Saturday, 15 August 2015

Post 206 Two firings and a bundle of new pots

Along with the new tanuki from Post No 205 there were some pots in the same firing and then another, 8 in all. Here they all are.

The first is a deep oval pot with a heavy rim. It is Pot No 224 at  262 x 204 x 83. The glaze is a previously used teal green applied heavily. It has a very impasto feel to the finish and should age beautifully.

The next is Pot No 225 at 358 x 270 x 95. It is a fairly heavy pot designed for a solid conifer. The colour and style should match nicely.

Here is another picture in pictorial view. The shape is bowed wall rectangular with cut corners.

Next up is Pot No 223   at 330 x 240 x 89, another bowed wall rectangular pot in a lighter brown.

In this pictorial shot you get a better idea of the wall shape.

Pot No 222  at 535 x 410 x 51. This one is a large low oval with a concave wall profile in a good practical neutral brown, made for a large semi formal upright conifer.

Pot No 222 in pictorial view.

This is a detail of the wall profile for Pot No 222.

The last 4 are pots for my own trees. Pot No 226 is a round pot with a diameter of 250 x 80 high. It has a rock textured wall. This one is one of two I made with a similar texture, one a little taller than the other. One will house a 45 year old Queensland Bottle Tree with a very interesting twisted root/trunk composition. 

And this is the similar pot -  Pot No 228, a round pot with a diameter of 240 x 77 high.
The colour on this one is a little darker.

Pot No 229  is a small oval at 254 x 205 x 66 in a well used brown glaze.

Here a pictorial view.

And the last one is Pot No 227  at  259 x 220 x 76. Is is a similar shape to Pot 229, just a little deeper. The glaze is a much used and liked '7-27 brown.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Post 205 New Tanuki

Some time ago while browsing the web looking at shows and species from our near north I came upon Pemphis acidulata in many forms. This is a great bonsai species which has been regularly collected from the wild in Indonesia and Malaysia and carved into amazing shapes. Apparently in cultivation they need a regular spray with salt water to thrive; sounds quite an interesting one to grow. 

 Apparently it is also an Australian species growing across the top of the country all around the coastline; also crocodile country. Now wouldn't it be nice to have one of these, but I'm not sure about the collection risks.

This one inspired me to think about another ceramic tanuki that I could grow an Australian native on - either a coastal tea tree or perhaps a Moonah. The Moonah appeals because it is very long lived and has a very fine foliage.

The one I have made is about 300mm high and is designed to take three trees as 'live veins'. This is the front and you can see the three tracks spiraling up the trunk. I've used the same off-white clay as my previous versions and it fires to a nice ivory colour, perfect for Pemphis deadwood simulation.

 This is from the left hand side.

 This is the back.

 And then the right hand side.

This last picture is a detail of the carving. The trunk is carved with oblong diagonal holes to replicate the 'ropey' trunk of the Coastal Tea Tree and also Moonah. I have some tubestock of both and in the next few weeks as spring beckons I'll put it together.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Post 204 New Elements and New Pots

The last month or so has been a bit of a pottery trial. I posted about my failed element saga and was pretty pleased to have apparently solved solve the challenge of replacing the elements of a kiln that suffered from specification obsolescence. Of course new elements fire entirely differently from the old ones. They have the capacity to fire at a set rate to a higher temperature. As they get older and oxidized  at ever higher temperatures they are unable to maintain the same rate, so the firing curve actually does curve until it reaches a point of limitation. Fortunately I had kept a record of actual kiln temperature vs time performance for the firing schedule I had set. It was finely tuned to fire at cone 6 to give me the clay and glaze performance I was after. It took a couple of less that successful firings with the new elements before I 'tuned' the firing schedule to get me back to cone 6.

All this while trying to complete a largish commission order which resulted in a series of failures and rebuilds; very frustrating.
Oh yes and also in the middle there the clay supplier and all its distributors ran out of my stoneware clay; aaaahhhhhhhh!!!!

That's ok I just hope my trial is now over and order is restored in the pottery universe.

Some new pots:

First up is a Bowed Wall Rectangular pot, Pot No 215, ( 440 x 325 x 110 ). This one and most of the following pots are destined to carry pines and junipers so the plan has been to use my suite of satin brown glazes to replicate unglazed pots but with the surface protection of glazes.

 Next up is Pot No 216 (450 x 330 x 110) another Bowed Wall Rectangular pot. This one has a squared lower rib.

 This is Pot No 213 (390 x 290 x 110 ) also a BWR but with truncated corners. This makes for a pretty handsome pot in the flesh.

 These two are designed for literatis the first is Pot No 219 ( 270 diameter x 60) and the second Pot No 218 ( 270 diameter x 65 )

 This large Oval Pot No 209 (460 x 340 x 100) has a double bead rim and lower rib; a very nice tub.

 This is was an interesting little build. The owner wanted a pot for a Melaleuca and he tends to grow this species sitting in a shallow pan of water. Being a swamp plant they certainly enjoy the water. He was also looking for a pot to reflect the texture and colour of the flaky papery bark. So I made the pot and the detail picture shows the texture. I then made another on the same mold without any adornment or glaze or even feet. The idea being to grow the tree in the simple pot and then just slip it into the decorated one for display.
Pot No 211 ( 225 x 160 x 40 )

 This is Pot No 217 ( 280 x280 x200). Clearly a semi cascade pot, square with truncated corners and bowed walls. A nice pot.

Pot No 212 (450 x 330 x 87 ) a nice brown Oval with double bead rim and lower rib.

 Final pot for today it Pot No 220 (470 x 360 x 120 ) a great big tub for a great big evergreen.