Wednesday 21 August 2013

My heaviest piece yet!

I managed to fire this monster of a vase a couple of days ago, to earthenware temperature. It had been drying for a couple of weeks as the clay is really thick at the base..I even placed it on top of the kiln during another bisque firing to make sure it was completely dry. Even so, I was rather afraid it would explode or crack due to the weight (around 4 kgs!). Fortunately it has survived intact, and now I need to decide how to glaze and fire it.

Vase, approx. 16 inches tall

I'm also experimenting with new, rougher textures on my pots, trying to create a more rock-like finish. I have always appreciated the interesting effects which sculptors achieve when they model using soft plaster and then pare down the surface, and the technique I've used here emulates that process to some extent.

The piece below piece was first thrown as a cylinder, squared off and then the bottom added later. The top section was coiled.

Vase, approx. 10 inches tall

If it makes it through the bisque, I'd ideally like to wood fire this piece close to the firebox. There is plenty of iron in the clay, so the melting ash from the fire would produce some lovely dark tones and Bizen-style effects.


  1. How exciting! You are always doing new things! The altered vase looks very attractive. I love it. Bizen is my most favourite pottery in Japan. Congratulations on a successful firing on the tall vase! : )

    1. Thank you, Midori! :) I really enjoy experimenting with surface texture. Of course, it means each time there are more decisions about whether and with what to glaze.. and how it should best be fired.