Monday, March 22, 2010

The Adventures of Clementine, Teabowls in Progress, and Kiln debates

A few Months back, My darling daughter India made herself a sock monkey, as can be seen on Lizzies Yarns . I posted about India's love of monkeys and a comment came in from a fellow named Gary. It seems that Gary has a sock monkey of his own who gets into a lot of trouble!!! India has become a huge fan of Georges le Soq, and his many hijinks. Last week, Clementine saw what fun Georges was having and insisted that India take her out on the town.
So here is the evidence Clementine MacSock, touring the town of Sydney Nova Scotia....
She insisted she could drive, so I let her.
first stop, the Library, to listen to some drumming, and drop off the smaller children
she had to bum some change from me to pay for parking
she hung out in the stacks
took in some drumming
she even read stories to the toddlers
then it was of to theWentworth Perk for some java
We had to stop at the grocery store on the way home, and she nearly lost her marbles when she spotted her hero on the cover of MacLeans magazine. She insisted that she have her picture taken with the man who brought us the Gold, Mr Sidney Crosby.
It was a great adventure, and she was so tired from it all, that she let me drive home.

On the pottery front, I am experimenting with some japanese textile patterns on my pots. I am trying different methods to get the right feel for the patterning. and exploring a bit outside my comfort zone. It feels pretty good to be playing around with different stuff. As always, I am starting out with teabowls, right size, good surface area, and manageable for tests. Plus I hate having piles of tiles hanging about. They just don't say enough.
I made some handbuilt teabowls for my slip tests a few weeks back, and they all worked out pretty well. But I don't think that the colours were what I was looking for.
Last week, I threw teabowls as a demo for my students, so I am trying a few new things with them. First off the mark are these shellac resist bowls. They are looking pretty good to me, but WOW what a lot of work. My hat is off to you Jim Gottuso you are a very patient man! I am sure that there will be a VERY small run of shellac pots for me! But I have to say they are giving me the subtlety I am looking for in the surface. Here are some progress shot on the thrown teabowls.
Lastly, I need a kiln, It is a difficult choice to make, and a significant investment for me at this point. I have been window shopping for ages, and am having the damnedist time choosing. I like the tuckers, cone art kiln I use at the school, but am unsure about what size I should get. And am I limiting myself by looking at the Tucker's Kiln? is there one out there that is better for me? I do find the shelves a bit awkward at times. I love the computer controller, but is there a better one/ sigh I guess I will have to just bite the bullet and pick one.


  1. HOLY SHIRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Georges Le Soq is LIKE "MON AMOUR!!!!!!!!!!".
    Rocking cups. Rockin' blog too :)

  2. Thanks Gary! Clementine is blushing!

  3. PLEASE update us on the cups, later on, maybe before and after. Georges is trying to get free snacks, but ignore him....

  4. Clementine will SURELY be blushing now, check my blog, I did a post about you :)

  5. ohhhh. Swirly waves are beautiful! I can't wait to see the rest of your experiments!

  6. You know how i feel abt George right? We made peace but i keep an extra eye on him. I love those shellac resist bowls - sooo cool!

  7. Not being a potter, I'm going to take a stab at what "shellac resist" means. I know how photoresist works in photolithography that is used to build integrated circuits, so I'm betting that you use the shellac to control where the glaze goes (and doesn't go) and that when you fire it the shellac, being organic, gets burned off so you can do the same thing over and over to get different colours on the same artifact in very precise patterns and layers. If that's so, and I'm betting it is, then it's got to be a tedious process all the way round, but one that could yield very rewarding pieces in the end. Like the swirls and fish you have in the photos.

    - mira's papa

  8. Well miras papa, you are close, and shellac can be used that way, but in this case it is a water erosion technique. I am using the shellac on bone dry porcelain, then scrubbing away the clay with a wet sponge.It gives a nice crisp edge to the detail, and can be very subtle with the use of many layers of shellac and many scrubbings. the final pieces will be glazed in a celadon type glaze, which will hopefully pool in the low spots and break over high spots.
    The big gamble is not causing the bone dry clay to crack, or disintegrate in the process. Having it survive the firings after such blatent abuse is a happy moment