
What is a Paper Saggar?
Same as above, but made out of a paper bag or cardboard that burns away during firing.
These techniques are special because they are using fire and heat to create color. Normally, if you wanted to color something, you would put paint or something on it's surface. With pit firing, you are changing the color of the clay itself. It's also special because every piece made through pit firing is completely unique as the colors and patterns created are random.
I finally decided on arranging several bottles in a certain way and melting them a little so they would slump together and make one single piece. The problem with this is that I needed to hold the bottles together while they were melting, without interfering with them after they had melted, and without melting before the glass and making the bottles collapse. The only thing I could think of which would do this is a clay base that would hold the bottles in place and not melt in the high temperatures. When the piece had cooled, I intended to remove the base and have the glass bottles sit on their own.
I had expected the glass to sink down a little bit, but it turned out that the glass melted completely flattened down and started dripping over the side of the base. This meant that I couldn't remove the base like I had wanted to, but it didn't matter that much to me because the piece looked really cool as it was. The one thing that I didn't like about it was that it had cracked in several places while cooling, including right through the middle, breaking the piece in half. I tried hot glueing the glass back together, but the broken glass was too smooth and the glue couldn't get a grip on the glass, so it just came apart again. So far, I haven't put the piece back together, but I plan to fix it once I bring it home.
I tossed around a few ideas for my dwelling project before I started it. the first thing I wanted to do was create a wire frame of a house, with only the outline, windows, and a door. I wasn't sure how I would design this project because I wanted to use a single, continuous piece of wire to make the whole thing and I didn't know if I wanted wire to double up anywhere. After thinking about that idea for a while, I decided to change to carving into books. I wanted to carve the windows and door into the front cover of the book, hollow out the middle, and put windows and a door on the back cover as well. I used three old art encyclopedias that had been hot glued together to make one really thick book. I thought about adding furniture inside for a while but decided against it as it would take too long to add small details inside. Just cutting out the pages was taking a long time. I underestimated the amount of time it would take to cut through nearly 1000 pages. hopefully, when i'm done, it will be worth it, though. The front of the house is already looking nice and you can't even see what the inside will look like yet.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Friday, April 10, 2015
The animal head I made was the head of a squirrel. When I started working with my clay, I spent a lot of time adding moisture to my clay to make it soft and workable. That helped for the first few days, but after a few days the clay started drying out. That made it difficult to work with and I had to try several times to add the eyes. The eyes were a big issue for me during this project, and even by the end, I still hadn't made the eyes perfectly level. It was also difficult to add the ears because they were so thin and delicate. I then had trouble painting the head, because I couldn't get the color just right. I decided to add white streaks to add texture and I really like the way it finally turned out.