Monday, 27 October 2014

Post 180 More new pots

These are the reamining 5 pots from my last firing; all with new glaze formulations from my last trial series.
The first two are from an oval mould with a slightly convex wall. The size is a useful intermediate scale.

Oval with rounded flange and lower rib      Pot No125     313 x 245 x 62

 Oval with squared flange          Pot No 128           321 x 257 x 60

The next three are also from the one (different) mould. They show how a slump mould can be used as a basis with different wall profiles to create slightly different pots.  In Post 172 I showed a new bowed wall rectangular shaped pot, with less bow in the walls and more squared corners. These are the first three pots of that shape. Pot 27 shown in that post while still drying is now shown here, below, glazed.

The first one a quite assertive model with squared flange and lower rib as well as quite sharpish corners.      Pot No 124        336 x  242 x  67  

 This one has the same tight corners but no lower rib. It's Pot 127 from Post 172.   
 Pot No 127       340 x  250 x  72

And then finally Pot No 123  with the more rounded corners.      Pot No 123      325 x  240 x  67

Three different pots with slightly different characters from the same mould; from the more formal to the more relaxed.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Post 179 New Shohin pots

After this year's show circuit I've been enthused to compete in more classes and so am working away to rapidly develop this season a few  potential shohins that have been on the 'back bench' for a while. I also have a few older trees that I've radically shortened (and posted about) and will work these into smaller pots too. So having something to put these trees into to show has been a motivator to make some stock and build the colour palette.  I'm happy to hang on to these pots especially the semis, no S47 and S48 which are very cute. I've got a couple of little benjamina 'shortys' looking very prospective for these.

The other motivator is a booking I have in a couple of weeks with one of our local Bonsai groups to do a pottery demonstration. I think a lot of people were very interested in and enjoyed the demo done by our Chinese pottery master friend at the Gold Coast conference. This will be an opportunity for a few more people to get a view of the process, albeit a little different, up quite 'close and personal'.

I've had a little warning of the slot and so the pots from this firing  will be useful to show first hand what the opportunities are and also to have something to sell if anyoine is inclined.

There were 16 pots in the last glaze firing - the 11 Shohins shown here as well as 5 mid sized oval and bowed wall rectangular pots. I posted a shot of the pots fresh from the bisque firing recently. The Shohins can be packed in and with the others being mid sized it was a productive glaze firing.

I was also keen to try out some of my 'new browns' from my recent Glaze trial 9. A number of them are here in this group along with a couple of new blues, also from that trial.

S41   Oval with square rim and lower rib    193 x 142 x 44

S42  Rounded rectangular with rounded rim and lower rib   175 x 130 x 52

S43  Oval with rounded rim and lower rib   175 x 130 x 52180 x 134 x 52

S44  Rectangular  165 x 115 x 50

S45  Oval  166 x 122 x 44

S46  Oval  175 x 132 x 55

S47  Square semi cascade   117 x 117 x 70

S48  Square semi cascade   117 x 117 x 70

Here's that little benjamina photoshopped into the pot. With the coming season's growth ahead I think a nice match.

 S49  Oval with textured walls   160 x 120 x 44
S50  Oval  178 x 127 x 46
S51 Rectangular    165 x 120 x 50

Monday, 20 October 2014

Post 178 Seasonal development - grow and cut

In south east Qld we are having perfect growing weather not to hot and not too cool, like goldilocks porridge, just right. This is very typical of our spring weather before the real heat and humidity strikes. Our trees have had a good run over the last 6 to 8 weeks and that time is pretty good for a grow and cut cycle here. We can get anywhere up to 4 or 5 of these cycles to build bulk and ramification.
I’ve got a couple of trees here today that I’ve just pruned for the next cycle. Both have had their tops restrained by tip pruning while the lower branches have been allowed to run.

The first one is a malus which I posted back in August when it was in its beautiful autumnal red. Today its before and after pruning photos. The wire will only need to be there for perhaps 4 or 5 weeks and in 6 or 8 weeks will look like the first photo again.

All that growth builds the trunk and primary branches developing taper and proportion. As you can see I’m happy to leave the top of the tree to be developed when it is the right time; that can always be done easily but if the lower branches aren’t developed now, then later is generally not an available option.

This one is a corky bark elm and has gotten pretty wild. Once again the top of the tree has been clipped to maintain the fine branches and the lower growth allowed to run. Building trunk mass over the years and keeping a tree in a presentable shape can be a slow process. 

And here it is after a good tidy up. Not too much wire in use and the foliage pads have had a good pinching to open them out and let the light in; ready to go again. If I was interested in further developing fine branches now would be a time for total defoliation. Leaving the leaves in place is more likely to result in new individual terminal growth, but that’s ok for a repetition of this cycle.
On my place I have a few big eucalypt trees and November is like another season here – we call it ‘bark’, because that’s when the trees shed their bark and generally make a real mess for a month. Well they’ve started and the first thing to get shed was a big paper wasp nest. I don’t know that I’ve seen one quite this big before and am very pleased I wasn’t around when it fell.